Tag: automation

IMC 2022 Highlights: India Mobile Conference Focuses on 5G Business Opportunities | Blog

With the launch of 5G in India last month, the 2022 Indian Mobile Congress (IMC) demonstrated many exciting possibilities for the high-speed network to deliver innovative use cases in India. Beyond the technology benefits, 5G can be leveraged to solve efficiency and optimization challenges and enable future growth for enterprises. To learn more about 5G business opportunities, read on.  

India embarked on its “new digital universe” with the official unveiling of 5G technology by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the sixth edition of the Indian Mobile Congress (IMC), Oct. 1-4 in Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. In this blog, we share some of our key takeaways from the event organized by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

The evolution of connectivity technologies with 5G as a platform for boosting productivity and innovation was among the key themes that emerged from this India mobile conference that drew an enthusiastic response from technology service and infrastructure providers, manufacturers, industry and government officials, academia, and the public.

Shifting narrative: from explaining technology to showcasing possibilities

While the 5G benefits of increased connectivity speed, low latency, and improved reliability are now well known, the India mobile conference highlighted several 5G-enabling technologies. These include carrier integrated 5G network (low- and mid-band); open-source technologies and architectures (O-RAN); network cloudification through Software-Defined Networking (SDN), Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), and Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC); small cell 5G architecture, private 5G, network slicing, and Fixed Wireless Access (FWA).

An interesting highlight of the event was the increased emphasis on showcasing the applications of 5G. Among the possible use cases spotlighted were massive and critical Internet of Things (IoT), machine-to-machine communication, collaborative robotics, autonomous driving, vehicle edge computing, metaverse and Augmented Reality (AR) powered collaboration, predictive maintenance, remote surgery, real-time analytics and decision making, cloud-based gaming, smart cities solutions, intelligent supply chain and logistics, and smart retail.

With 5G resolving connectivity problems and other building blocks like cloud, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML), and IoT now mainstream, enterprises have all the needed elements to optimize and modernize their technology landscape and capture the next wave of growth opportunities.

5G for sustainability: an emerging conversation

While 5G network equipment and components are generally expected to consume more power than the previous generation, recent equipment and software innovations aim to make products as energy efficient as possible.

Some examples of the energy-efficient technology presented at IMC included lightweight massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) radios and software solutions such as traffic-aware dynamic network management solutions for energy monitoring and management that provide 5G levels of expected network performance while consuming the same amount of energy as the traditional 4G network.

5G also is expected to power the next generation of sustainability applications around Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions monitoring and management, optimal resource management, smart transport, and other uses. Its higher bandwidth will make it possible to connect large numbers of IoT devices over the Internet and enable faster decisions through increased connectivity speeds and low latency.

Turning possibilities into practicalities: the need for building a contextualized business case

While 5G offers numerous benefits, from optimization and efficiency to unlocking new growth avenues, the strategic business value needs to be clearly communicated to enterprises.

Currently, the 5G ecosystem is a bit fragmented, with different types of players offering their own strengths. For example, OEMs are focusing on improving the equipment and hardware; communication service providers are focused on increased speed and low latency; and system integrators (SIs) bring data, AI/ML, IoT, and cloud expertise.

To move to the next level, industry players need to combine 5G’s benefits of connectivity, reliability, and low latency with AI/ML, IoT, and cloud to build business use cases that add value to enterprises beyond just showcasing the possibilities.

Ecosystem players need to help enterprises realize that 5G is not only an improved wireless network technology but also a solution to their long-standing efficiency and optimization challenges that can enable their next wave of growth.

To further discuss the India mobile conference and how to capture the most value from 5G business opportunities, please reach out to us at [email protected] and [email protected].

Watch our webinar, What’s Ahead After a Decade of Digital Transformation?, to hear our analysts share perspectives on what’s in store for the digital transformation industry in the next ten years.

Building Web 3.0 Business for Clients: Opportunities for Strategy, Technology, and Consulting Providers | Blog

The next-generation exponential technology of Web 3.0 holds promising opportunities for brand, technology, marketing, and business strategy providers to partner with enterprises in five key service areas. To learn more about the opportunities in this emerging market, read on.  

Multiple consumer and business brands have taken the first steps in experimenting with Web 3.0 business by building non-fungible tokens (NFTs), purchasing virtual lands in metaverse platforms, organizing virtual events, and creating enabling platforms.

But building a Web 3.0 business goes beyond just creating NFTs for a company and requires embracing the concepts of Web 3.0 business, the creator economy, decentralization, social commerce, immersive experience, trust, and sustainability.

