Why composable architecture is the future of digital experience
Digital experiences are rapidly evolving, causing more and more enterprises to consider the move to a composable digital experience platform. Should your business be one of them?
If you haven’t started your journey to a composable architecture, read on to learn:
- Why experts say composable is the way of the future
- Potential benefits of a composable DXP
- How to get started and why being “fully composable” matters
What is a composable DXP?
The composable digital experience platform (DXP) is the most recent concept to emerge in the evolution of the digital experience from its beginnings, when enterprise content was limited to a static website viewed on a desktop where customers could find information about a brick-and-mortar business.
With no need to frequently update or publish to multiple channels, a monolithic architecture was the answer to publishing enterprise content. Businesses would purchase a predetermined set of tools designed by one vendor.
Then came the smartphone, which led to today’s e-commerce landscape where consumers are not only shopping online but doing so on a plethora of devices and channels. Monolithic platforms, which require developers to code any changes to content, are unable to keep up.
The composable DXP is the latest solution for businesses aiming to meet and serve their customers across multiple channels and devices. A composable DXP uses a headless CMS as the foundation for a content hub where microservices are delivered via independent APIs, allowing content to be quickly and easily deployed across channels.
Why a composable DXP is the way of the future
As digital commerce evolves, customers not only expect to be able to interact with your website; they expect a seamless, personalized experience. Monolithic systems, which require IT teams to code every change and update, don’t have the ability to rapidly respond to customer preferences and publish fresh content across multiple channels.
According to Gartner Research, businesses can no longer meet their objectives with monolithic platforms. In its 2020 report “Adopt a Composable DXP Strategy to Future-Proof Your Tech Stack,” Gartner predicted that by 2023, organizations that adopt a composable approach will outpace competition by 80% in implementing new features.
Potential benefits of a composable DXP
A composable DXP offers many benefits for enterprise marketing and IT teams, which can positively impact the success of the overall business. These include:
Flexibility, scalability and faster development
Composable architecture provides organizations the flexibility to choose and combine a unique mix of best-in-breed tools and microservices and to easily change this mix as business needs evolve. The modularity of composable architecture supports the seamless integration of these independent best-in-breed solutions. This means they can be added, removed and recombined quickly without downtime. The ability to deploy services independently to multiple websites and channels from one central hub enables enterprises to scale faster and more easily as needed.
Speed and agility
Because the tools and microservices in composable architecture are modular – meaning they work as independent components or APIs – each can be updated incrementally as needed without impacting other tools, services or channels. Organizations become more agile as marketing and IT teams are empowered to act faster to keep pace with changing customer expectations by providing richer, more up-to-date content experiences.
Ease of use
Without coding or technical expertise, marketing teams can modify user interfaces and content experiences without having to open tickets and wait on developers to fulfill requests. Workflow governance for multiple sites and channels is managed from one central hub with customizable user controls ensuring the right persons have approved content prior to rollout.
Monolithic platforms are complex and require hundreds of hours of development time and resources to upgrade and maintain with heavy reliance on tech teams. A composable platform is easier for IT to upgrade as technology evolves because new apps and functionality can be launched independently. Major website overhauls become a thing of the past. Freed from mundane marketing requests and maintenance, IT can focus on innovation and delivering better customer experiences.
A composable DXP reduces both development time and time to publish, resulting in reduced costs and an increased profit.
Website analytics, social media, customer relationship management and other sources of data collected via the tools and microservices in the DXP can provide a more complete picture of your customers in real-time. This enables the personalization and up-to-date, relevant content experiences that customers expect.
Omnichannel content deployment
In a composable DXP built with a headless CMS, creation of content and the channels where it’s published are mutually independent. This allows marketers to maintain a responsive presence across multiple channels and devices from one central hub by seamlessly and rapidly optimizing and pushing out marketing campaigns to reach customers where they are.
Getting started on the journey to a composable architecture
If your current digital experience solution is holding you back from experiencing the benefits above, it may be time to think about switching to a composable DXP. But where do you begin?
Start by listing everything that isn’t working in your current platform. Consider the parts of your current system that are working well to meet the needs of your business, and whether those needs are likely to change in the near future. This will help clarify which apps and microservices you should include in your future solution as well as how to approach implementing it.
Transitioning to composable doesn’t necessarily mean throwing out your entire current system and starting with something completely new. Based on your assessment of what’s currently working and not working, you may want to adopt a gradual approach by first implementing composable applications in crucial areas where it could make the most impact and where your monolithic platform is slowing you down.
Finding the right composable DXP
Once you’ve decided on the best approach, it’s time to research solutions. If you decide on a gradual approach, make sure the vendor you choose has the ability to take you all the way to your goal of going fully composable.
Many vendors currently market their platforms as being “composable” even though they aren’t fully composable. Instead they are selling platforms built on monolithic architecture that offer some composable functionality such as the ability to plug in some APIs or integrate with certain microservices.
