The MACH Alliance Certification

Thought Leadership

By Iñaki Barturen | November 30, 2021

Have you heard of the MACH Alliance? MACH is an approach to technology development founded on a set of principles that promote best-in-class tech solution design. The Alliance is made up of a group of companies that are dedicated to building assets with these principles in mind.

To recognize companies that are committed to this practice, the Alliance offers a certification. This certificate signals to prospective clients and partners that the team is committed to a high caliber of work.

Let’s look at what’s involved in maintaining a MACH certification — and what it means for how the teams operate.

MACH certification principles

The MACH Alliance recognizes participating companies as operating at a high standard. But what are these standards based on?

First, solutions need to honor a set of principles and specific technologies. These characteristics are actually part of the MACH name itself: Microservices (M), API-First (A), Cloud-Based SaaS (C), and Headless (H). Let’s take a closer look at how certification works:

  • The certification evaluation criteria support the Alliance's creation of modular, highly flexible platforms with decoupled systems and API integrations

  • Through its certification process, the MACH Alliance ensures that companies follow the principles of developing future-proof technology. This means that they must adopt this philosophy as a whole, and have it underpin all the projects from start to finish. For example, if a company seeks to achieve the MACH certification but it’s using monolithic products – rather than a headless CMS – in its service offering, the team would not be able to qualify for the certification

  • The MACH certification itself can take two forms, although both follow the same fundamental principles. One is called the System Integrators Certification, and the other is the Independent Software Vendors Certification

The Alliance operates with a layer of governance to ensure no evaluator belongs to the same company or market as the one applying for certification. This reduces possible biases and helps ensure that only companies demonstrating high-quality processes, products, and technology choices are recognized for their work.

A seal of confidence for big brands

According to a report by Deloitte, public cloud technology and services will drive $308 billion in revenue in 2021, and increase to almost $355 billion by 2022. These larger trends signal that the range of digital technologies and solutions available grows every year. This can make it difficult to distinguish between modern technologies to know which are truly helping companies future-proof their tech stack, versus adding to the noise.

The Alliance maintains the certification for this reason also – to provide companies with peace of mind that working with a MACH-certified solutions provider guarantees them a high-quality solution design that will carry them well into the future. This is because a MACH certification promises:

  • A way to distinguish SaaS providers whose solutions provide competitive advantages over other platforms

  • System integrity, where solutions can easily integrate with other tools

  • A high degree of data protection, with an explicit approach to data privacy

All of these elements help ensure that a MACH-certified service provider approaches to design and development with an eye to the future and long-term viability of the tech stack.

Future-proof technology is key

Companies cannot afford to swap out technologies every year. Yet, if assets are built with inflexible elements, this may be the reality for firms operating in a high-growth market.

The MACH certification ensures that digital products are developed in a way that can respond to market shifts quickly and facilitate flexible growth as the organization scales.

Embedded in the MACH principles is a list of key design elements that companies must include to ensure solutions are built for the future:

  • Easy to integrate with systems and other applications via APIs

  • Cloud-native, ensuring automatic scaling and elasticity of computing resources

  • Flexible to integrate, or replace when needed. Teams can leverage each modular block to adjust the solution to the company's needs, safeguarding the performance and maintaining platform agility

In addition to having teams select MACH-approved technology components, the certification also requires teams to have an updated view of how new solutions are conceptualized. All plans and strategies must adhere to the best-in-class, future-proof philosophy that MACH champions. Companies who are MACH certified must be ready to provide transparency in their processes, and how they approach solution design.

At Apply Digital, we are a proud member of the MACH Alliance, and we work with tools approved in the MACH ecosystem to build out solutions for our clients. Platforms like Contentful, a headless CMS, and Algolia, a dynamic AI-enabled search tool are a few of the many options we offer our clients. If you would like to discuss how we can support you in building a future-proof digital solution for your needs, please get in touch with someone on our team today.