There are few current topics in the industry that have garnered more interest than composable commerce. And to some extent there are misconceptions about what it means to be composable.
It is a fair assumption to state that no business operates a tech stack that is completely monolithic, and none have reached the point of being one-hundred percent composite. No two companies have the same starting point or the same end goals, and the path to composable commerce is not a straight line. The delta between where a business currently sits and where it wants to go is something we call the Composable Commerce Continuum (C3).
To paraphrase the English poet John Donne, no platform is an island, entire of itself. Even businesses that operate on so-called monolithic commerce platforms have, at a minimum, integrations to calculate taxes, process payments, and, likely, to tie-in to their ERPs. Though these architectures are from modular and portable, they represent the first steps toward what composability can be. And to be fair, depending on the company, its business model, and its business and customer needs, this may be enough.
On the other end of the spectrum, reaching a nirvana-like state of pure composability is a multi-step process, not a project. It requires a business that is technically sophisticated (or dedicated to getting there), and a commitment to organizational and operational change. How far a business needs to push itself along the continuum is somewhat dependent on the relative digital maturity within its industry, their need to innovate and differentiate, and a thorough cost-benefit analysis.
To create a holistic view and true need-based prioritization, businesses need to take a deep dive with a focus on the organizational view and the function-first view. Each of these can be broken down into more granular areas to answer this important question: Will the inputs (time, resources, technical/functional/process decisions) support the desired outcomes? By taking this approach, an organization can use the concept of C3 to serve as a measure of their digital maturity and subsequently how far the organization has advanced in their digital transformation.
Keep an eye on this space for an upcoming Executive Brief, offering a deeper dive into further defining and exploring the Composable Commerce Continuum and how businesses can use this to inform their technical roadmaps and overall digital strategies.