The Path to Digital Transformation: The Role of Accelerators and Pre-Composed 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.

The journey to digital transformation is marked by a desire for agility, speed, and innovation.  

One strategy for enabling speed is to tap into “accelerators” as a component of a broader digital commerce solution. However, the term accelerator is often thrown around loosely and there is still considerable confusion about what constitutes an accelerator and how they fit into a composable commerce ecosystem. 

When leveraged correctly, accelerators, and more advanced variations knowns as pre-composed solutions, can play a pivotal role in facilitating continuous improvement and streamlining the transformation process. Let’s take a look at how these solutions can be used in achieving business goals.  

What Are Accelerators Anyway? 

The concept of accelerators in this context is tied to the launch of enterprise digital commerce platforms in the early 2000s. As businesses moved from in-house, custom-built commerce platforms to commercial alternatives, the agencies and system integrators that worked with them began to note some basic commonalities in terms of customer use cases and solution functionality. Rather than reinvent the wheel with every build, certain components of the solution could be pre-built to cut development time and subsequent launch cycles. From there, the first accelerators were developed.   

Of course, not all accelerators are created equal. So, in some circles there has been a negative connotation that must be overcome. One big distinction is confusion between accelerators and product demos. Demos were/are focused on selling an idea to the customer, while accelerators are aimed to take the next step beyond the demo and be a part of the end digital commerce solution. 

Accelerators vs. Pre-Composed Solutions 

Accelerators generally involve starting from a code base and modifying it to meet specific requirements, which are then incorporated into the broader build. This method provides a foundation that can be customized, however, once the site is launched the utility of the accelerator ends.  

A pre-composed solution functions more like a traditional software product. While the pre-composed solution can serve to compress launch cycles like an accelerator, it also encapsulates additional features and enhancements that can be continually added to the existing solution. The idea is to continuously consume innovations and capabilities while avoiding the need to backport these features into an outdated system. This approach ensures that businesses can adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape without the constraints of static technology. This adds value across the digital commerce solution’s lifecycle, rather than a one-time boost. 

commercetools and Accelerators 

Pre-composed solutions can be invaluable for those seeking to move further along the path of composable commerce. In essence, these act as the bridge between the tools provided by commerce platforms and the blueprints crafted by a Systems Integration (SI) partner. These blueprints pre-build solutions using the available tools, giving customers a fast-track to extracting value from their investments. 

In the case of commercetools, Smith has built a B2B-focused pre-composed solution known as Conduit. With essential B2B functionality already included, Conduit provides a head start for B2B businesses, cutting launch cycles by up to 75%. Conduit also provides ongoing enhancement, update, and integration support, so businesses can take advantage of the solution over time.  

In the era of digital transformation, speed and adaptability are paramount. Accelerators and pre-composed solutions are not just buzzwords; they’re essential tools for businesses looking to stay ahead in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. When implemented as part of a broader commerce roadmap and strategy, they offer a tangible path for businesses looking to achieve their digital transformation objectives.