If you’ve been keeping an eye on business trends, you may have noticed that leaders of top organizations are making tech transformation a priority — even in the face of economic uncertainty.
The composable tech-focused MACH Alliance has been leading the charge toward digital transformation since 2020, helping companies evolve from monolithic legacy systems toward a composable technology approach. The adoption of composable tech is gaining steam: a 2023 report from the Alliance revealed that 85% of tech leaders surveyed added composable tech elements to their stack in the last 12 months.
The upshot? Composable tech isn’t going anywhere anytime soon — and if you haven’t yet started your journey, now is the time.
But getting started with composable tech requires more than implementing new technologies. Adopting a composable MACH approach means integrating the core principles of change management at every step. Bringing people on board, collaborating with key partners, and evolving processes and workflows to achieve a shared vision of success takes a commitment to communication, cooperation, and transparency.
So what does this mean from an operational perspective?
Effective change management starts with people — connecting with them, sharing a vision of what could be, and inspiring them to embark on a journey of transformation. Once the right people are on board, you can move on to syncing with partners to define roles and responsibilities, before finally evolving the processes that guide how your organization works, both internally and with external teams.
At Apply Digital, we’re well-versed in managing the internal changes needed to transition to composable tech. Whether your organization is evolving to a composable platform, or you’re rolling out the process for a client, following the key steps below will help you succeed.
1. Bring people on board
Laying the cultural foundation to support digital transformation begins with identifying and aligning key stakeholders and their teams. Start by asking questions:
What skill sets are needed to transition to composable tech? Specific technical skills may be required at certain stages of the process.
Which stakeholders possess those skills? Are the required skills available internally, or are external contributors needed?
What’s the best way to align everyone involved? Leadership can decide on the best approach to getting teams on the same page.
Identifying the people who are key to the project may reveal gaps in skill sets or roles. Human Resources or Project Management teams may need to hire new talent, or adjust existing roles, to ensure the organization is equipped to handle the process of transformation.
By reaching out to one key stakeholder at a time, change agents gradually build company-wide buy-in for the project. This may involve learning sessions with teams to grow understanding and nurture belief in composable tech. On a more granular level, certain roles may need training to develop the hard skills needed to support the transition
2. Align with your partners
Transformational projects are complex, and organizations shouldn’t shy away from bringing in external resources to get the job done right. Partners with specialized skills should be briefed early in the process, then brought in to support internal teams as needed.
As always, start by asking the key questions:
Where does your organization need support to adopt composable tech? Identify those areas where partners would bring value to the process.
What type of partnership would be most beneficial? Long-term commitments, or ad hoc support? Each organization’s needs are unique.
When should partners be onboarded to the project? Timelines and key dates should be mapped out prior to reaching out.
Generally, potential partners should be identified as early as possible, but onboarded only at the point where internal skills reach their limit. The goal is for your organization to have skills and resources at hand to be deployed quickly as needed.
What does aligning with partners look like?
A large North American food and beverage producer was seeking to transform the digital experience of their brand and connect more closely with customers.
The problem: Legacy monolith systems did not provide enough flexibility for quick improvements to website, customer journey, and digital presence, resulting in an outdated experience.
The solution: Transitioning to a composable technology approach to improve adaptability and position the company for the future.
The partner connection: Apply Digital took up the challenge as the primary partner, supported by a network of tech enablement partners. Together, the Apply Digital-led team undertook cost-benefit and competitive analyses, managed partner relationships, and implemented foundational technology changes to improve the online experience.
The result: Major progress on the digital experience, efficiency improvements on the website backend, and an organization that is now well-positioned to respond to the current and future expectations of consumers.
3. Evolve your processes
Once key decision-makers in your organization have been inspired by your vision and committed to change, with external partners waiting in the wings to support, you can begin evolving workflows to support the transition to composable tech. As before, start by asking questions:
What will this change mean for our processes? Workflows may need to evolve to fit your new technology stack.
What will process changes mean for our people? Think about how workflow changes will trickle down, from senior leaders to team members.
What is the extent of the change? Is it a straightforward technical migration, or are there deeper elements to consider?
Once you’ve answered these three questions, you can begin auditing your processes. Work with key stakeholders to conduct an audit or retrospective of what your processes currently look like. You’ll be able to see what currently works, what doesn’t, and what will need to change as you move to a composable mindset.
After the audit, it’s time to define new processes and workflows. Using what you’ve learned from your research, consider how composability will become ingrained in the way you work: for instance, digital transformation may impact how your organization handles talent resourcing, or how employees are trained and onboarded onto new projects.
What does internal process change look like?
A process automation company wanted to transition to a modern headless Content Management System (CMS), to enable content authoring without Development team assistance.
The problem: Time-consuming and costly to make minor adjustments to website content.
The solution: Roll out a composable headless CMS that can be updated without Dev involvement.
The internal change: Responsibility for the content authoring process moved from the Development team to the Content team, allowing the Content team to publish, edit, and maintain site content without Dev help.
The result: Updating content on the website now takes hours, not days.
Managing change within any organization can be challenging, but making a smooth transition to modern composable technology is easier than you might expect. By taking stock of your needs, asking the right questions, and being open and transparent with the people involved at all levels, your company can manage digital transformation in a way that delivers strong value for your bottom line.
Apply Digital has successfully partnered with many of the world’s leading brands to modernize their technology platforms. We’re always available to talk about your digital future — contact our expert team today to discover what’s possible.
Co-Written by Nathan Munn