A fully composable DXP, on the other hand, is built on a composable architecture rather than on monolithic. At its foundation is a headless CMS that separates the back-end coding from the end points such as your website interface. Instead of being one centrally controlled system, it’s a variety of solutions that are independently controlled but work cohesively from one central hub.
Does being ‘fully composable’ really matter?
If you’re wondering if it really makes a difference whether a DXP is fully composable or not, it actually matters a great deal. A DXP built on monolithic architecture will not deliver all the great benefits of a fully composable platform that we’ve covered in this blog. In fact, it will have many limitations that a fully composable platform won’t have.
One of the most notable differences is with monolithic architecture, the vendor controls the type of technology that you can and cannot use. This means your organization will not always have the flexibility to choose and leverage the best available apps and microservices for success as your business grows. This is especially important moving into the future as technology continues to evolve and new options become available.
A fully composable DXP provides the flexibility to choose the best solutions now and later so your organization can always leverage the most up-to-date technology tools it requires for success. Fully composable puts you in control of creating a unique DXP, one that will evolve over time to continuously align with business needs, without being limited by a vendor.
For a more detailed look at how you can get started on your journey to a composable architecture, see our guide, “How to switch from a monolithic to a composable architecture in 7 steps.”
Schedule a free demo to see how Contentstack’s composable digital experience platform can help future-proof your enterprise.
See the future of composable at ContentCon 2023
It’s time to mark your calendar — Contentstack’s annual customer conference, ContentCon, is back on May 8-10, 2023! This year, we're going bigger and better than ever, offering a hybrid event experience that you can join virtually or in-person at the charming Hotel Van Zandt in Austin, Texas. With an exciting lineup of speakers, workshops and networking opportunities, ContentCon 2023 promises to empower you to make the most of your composable tech stack and skyrocket your enterprise to success. Don't miss out on this must-attend event for business leaders, marketers, developers and anyone looking to elevate their digital experience game.Inspirational keynotes from top brandsGet ready for a full day of amazing keynote presentations from some of the biggest and most-loved brands in the industry. These experts will share their insights, experience, and strategic advice on how to leverage Contentstack and other cutting-edge technologies to drive business growth and success. If you're looking for inspiration, practical tips, and a glimpse into the future of content management, these keynotes are not to be missed!Keynote speakers include: Best-selling author and executive coach Laura Gassner Otting share strategies for pushing past the doubt and indecision that keep great ideas in limbo. In-person attendees will receive a copy of Otting’s new book, “Wonderhell: Why Success Doesn’t Feel Like It Should … and What to Do About It.” Mindy Montgomery, senior technical product manager and leader of the ecosystem platform that supports a connected customer experience for ASICS, will give tips on “How to Survive Procurement.” Juliette Olah, senior manager of editorial for Booking.com, spearheads the editorial strategy for Booking.com. Olah’s presentation will cover the “The Art and Science of a Customer-Obsessed Content Strategy.” Expert-led workshops to elevate your skillsAt ContentCon 2023, you'll have the opportunity to participate in all-new, exclusive workshops that will help elevate your expertise in composable leadership, technology and mindset. Whether you're new to Contentstack or a seasoned pro looking to sharpen your skills, our workshops are designed to provide valuable, hands-on learning experiences for all experience levels.The Contentstack Help Bar: your one-stop-shop for expert adviceBring your burning questions about Contentstack and the composable enterprise to our in-house experts at the Contentstack Help Bar. Available throughout the conference, our team will be ready and eager to provide personalized advice, troubleshooting guidance and insider tips to help you make the most of your content management platform. Co-creating the Composable ManifestoJoin us in co-creating the Composable Manifesto — a set of actionable tenets that will inspire, guide, and accelerate your teams toward a future-proof, agile, and innovative business environment. This unique, collaborative activity will bring together ContentCon attendees to collectively define the guiding principles for a composable enterprise. Be a part of shaping the future of content management and the wider tech landscape by contributing your ideas and wisdom to this groundbreaking initiative.Networking opportunities galoreWhat better way to level up your professional network than by connecting with your peers, industry leaders and the Contentstack team at ContentCon 2023? With both in-person and virtual networking opportunities throughout the event, you'll have plenty of chances to forge new connections, share ideas and learn from others in the field. Don't miss the chance to grow your network while absorbing a wealth of valuable content management knowledge.Register nowDon't miss out on the chance to power up your tech stack and leave a lasting impact on your enterprise. Register now to join us in beautiful Austin or virtually from anywhere in the world. Mark your calendars for May 8-10, 2023, and get ready to elevate your digital experience game at ContentCon!
