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What is a composable digital platform?

Summary: For marketers that need greater flexibility in how they create, store, and publish content across multiple channels, an all-in-one platform can be limiting. Enter, the composable stack, which allows for flexibility where you need it.

In the always evolving world of digital, creating seamless and engaging user experiences is both paramount and very challenging. This is where Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs) come into play, offering a comprehensive suite of tools to deliver, manage and optimize digital experiences across target channels. 

The traditional approach to DXPs has been to invest in a single “all-in-one” platform - one DXP trying to be all things for all use cases. This approach, however, is being challenged by a more agile and adaptable paradigm: the Composable DXP.

Understanding composable architecture

Unlike the traditional monolithic DXPs where you get what you’re given, and where functionalities are tightly integrated, a Composable DXP adopts a modular approach. This empowers organizations to assemble and orchestrate various platforms, services, APIs and components, creating a customized digital ecosystem that perfectly fits their needs.

So instead of investing in a single platform that might come with a bunch of features you’ll never use, you compose your own, bringing in only the parts you need.

Key components of a composable DXP

At the heart of a Composable DXP lies its modular components. This can include: 

  • Modern architecture: Composable is built using a philosophy focusing on  microservices, API-first, cloud-native, and headless attributes (MACH). MACH architecture represents a transformative approach to building and scaling solutions. This empowers businesses to create flexible, scalable and future-proof digital systems.

  • Content management and delivery: With a Composable DXP, managing and delivering content becomes streamlined with the adoption of a Content-as-a-Service platform such as, Storyblok, or Contentful. Modern content operations allow different teams to work on separate content initiatives and push updates independently, resulting in faster content updates and reduced bottlenecks.

  • Personalization and customer data management: Personalization is enhanced through modular engines such as Ninetailed or Uniform. Customer data is centralized on services like Segment, making it easier to provide tailored experiences across touchpoints. 

  • E-commerce and transactional capabilities: Modular e-commerce services like Shopify or commercetools offer flexibility in building and enhancing transactional features, ensuring a smoother shopping experience.

  • Analytics and data-driven insights: Analytics services can be decoupled, allowing for focused data collection and analysis. This data is then used to refine user experiences in real-time.

  • Whatever you need: This is the point of composable. Don’t need e-commerce? Fine - don’t over invest in an all-in-one platform that forces you to maintain and upgrade that  functionality. Need HIPAA complaints forms? It should be easy to add that to your composable DXP.

Advantages of a composable DXP

Embracing a Composable DXP architecture offers numerous benefits, the primary ones being:

  • Flexibility and agility: Organizations can swiftly adapt to evolving market trends and consumer demands by adding, replacing or updating specific components without disrupting the entire system.

  • Scalability and performance optimization: Components can be independently scaled to handle varying loads, ensuring optimal performance even during traffic spikes.

  • Faster speed-to-market: With modular development, new features and experiences can be developed and launched independently, reducing the time it takes to bring innovations to market.

  • Encouraging innovation: Independent development of components encourages innovation as different teams can experiment and iterate without affecting the entire platform.

Six steps for adopting a composable DXP

To embrace a Composable DXP successfully, consider these six steps:

1. Carry out a needs analysis

Evaluate your existing DXP infrastructure to identify pain points and opportunities for going composable.

2. Identify components

Determine which functionalities will be improved by moving to independent platforms and services.

3. Define your selection criteria

Using the insights from your needs analysis, and for the components you identified, detail specific criteria to be used in selecting platforms and services for your composable DXP.

4. Select technology partners

Go shopping! Get demos, read documentation, and make sure you evaluate technology partners based on your selection criteria. Choose partners that align with your digital and product vision and who prioritize interoperability.

5. Implementation strategy

Decide whether to adopt a phased approach or migrate all at once based on your organization's needs.

6. Continuous monitoring

Regularly monitor and optimize components to ensure they work harmoniously and deliver the intended results.

Future of DXPs: The composable advantage

Composable DXPs hold the key to the future of digital experiences. By enabling the integration of emerging technologies like AI, VR and IoT, organizations can craft unparalleled user journeys that transcend traditional boundaries. Composable DXPs are at the forefront of enabling true omnichannel experiences, enhancing customer engagement and fostering lasting brand loyalty.

Is composable right for my organization? 

The shift towards a Composable DXP marks a significant leap in creating digital experiences that are flexible, scalable and tailored to individual business needs. Embracing composability allows organizations to unlock a new level of agility, enabling them to innovate faster and deliver seamless experiences that captivate users across every touchpoint. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, a Composable DXP might just be the strategic move that sets your organization apart.

Need some help evaluating your tech stack?  Check out our platform strategy and evaluation services. We’ll look at what you have and where you want to go, then together we’ll develop a plan that aligns your people, process and technology for long-term success.