Navigating Change Management in the Age of Composable Solutions 


Adapted from our web event, Condensing the Path to Composable for B2B: An Executive Conversation, with Kelly Goetsch, CSO of commercetools and Ryan Heusinkveld, CEO of Smith.   

Digital transformation is not just about technology. It touches almost every aspect of an organization, requiring buy-in and support from a diverse set of stakeholders. Subsequently, change management plays an important role in determining the overall success of transformative initiatives, such as the move to composable commerce.  

To support composable solutions and this new approach, companies need to think about change management at both the business and IT levels. This encompasses everything from internal communications to updating processes to end-user training.  

Segmenting Change Management 

Gartner introduced the concept of “bimodal IT” around 15 years ago, consisting of tier one and tier two. Tier one encompasses systems of record, including traditional, stable applications like payroll systems. In contrast, tier two represents systems of engagement, which are dynamic and customer-facing, such as commerce, content, and search solutions. It’s crucial to have distinct governance structures in place for these two tiers since they have unique requirements. 

It is important to recognize that these tiers require different approaches. Many organizations mistakenly treat all their IT systems as if they were old-school payroll applications, leading to inefficiencies. By acknowledging the distinction between systems of record and systems of engagement, companies can improve their change management strategies. 

Business Processes and Speed 

Change management isn’t solely about technology; it’s also about business processes. These processes can either enable or hinder the agility and speed of a system. For example, deploying systems quickly won’t be effective if business processes require lengthy approvals and reviews. Aligning business processes with technology changes is essential to unlocking the full potential of composable solutions. 

Adoption and Training 

On the B2B side, ensuring the adoption of composable solutions is crucial. Field sales and customer success teams and all stakeholders should be trained and onboarded effectively to prevent anyone from being left behind in the transformation process. The way distinct groups will use a given system will differ, so training should be customized to enable each group to be the most efficient and effective. It is also important to communicate how a new system will benefit a given team within the organization. This can minimize the inevitable resistance to change that is part of human nature. It’s not just about implementing the technology. it’s also about ensuring that everyone in the organization can use the technology to its full potential. 

Change Management in the Era of Composable Solutions 

Change management is a cornerstone of a successful digital transformation, especially in the age of composable solutions. Companies must understand the nuances of their IT systems, adapt business processes, and ensure organization-wide adoption. Additionally, it’s essential to debunk myths and misconceptions surrounding composable technology. Embracing change and recognizing that composable solutions extend beyond technology will be key to achieving long-term success in the digital transformation journey. 

In the ever-changing landscape of digital transformation, organizations that effectively manage change and stay informed about the realities of composable solutions will be best positioned to thrive.