Marketing Automation Buyer's Guide

Minimizing Risk in Your MarTech Stack with Composable Architecture

Minimizing Risk in Your MarTech Stack with Composable Architecture

Minimizing Risk in Your MarTech Stack with Composable Architecture

As part of Solutions Review’s Contributed Content Series—a collection of articles written by industry thought leaders in maturing software categories—Nishant Patel, founder and CTO of Contentstack, explains how composable architecture can minimize risks in a company’s martech stack.

Every IT leader wants to reduce risk while maximizing efficiency and quality. Gartner found that CIOs are searching for ways to accomplish this with their digital investments. However, while monolithic enterprise suites have become commonplace, they aren’t the best option for many companies’ needs—especially for CIOs pressured to accelerate time to value for investments.

The way a typical marketing stack is built increases risk, limits the experiences marketing can build and creates headaches for IT teams. Today, more marketing and IT leaders are choosing composable architectures. When you dive into the details, the reasons are clear.

The Basics of Composable Architecture

Conventional enterprise suites are built so that their components all work together, but they often don’t connect well to other platforms and apps. That’s fine if you are using them mostly by themselves. But today’s enterprises often need to patch different vendors’ products and technologies together, burdening IT with custom coding or some other method that presents a high risk of breaking.

Composable architecture trades the behemoth of a traditional suite for more of a plug-and-play model, where each part can be added, removed, or swapped like Legos. This flexibility allows you to pick and choose what tools to use. You can select the best ones for your use case and fit them together with minimal IT overhead. Integration, scaling, upgrading, and development all become more manageable with composable stacks, allowing you to increase your agility while reducing the workload of your IT department.

Composable Architecture Reduces Traditional Infrastructure Risks

Think about how much the digital world has changed in the last few years. Even new tools from only a few years ago can be old and outdated—relegated to “legacy” status. Your tools need to evolve to match your needs to keep up with the competition and get ahead.

When IT connects a monolithic system to other services, the solution tends to be fragile in a few ways. Updates to the applications can break the functionality. Edge cases that IT didn’t anticipate can fall through the cracks. And perhaps more importantly, these ad hoc solutions depend on your IT department’s ability to maintain them. That can put a significant strain on your engineers. Even when you have careful documentation of the solution, losing key talent to retirement or another company risks losing maintenance knowledge.

The composable architecture eliminates these risks. The components are designed to work together, even when dealing with different vendors, so IT doesn’t have extra work. This segmented approach also means that the failure of one component does not bring down the entire system. Unlike a monolithic suite, where a crash in one piece might cause the whole system to break, composable architecture is more resilient. And a more stable architecture frees your marketing team to focus less on maintenance and more on creativity.

Composable Architecture Maximizes Creativity

Salesforce found that 84 percent of customers considered user experience as important as a company’s products and services. If you consider consumer experiences with brands today, they’re expansive—apps and physical storefronts, personalized interactions, and content syndication. What it takes to create those experiences in a traditional suite is challenging. Marketing and customer success teams want to push the boundaries of what the industry is doing—and there is only so much IT can do to hold the experience together on the back end. 

A composable solution allows marketing to create one version of assets that could be deployed across all channels through an application programming interface (API), meaning that your front-end designers can repurpose the same content across channels simply by tailoring the presentation. The swappable nature of the tools also means that new capabilities can always be added to the stack so that marketers can meet customers with what they want when they want it.

Additionally, traditional architecture forces marketers and IT to work somewhat at cross-purposes. A monolithic architecture might not allow materials to be reused across different platforms, so the marketing team would need to keep track of all channels and make different versions of assets for each. The IT team might then need to do more work to keep track of those assets and deploy them in the proper channels. 

Guess what gets lost in this waiting game? Opportunity. 

Research into retailers’ biggest challenges showed that more than 70 percent currently need more than three weeks to onboard a new vendor to increase their product range. That’s three weeks’ worth of sales they could be missing if they had jumped on the latest pop culture trend.

We are experiencing a sea change in terms of monolithic versus composable architecture, perhaps like the move from mainframes to personal computers many years ago. Gartner even stated that by 2023, organizations with a composable commerce approach will outpace the competition by 80 percent in the speed of feature implementation. More organizations are realizing the power this move can harness for their organizations in reducing risk and maximizing creativity for all.

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