Dr Luciano Magaldi is a Security Engineer with deep expertise in cybersec, new technologies and international geopolitics. He is an Honorary Member at White House Historical Association and Official Alumnus at Stanford Alumni Association – Club of Los Angeles, and at Cambridge at Harvard Alumni for Education Association. He is an Opinion Contributor for the ‘New York Weekly’, the ‘Los Angeles Journal’, the ‘London School of Economics of London – The London Globalist’ and ‘Modern Diplomacy’. He worked for Google Ireland, Apple European Headquarters, Amazon Slovakia and Microsoft Portugal.
Enterprises look to develop process and workflow building blocks to improve agility, efficiency, and resilience.
In March 2020, businesses had to come up with more effective ways to do business, when corporate offices were forced to close due to the Coronavirus epidemic and employees started working from home. “The Great Digital Transformation,” you may say. According to the “McKinsey Global Surveys, 2021: A Year in Review,” before the pandemic, the average company predicted that the transition to remote work would take 454 days. The majority of businesses completed the transition during the epidemic in 11 days. Similar to that, it took only 23 days to transition to that crucial aspect of digital transformation, while the typical organization predicted it would take 547 days.
According to business analysis firm ZK Research, 74% of organizations accelerated plans to shift to the cloud by more than a year, abandoning conventional operating models and technologies in favor of data and applications. Creating more effective workflows faster than ever before required the use of applications, typically in the cloud, that combined apps and data with low-code functionality. Low-code is a method of software development that enables non-software developers to create apps by constructing functionality and processes with little to no code. The relationship between technology and business units is much closer in organizations that design daily workflows around these so-called “composable applications” — also known as composable enterprises. These organizations can also quickly assemble new applications and services for a fraction of the cost of the past.
Think of composeable apps as building blocks: the work has already been done, and extra functionality may be added to the fundamental capability. Composable applications offer a simple approach to build on or add to applications. According to Zeus Kerravala, founder and lead analyst at ZK Research, such flexibility is essential given the volatility of the modern workplace and economy. It will soon be possible to have everyone in the office, no one in the office, or any conceivable mix in between. Based on factors that are beyond anyone’s control, the pandemic has caused these significant changes in how we study, live, and work. Companies have frequently adopted cloud technology in a way that reinforces outdated business paradigms, building private clouds that resemble their on-premises infrastructure. However, composability enables businesses to adjust to changes in their markets and operational processes by developing new apps to support necessary workflows without needing to hire extra or external software developers to implement the changes. Companies are further freed from having to host their own software instances in order to only modify the code to suit their needs thanks to composeable cloud services. Composable apps combine cloud, customisation, integration, and workflow management to give businesses the flexibility and speed to innovate that they need.
Composable software-enabled organizations to adapt and carry on when vital business operations—like call centers, IT support, and medical administration—were affected by pandemic disruptions. According to David Lee, vice president of products at RingCentral, an enterprise communications platform that has prioritized composability, in one instance a business needed to extend its call-center system: to enable access by employees using web browsers operating on an Amazon virtual machine, it was hosted in a controlled environment. They had to implement these modifications overnight at employees’ homes, which was a significant barrier for many firms, according to Lee. Companies that were prepared for potential change created new software and routines that really made these transitions quite simple. Composable systems with a workflow focus are useful for more than just businesses dealing with change. In the 2020s, the composable enterprise will become the strategic objective for many businesses.
A composable enterprise. What is that ?
Companies now use a variety of task-based tools and services to fulfill specific tasks rather than a small number of important systems on which all work is dependent, or what some have called “systems of gravity.” By lowering the barrier to switching to new apps and enabling workers to choose their own tools, software as a service (SaaS) and the mobile application ecosystem have enabled—and fueled—this transformation. Only 25% of those applications are adequately linked, despite the fact that businesses have made progress in decreasing their overall technological debt—the average number of applications they must maintain will drop from 1,020 in 2018 to 843 in 2021. The core of composable business operations is lowering the barrier to
being able to join applications—and the data associated with those applications—and construct new workflows. Applications for customer relationship management (CRM), for instance, gathered a number of tasks that were typical of a certain process. According to Gordon Macomber, CEO of Q13 Advisory, a consulting firm that works with businesses dealing with uncertain markets, it was not until those applications moved into the cloud and were connected to communications platforms that they enabled more complex workflows and turned into composable applications. The use of composeability, he claims, “forces you to place things into these workflow buckets, either internally or externally. And the atomic unit is the workflow.”