Why developers will love Contentstack Launch
How your business can save money with a composable DXP
Are you feeling the crunch of tight budgets and limited resources? It can be difficult for enterprises to find ways to cut costs while still remaining competitive. One way to do this is by investing in a composable digital experience platform (DXP). A composable DXP allows businesses to quickly create personalized user experiences without the need for extensive development time or costly technology infrastructure. By taking advantage of its flexibility and scalability, companies can save money while improving customer engagement. In this blog post, we'll discuss how a composable DXP could help your business improve its efficiency and profitability.What is a composable DXP?Gartner defines a DXP as “an integrated set of core technologies that support the composition, management, delivery and optimization of contextualized digital experiences.”A DXP is not necessarily a single solution but a variety of solutions that work cohesively from a central hub. A composable DXP uses MACH technologies (microservices-based, API-first, cloud-native and headless) to deliver services to various devices and channels.How a composable DXP saves moneyScalabilityA composable architecture allows you to scale according to your business needs. If you’re just beginning to implement composable technology, you may choose to keep elements of your existing technology while adding composable applications where they are most needed to improve efficiency.If you choose to invest in a new digital experience platform, a composable architecture enables you to choose the best tools available for your needs, and only the tools you need. ReliabilityA composable DXP can help your business avoid costly downtime because its microservices-based architecture means a failure in one service won’t affect the entire system. SpeedA composable platform based on a headless CMS will enable you to quickly launch new digital experiences, update and adapt as needed without the need for developers to create new solutions each time, so you enjoy faster time to market while saving costly development time.EfficiencyIn a platform with a composable architecture based on a headless CMS, the front end and back ends are decoupled, so marketing teams IT teams can work simultaneously to create and update digital experiences and content faster. A composable platform also enables automation of routine tasks so you avoid costly human errors and your team spends more time on higher priority tasks.How to save money when implementing a composable DXPOne way to save money while transitioning to composable technology is to leverage your existing technology wherever possible and add composable technology where your legacy system doesn’t function as needed.To do this successfully, start by:Defining your business goalsIdentifying what you use, don’t use and what’s missing in your current systemMapping out your ideal systemDefining a roadmap for implementation When implementing a composable DXP, the key to saving money is understanding what services you need for success. Consider your business needs and goals and then research composable DXP providers that best match those needs. Whether parting with a smaller sum of money up front or investing in more expensive but comprehensive packages, make sure that you aren't overspending on features and services you won't actually use. Look out for special bundle deals or discounts, as these can be great ways to save while still getting top-notch services. Remember that investing in composable DXP is an investment in the future of your company; save smart in order to get the most ROI from your composable DXP implementation.Conclusion Businesses are looking to save money while transitioning to more modern technology to meet current customer needs. A composable DXP will help achieve this, allowing you to implement gradually while increasing speed and efficiency and reducing development costs. Learn moreLearn more about going composable in our blog post, “De-risking your transition to composable.”Schedule a free demo to see how Contentstack can help you save money and increase ROI with the only fully composable digital experience platform.
How to measure performance of your composable DXP
Consumers have high expectations for brands. They want personalized experiences that evolve according to their needs and are delivered seamlessly across multiple channels. On top of that, they want it to be lightning-fast, or they’ll take their business elsewhere.Composability is the future of the digital experience. A composable digital experience platform (DXP) gives you greater flexibility, customization, speed, scalability and reliability. But to be sure you’re maximizing the benefits of your composable DXP, you need to measure its performance. Here are five key metrics to measure and how you can measure them:FlexibilityYour organization’s needs will evolve, and your platform has to be able to adapt. A composable DXP provides the flexibility you need to deliver the digital experience customers expect. Benefits of flexibilityReduced cost Composable’s flexibility makes it easier to incorporate new functions. This helps you keep pace with customers’ needs and expectations today, while also future proofing your tech stack. With composable, you only pay for the microservices you need — much more cost-effective than buying a full suite of monolithic functions just to access the one or two you intend to use. How to measure it:Microservice usage: Is your composable DXP weighed down by things you don’t need? Overlap between microservices: If you have a lot of overlapping functions, try to combine them where possible.Number of workarounds: If your platform is riddled with workarounds, review your tech stack and look for ways to optimize its efficiency.Efficient collaborationThe IT-heavy nature of monolithic architecture can be a major pain point. With legacy architecture, updating the front end means developers have to update the back-end code, even for minor tweaks. Not only does this add to the IT side’s workload, it’s also frustrating for marketing teams to have to wait for their requests to be handled.With composable architecture, front-end changes can be made without touching the back end. The result: faster turnaround, fewer IT tickets, and better collaboration between both sides of the business. How to measure it:Time from request to action: With less of a burden on your IT team, they should be able to push new changes faster and more efficiently.IT team retention: