The limitations of Commercial off the Shelf (COTS) solutions and all-in-one packaged products became apparent during the pandemic, when businesses relying on traditional digital experience platforms struggled to respond efficiently to changing consumer habits. All too often, DXPs—digital experience platforms that enable the creation and management of omnichannel experiences—are proprietary and monolithic. They feature time-consuming integrations and rollouts that hinder an organization’s ability to respond to fast evolving market demands, a serious problem in an unpredictable world.
But there is a solution: now’s the time to future-proof your enterprise technology with composable architecture. In this article, we’ll explore how composability helps businesses scale efficiently, improve reliability, stay agile, and build long-term brand loyalty.
Why every business needs composable DXPs
A digital experience platform is built on three key components: content management, presentation, and personalization. Open-source frameworks are key components of composable architecture. A modular approach enables developers to work faster (because it’s not necessary to rewrite multiple components), and it also becomes easier to scale efficiently and add new features. When an organization’s DXP architecture can integrate third-party solutions, it’s easier to improve the platform’s native capabilities. Personalization, analytics, and voice search are common integrations.
Composable DXP applications are developed as smaller, task-oriented, and independently deployable units, known as packaged business capabilities (PBCs).
There are innumerable benefits to composable DXP strategies. These include:
- Customization: Businesses that use traditional DXPs are prevented from customizing solutions because of vendor lock-in, legacy technology, and rigid decomposable architecture. Composable DXPs, on the other hand, allow companies to tailor tech stacks as needed.
- Customer centricity: A composable DXP works as a central hub that monitors customer behavior and enables personalization of content and campaigns. It also enables the delivery of unified and seamless omnichannel experience across all customer touchpoints.
- Ease of use: Marketers and other non-technical users don’t have to rely on IT to modify interfaces and experiences.
- Faster implementation: Composable DXPs accelerate cloud-native adoption with shorter implementation cycles and faster turnaround time.
- Third-party integrations: The open architecture of composable DXPs allows enterprises to integrate powerful tools from multiple vendors, enhancing a platform’s native capabilities.
MACH: The ecosystem that powers composable businesses
The MACH Alliance was founded in June 2020 and named “the coolest tech club in town” by Forrester in 2021. An industry body that advocates for open technology ecosystems, MACH helps businesses create composable architecture and build DXPs with scalable, pluggable, and replaceable components.
MACH is a complicated acronym with a simple mission: it’s architecture that enables businesses to retain control over their digital commerce ecosystems.
There are several key elements to MACH:
- Microservices: MACH offers a collection of individual components that can be developed, deployed, and managed independently.
- API-first: Application functionalities are introduced through Application Program Interfaces (APIs), which ensure all the separate components work smoothly together.
- Cloud-native: Replaces on-site enterprise suites with powerful Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions that leverage the cloud for storage, hosting, elastic scaling, and faster updates.
- Headless: Headless or decoupled architecture separates the presentation layer (front-end) from back-end services. It allows users to create, manage, store, and publish content across the web, mobile, and other digital channels from a centralized hub.
Flexible components allow users to implement changes without breaking down the entire application. For example, you don’t have to replace an entire tech stack in order to update eCommerce application content. (You wouldn’t want to knock down your whole house just to replace a dishwasher, right?).
Drupal: the best composable digital experience platform
At Srijan, a Material Company, our DXP solutions are powered with the Drupal ecosystem, which features world-class enterprise content management and integration capabilities, hosting, technical support, and code. Unlike conventional monolithic content management systems, Drupal’s modular content components (or “nodes”) allow businesses to repurpose content across multiple digital touchpoints.
Here’s why we always recommend that businesses choose Drupal as their digital hub:
- Adaptable and open architecture: Drupal is flexible enough to support coupled, partially decoupled, and fully decoupled architectures. Its hybrid decoupled model enables both developers and marketers to make the most of composable experiences.
- Ability to extend features: Drupal offers a wide range of contributed modules and themes and allows third-party modules and themes without overwriting customizations or modifying Drupal’s core code. This enables site administrators to quickly launch new releases with improved flexibility and security.
- Structured content management: Fieldable and revisional entities in Drupal provide an advanced system for managing structured content and delivering content across different customer touchpoints. Drupal offers a powerful taxonomy core module to organize web content effectively.
- Design and layout: Drupal’s layout builder is a core visual tool that enables site builders to enhance layout and display. Content creators can organize and present content neatly with minimal effort.
- Reusable, low code: Drupal’s low-code-based approach shortens change deployment and release cycles and deploys changes securely and reliably. The code configurations can be reused for future applications or websites.
- API-first architecture: Drupal is an API-first, free and open-source CMS that integrates reliably with external tools via secure APIs. It allows you to use content anywhere and display it as you like. Data managed by Drupal can be made available for any third-party software.
Don’t stick with a monolithic DXP: composable DXPs are essential for businesses aspiring to create and deliver exceptional digital experiences. You’ll enjoy greater agility, flexibility, scalability and reliability, as well as the ability to enable all your teams—not just IT—to confidently deploy tech as needed.