February 22, 2021
February 22, 2021
Contributor: Meghan Rimol
As organizations undergo digital transformation, IT leaders must modernize the application portfolio to operate at the pace of business change.
New business opportunities require agility from application portfolios. Yet many businesses today are limited in their ability to adapt, often due to their application portfolios being bloated, difficult to change and aligned to the strategy of the past.
Enter the composable business.
A composable business is an organization that delivers business outcomes and rapidly adapts to business change. Think of it as building blocks made from applications to be assembled and rearranged as needed.
“Application leaders are in a unique position to support digital transformation, as the ability to adapt and change applications in the portfolio is central to delivering on the composable business,” says Dennis Gaughan, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner.
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To deliver the future strategy of the organization, application leaders must modernize the application portfolio to ensure it operates at the pace of business change.
The composable business will manifest in different ways for different organizations, based on business strategy dynamics and the competitive nature of the market. A critical first step to support this vision is to define what the composable business will look like over the long term.
Ask key questions to help the organization understand the broader market and technology impacts that will inform and influence the composable business, such as:
Once a set of longer-term goals have been established based on the current technology landscape and architecture, begin to define the organization’s roadmap to the composable business.
Essential elements of the roadmap include:
Read more: It's Time to Disrupt the Application Organization
Application leaders can support composability through the assembly and combination of application building blocks, also known as packaged business capabilities (PBCs). PBCs deliver more unique and customized application experiences to users.
PBCs can be sourced from third parties or composed internally. They are assembled using their APIs and event streams to create application experiences that are intuitive and can be tailored to individual needs or preferences. This new portfolio is grounded in a mesh app and service architecture (MASA). It defines a new set of application capabilities that can be combined and recombined as business needs shift.
The transition to the composable business is gradual. Over time, more PBC-centric applications will be available from software vendors and marketplaces, and legacy applications will be modernized toward the PBC model. The dynamic experience of the composable business will become the prevailing architecture, integration and delivery model for software innovation.
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Recommended resources for Gartner clients*:
Future of Applications: Delivering the Composable Enterprise
*Note that some documents may not be available to all Gartner clients.