Less work means less stress and a happier IT team.Number of IT tickets for minor changesMissed deadline percentageFreedom to experimentWith a composable DXP, organizations can try out changes to the digital experience before fully committing to them. And since your IT team has to handle fewer small updates, they have more time to focus on strategic initiatives.How to measure it:Number of tweaks to changes after going liveAmount of IT time spent on minor adjustmentsCustomizationOne of the key selling points of monolithic architecture is the in-built suite of programs and functions. In theory, those programs and functions can be used to create whatever experience an organization wants; however, every organization has their own unique needs. The one-size-fits-all functions of monolithic platforms leave little room for customization — so unless the built-in functions are exactly what you need, you’ll have to spend time and resources finding add-ons that can get you in the vicinity of where you want to go.Benefits of customizationMore efficiencyBoth composable and legacy architecture let you personalize experiences and deliver content across multiple channels. But with monolithic solutions, that work still has to be completed by a team member. With composable DXPs, organizations can calibrate their microservices for maximum efficiency.How to measure it:Number of users: Too many users can be an inefficient use of resources — and create opportunities for avoidable errors.Governance capabilities: In-built governance capability means less need for human oversight for each piece of content created or delivered. Workflow automation rate: The more processes that can be taken off your team’s hands, the more time they have to focus on what really matters.Seamless integrationA composable DXP allows you to seamlessly integrate an app framework or SDK library with minimal setup time. This gives you the freedom to find the perfect tool for each function, so you can deliver the exact digital experience you have in mind. How to measure it:Number of apps in useTime to launchCostUser customizationsThe customizability of your DXP solution doesn’t just apply to customer experiences, but to users in your organization as well. Your composable DXP can be configured however your marketing team wants, so they can create and deliver content in a format that’s comfortable for them. How to measure it:UI customization: More UI customization within your composable DXP means your team is likely taking advantage of the customization options to build a structure they are comfortable with.Team satisfaction with platformSpeedCustomer needs and expectations can change in an instant. The speed of your composable DXP allows you to push new content, implement campaigns, and reach your goals — faster. Learn more about the value of speed for your organization in our article, “4 ways your teams can benefit from a composable DXP.”Benefits of speed Faster time to marketThe quicker you can update your composable DXP to bring new services, functions, or products to market, the better the overall digital experience for your customers. How to measure it:Build time for new initiativesImpressions & Conversions: If you strike while the iron is hot, your content can reach a bigger audience — and that can help bring in new business.Empowered creative teamsAlong with ease of use, the speed of composable architecture allows marketing leaders to launch campaigns and publish content much faster and without having to wait for IT. How to measure it:Content publishing timesContent creation time: Composable DXPs allow your creative team to create a content block for one site, then quickly push it to other sites and channels. That means less time spent re-publishing the same content on different channels and more time thinking up the next big idea.Better customer experiencesThe digital experience is designed to improve customers’ experience with your brand. Your composable DXP allows you to deliver a personalized experience that your customers will appreciate.How to measure it:Conversion rateRate of return trafficCost per leadScalabilityIf your business isn’t growing, it’s dying. Composable architecture enables continued growth without needing to build each new piece of the experience from the ground up. Benefits of scalability Greater reachThe scalability of your composable DXP affords you greater reach and easier access to new markets.How to measure it:Site load speed: Delivering your digital experience to a wider market does no good if it takes users too long to access it.Number of locationsLanguages in useOptimized contentThe scalability of your composable DXP means you can increase your content output without sacrificing quality or increasing the size of your team.How to measure it:Conversion ratePercent of return customersLead costsBetter ROI on content creationUsing modular content blocks to deliver content allows you to optimize and personalize your content to connect with your audience — and that means a better return on your content investment.How to measure it:Error rate of reused contentTime spent reworking content% of automated contentReliabilityWhat good is it to build a great digital experience if consumers can’t actually experience it? With composable architecture, you can say goodbye to the errors, downtime, and security issues that can cause customers to leave and not look back.Benefits of reliabilityImproved securitySecurity breaches cause site outages, lost data, and compromised customer information. The financial impact of poor security can be staggering, but a composable DXP can help prevent that.How to measure it:Security breach rateData loss frequency & scopeConsistent content deliveryHigh traffic is great — as long as your platform can handle it. If it can’t, you risk delivering a subpar digital experience.How to measure it:Site or service downtime during high trafficSite load timesSite error rateImproved digital experiencesContent can be handcuffed by the limitations of monolithic architecture. That often leads to a mediocre digital experience. A composable DXP doesn’t have those limitations, so you can focus on delivering the best digital experience possible.How to measure it:Bounce rateImpressionsOrganic trafficLearn moreLearn more about composable and how your teams benefit in our post, “4 ways your teams can benefit from a composable DXP.”Schedule a free demo to see how Contentstack’s composable DXP can help your organization deliver the digital experiences your customers desire.
Announcing Contentstack Launch: Composable is now even easier