4 Ways MACH Makes Your Organization Ready for Change

Thought Leadership

By Brian Lloyd | August 26, 2022
Two people putting together lego pieces that represent their MACH technology ecosystem

MACH is not only a philosophy that disrupts your technology stack but also an organizational mindset that values composability and modularity. 

Where traditional monolithic suites burden organizations with unused features and an inflexible software ecosystem, MACH unlocks a ‘best-for-me’ approach to software development with Packaged Business Capabilities (PBCs) hand-picked based on your business needs. These independent PBCs are modular and composable, allowing businesses to pivot and experiment with new technologies and respond to market demands at a lower cost of change.

Adopting MACH will undoubtedly push organizations out of their comfort zone as they transition away from the familiar but fatally inflexible monolithic suites. So every team, from Technology Management and Procurement to Marketing and Sales, must undergo changes to make the best use of this revolutionary software ecosystem. A strong shift in organizational mindset to prioritize composability and modularity helps make this transition easy.

Here are four ways how adopting a MACH mindset introduces process reforms and gets your organization ready to adapt and change:

#1: New tech complexities that strengthen the Technology Management teams 

Perceived risk:

Technology Management teams may be overwhelmed initially with the idea of managing the many integrations that come with MACH. Though our clients get the ‘best-for-me’ results, moving away from a single tool that does everything to multiple MACH tools that address distinct business requirements may seem daunting. But in the end, is this effort worth it?

Response:

Although initially, Technology Management teams need to manage many integrations, a composable MACH architecture enables seamless scaling without requiring any new process adoptions or transitions in the future. But more than that, this transition to MACH brings about lasting benefits by initiating process reforms within Technology Management teams. MACH brings Technology Management teams closer to agility with easily measurable progress, allowing uninterrupted collaborations among stakeholders across disciplines. 

At the same time, other disciplines become more independent of Technology Management teams because they can use the individual MACH tools without requiring much assistance as these tools aren’t a part of a tightly coupled suite. Now, Technology Management teams have more time to focus on business-critical tasks. Overall, this transition improves autonomy among different teams, increasing the overall output, efficiency, and morale within the organization.

#2: Increased vendor negotiations that transform Procurement

Perceived Risk:

Procurement teams do not enjoy MACH’s multi-vendor approach as there’s an increase in their workload involving negotiations for cost savings for the many MACH tools. The prevalence of suites in the software industry has made Procurement teams more comfortable negotiating and paying for one tool that does everything mediocrely. Is this push for procurement teams to transform and take on the multi-vendor approach justified?

Response:

By adapting to MACH, Procurement teams enable the entire organization to rapidly transform and respond to market changes — and that pays off for the business as a whole in the long run.

Due to vendor lock-in, businesses pay for licensing in monolithic suites for things they aren’t using. And when functional, in-use features require changes to meet shifting market demands, the lack of modularity in suites restricts businesses from evolving. Basically, the ease of paying for one monolithic vendor doesn’t justify the opportunities lost to inflexibility.

On the other hand, MACH allows companies to gain control of their roadmap — now, vendors align their roadmap with yours. You can switch from one vendor to the other depending upon which tool works best for you and which doesn’t. To strengthen their efforts, the Procurement teams should ask, “What is the true cost of inactive features within a monolithic suite?”

Unlike suites, MACH allows companies to react quickly and select PBCs based on current requirements without being locked into multimillion-dollar contracts for years. The payment models are almost always ‘pay for what you use’. The initial cost of securing tools from multiple vendors can be high. But vendors work with us to provide compelling packages comparable to the Total Cost of Ownership for legacy suites. This investment pays off well by allowing businesses to drastically benefit from the ability to experiment, scale, and adapt to change

Businesses that upskill their Procurement and other teams by empowering them to manage the extra workload that comes with MACH have a high predictability of success.

#3: Uncomfortable change that sets you free of constraints

Perceived Risk:

Without MACH technology, organizational structures are constrained by the limited tools in their suite. Technology Management teams are more empowered when accessing these tools than other disciplines, which also means that their workload is higher. MACH distributes this workload among the broader team across all disciplines by allowing them to use tools directly without seeking assistance from Technology Management teams. Is it beneficial for these teams to get out of their comfort zones and learn to use new MACH-based tools?

Response:

The relationship between Technology Management and other disciplines improves, thanks to MACH. Not only do Technology Management teams build this muscle, but MACH also democratizes skill development across the organization, creating career growth and learning opportunities for employees. For example, when companies use a legacy CMS as part of their suite, marketing personnel send over write-ups to Technology Management teams, who add them to the website. MACH introduces individual tools that can be used directly by different teams, with an easy and fast adoption process for team members. So the marketing team is empowered to publish their work independently while still adhering to enterprise-class governance and change management processes. This initially uncomfortable change improves the dynamics between the different disciplines and reduces organizational bottlenecks, freeing up team capacity as they work more independently and require less external support.

Researchers estimate that COVID-19’s economic fallout fast-forwarded the adoption of technology to digitize operations by as much as six years. Companies using monolithic suites were forced to reconsider their software ecosystems, but those using modern tech stacks were able to replace old tools with new ones to meet such demands.  For example, HR reforms were inevitable with the advent of online job applications, interviews, and onboarding. A tech stack with HR-specific tools allowed HR teams to work independently and transform to address the demands. These transformations help companies build a culture of learning and innovation where talent thrives.

#4:  Predictability that replaces the illusion of safety

Perceived Risk:

Businesses are comfortable with the illusion of safety created by longer release and upgrade cycles in monolithic suites. MACH disrupts this comfort by allowing multiple frequent smaller releases for different PBCs. Does the flexibility of having frequent releases benefit your business? 

Response:

A MACH stack is composed of independent and interoperable PBCs, so you don’t need to change the whole ecosystem to undergo new releases or upgrades. MACH saves you both cost and time to adapt to market changes by freeing you from inflexible cycles that involve manual testing, release management, and fixing bugs post-release. It allows you to gain a perceivable sense of safety with predictability, enhanced speed, and flexibility.

For example, MACH offers cloud-level scalability, which is quicker to achieve, doesn’t rely on release cycles or timelines, and reduces your worry about data security. With MACH, you’re also adopting cloud security by saving the cost of insulating your systems as now you have a vendor accountable for cloud-level security. 

Final Thoughts

Comfort zones are the biggest blockers of change. The same applies to the software industry, where companies are so comfortable using suites that they undermine how inflexible technology makes them miss out on growth opportunities in a competitive market.

Experiments are the reason behind all the discoveries in the world that we’re benefitting from today. So to get the maximum benefits from your software ecosystem, experiments are vital. A MACH-based stack allows you to embrace the change you need to carry out those experiments enabling you to have a strong foothold in the market. It gives you the confidence to say ‘yes’ to new ideas. Process reforms empower teams as your organization moves to MACH, making it possible to convert these ideas into outcomes.

MACH facilitates your technological evolution, helping you achieve success in periods of uncertainty. Your organization stays ahead in the game by giving your end-users the best experience while your competitors using monolithic suites are stuck within the illusion of safety.

If you would like to build a future-proof tech stack and a resilient organizational model, our MACH experts can help you. Reach out to us at hello@applydigital.com.

Co-written By Rashika Srivastava