Workflow must be the main focus for composeability.
The promise of cloud computing is that integrated processes will be simpler to put together, but doing so calls for the appropriate cloud applications and methodology. Workflow has too frequently been dictated by technology, with businesses trying to modify their procedures to fit the technology. The cloud, for instance, has made agile development simpler and enabled worker mobility, but workflow optimization is required to boost productivity. According to Jen Kramer, a web technologist and application designer, cloud applications can be challenging to integrate with one another and often challenging to adjust to satisfy business cases, necessitating that organizations modify and supplement applications to suit their needs. “When we have a specific instrument to assist us solve our problems”, Kramer continues, “the question is whether we are leading with our concerns and using technology as the solution. If so, things frequently turn out well. Or do we use technology to our advantage ? It rarely works out well to lead with technology and then hope that we can adjust to it”.
A composable enterprise is made possible by digital transformation.
A decade ago, if a corporation wanted to connect two products, such as a contact management tool and a voice over IP (VoIP) application, it had to rely on collaboration from outside developers. However, the digitalization of company operations—often compelled by economic necessity—has increased the urgency of the requirement for such integration. The concept of “digital transformation” encompasses more than just adopting connected and digital technologies; it also refers to process redesign in order to keep up with the rapid pace of technological development and the use of applications to continuously enhance corporate operations. According to a MuleSoft survey, more than 75 percent of corporate IT directors believe that if their digital transformation initiatives are not finished on time, their firm’s revenue will suffer. According to Macomber, if you are still ringing up big enterprise IT vendors and asking them to create a custom solution, you cannot have a composable architecture – “Those times are gone.”
Changed to the cloud ? Go ahead and do it now.
By switching to the cloud, businesses were able to further detach themselves from the administration of programs, data centers, and server upkeep. Composability comes next. Business processes can become more flexible thanks to technology, which can also keep workflows and apps from breaking when they are disrupted by new ideas or outside forces. Instead of relying on scarce expertise to adapt to change, composeability enables businesses to create flexible, resilient operations. According to David Lee of RingCentral, when vendors enable composability in their applications, customers can customize the products or services to particular use cases and businesses can assign developers to tasks that will generate revenue rather than forcing them to modify their technology to fit workflows. The majority of cloud application developers want to cover 80% of their clients’ use cases. Companies want those developers as close to the value of the company as possible since developers are still important and limited commodities.” It is essential to have the ability to quickly
adjust workflows—and the technologies that support those workflows —to changing business realities. For instance, hospitals and health services have to make two significant transitions: from a single office to a dispersed setting, and from treating patients in-person to offering services remotely.
AI makes things more flexible and composable.
Not only do elements that are easily adjustable need to be integrated, but also artificial intelligence and machine learning. This will simplify integration and workflow management. Automation of routine workflow operations can be accelerated by AI/ML technology, which also helps to manage processes more efficiently. New ways of interacting with apps will be made possible by AI capabilities, which will also take care of some parts of creating and integrating programs, freeing users to concentrate on the bigger picture. The application building blocks can be compared to a box of Legos. And the majority of people just use the prebuilt Lego that is given to them while using it. However, the prebuilt Lego may not always satisfy your needs, so you should make a personalized version of that, in which is the situation where the popularity of disposable applications are received. Both parties gain from this. even though machines and AI Learning will help businesses create their own AI-centered application workflows are being developed by companies, programs that may be
readily customized for a particular use cases using modular architectures.
Businesses must be adaptable in uncertain times.
Businesses have had to adjust to a workforce that is uncertain as well as uncertain economic situations. Applications must be accessible from wherever, for example, since offices are moving and people are working remotely from their homes. Companies are renting equipment instead of purchasing it, becoming one of many tenants on a virtual system. They are paying for the app rather than purchasing software to install locally. Companies should work to identify which workflows and business functions will benefit from better integration and greater flexibility, even though composability is, in many ways, an aspirational concept because there are currently no metrics to determine the level of composability of a technology or application. According to Lee from RingCentral, “No enterprise or productivity
software under the sun can potentially match 100% of the use cases. Every organization is different, and each has its own special sauce. They always have to do things their way since they have their own unique ways of doing things”.