Successful composable commerce starts with your organization. Get that right and you’ll be in a good position for realizing a composable approach to modern commerce.
But what does it take to build a composable organization?
Move Away from Being a Technology-Based Organization
The first step to becoming a composable organization is to rethink the way your structure your business.
Many legacy companies are organized around technology. This means you may have a big team of developers that looks after your infrastructure, another that does the frontend, another for the backend, and so on.
The downside of this approach is that to make changes you have to send tickets between teams which creates a slow workflow process.
For example, let’s say your commerce business wanted to start capturing your customer’s birth date. You would have to send tickets to your database team, your backend team, and your frontend team so that they can each make the necessary changes in their part of the system. In addition, each of those teams will have its own work cycle. All of this means that something as simple as adding a way to capture your customer’s birth date is a long-drawn-out, involved process.
To achieve the same thing in a composable organization, you would go directly to the team that owns the customer profile, which would be made up of all of the expertise that you need to make that change immediately.
One thing to consider is that different parts of your business may benefit from a different organization structure. A good way to think about this is Gartner’s bimodal IT framework, which splits IT operations into two modes (Mode 1 and Mode 2).
The Mode 1 parts of your business are your core back-office services. It makes sense to take a traditional organizational approach here because the pace of change is slow, and you can optimize for cost savings and stability. For example, you wouldn’t want to make changes to your payroll system on the fly in case people didn’t get paid.
By comparison, the Mode 2 parts are the things the consumer engages with such as your website, app, social media, etc. A composable approach of small, focused, cross-function teams is a better fit here as you should be organizing around the aims of growing top-line revenue and reducing time to market. As such, these teams need the ability to rapidly iterate and innovate.
This framework means you would have two different organizational approaches, which require a significant change in your thinking.