As enterprises like Ferrari, Starbucks, JP Morgan, McDonald’s, Samsung, NBA, Walmart, Disney, Google, Nike, Oracle, EY, and Stripe begin to see traction in this space, they will seek to partner with brand, technology, marketing, and business strategy providers who understand this ecosystem to scale initiatives and drive newer ones.

Let’s explore the following five key demand areas where providers can offer their expertise.

Business strategy services: Web 3.0 business needs to be conceptualized and aligned with the enterprise strategy. Beyond that, service partners should also be bold enough to push clients to adopt Web 3.0 business models that may not be entirely related to their existing businesses. This has already started to happen and has blurred the boundaries between industries and company classifications.

Normally enterprises start with building NFT offerings for their brand to engage consumers. NFT design and implementation can create short-term demand and may eventually become a small part of overall Web 3.0 initiatives. Many enterprises use celebrities, while others use crowd contributions, technology, and various other models to build NFTs. Professional service partners need to understand this complex landscape and advise clients accordingly. With an estimated 15,000 Web 3.0 start-ups, making the correct selection is important.

At the beginning of a Web 3.0 journey, clients will seek services tailored to their specific industry, such as an automotive company creating a virtual showroom in metaverse; an apparel company using NFTs to trade for physical goods; a bank building a Web 3.0-enabled payment system; or an energy company incentivizing customers to sustainably consume power with crypto assets. In addition, many clients may want finance, procurement, and Human Resources to leverage Web 3.0 principles. Service providers who support such enterprise functions need to be at the forefront to serve this demand or risk near-term losses.

Architecture and platform services: Recently, leading cloud vendors such as Google and AWS launched blockchain node services. In addition, start-ups are focusing on Web 3.0 infrastructure services to enable out-of-the-box offerings. Start-ups such as InfStones, ChainSafe, and Alchemy collectively raised US$300 million to enhance their blockchain infrastructure offerings.

Service providers need to work with these vendors to build enabling infrastructure for clients’ Web 3.0 journey. Even for seemingly simpler initiatives such as building NFTs, clients have multiple platform decisions to make, such as NFT marketplaces, wallets, and underlying blockchain. Not only do service providers need to understand these complex technologies and work with an extended ecosystem, but these firms also need to be thought partners to guide clients in the right direction and drive initiatives.

In addition, the core offerings for edge, network, and pervasive computing must be delivered. Unlike cloud-based workloads, the Web 3.0 ecosystem will heavily rely on edge processing. Materially high network bandwidth and resiliency will be required. Therefore, ongoing hyper-automated technology operations services will need to be amplified using next-gen observability, resiliency, and predictive maintenance. Service partners will have to focus on the right messaging infrastructure, decide between off/on-chain computing, build digital simulations, and create the underlying Web 3.0 core for their clients, much like they did for cloud services.

Brand and experience services: At the core of Web 3.0 businesses is the experience it can create for end consumers. Branding and experience service providers such as Dentsu and Publicis are already investing in the Web 3.0 ecosystem. Moreover, technology providers such as Adobe and Salesforce have also launched offerings to address this client need. Although “user centricity” has gained pace in recent years, Web 3.0 businesses need to take this even further. Brands such as Adidas have already experimented with token-gated communities and provide exclusive access to assets.

The enabling technologies, platforms, and environments now available to build such experience offerings are powerful but complex. Socially distributed networks, creator platforms, crypto payments, generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), enhanced reality, and various other solutions have the power to create previously unimagined customer experiences. Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) have to become extremely tech-savvy to explore the potential Web 3.0 business has for their brand strategies.

Software and integration services: Web 3.0 business requires thousands of software to work together. Enterprises will build many of these internally to drive differentiation. However, many back-end software will be SaaS-based and bought through vendors that will need integration. In addition, numerous Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) will be built and purchased that will need to work in unison.

This will not just be the software we see today but will have AI/Machine Learning (ML) and other advanced data technologies as their core. These context-aware software will need to leverage advanced auto-development, auto-tuning, and auto-management concepts to be more efficient and sustainable. Rather than being cloud-first, these software will have to be edge-first and compatible across various hardware, unlike browser-based systems. Building lightweight yet rich workloads will be a complex engineering problem to solve for.

Governance, risk, and cyber security services: The legalities of Web 3.0 businesses are unknown, and clients need significant help from service partners to navigate this complex new pioneer. Enterprises will need assistance deciphering contractual obligations, data privacy, personal identity, cyber security, and interpreting platform terms and conditions.

The recent collapse of crypto exchange FTX is a good example. Some law firms have found the terms and conditions of popular Metaverse platforms extremely one-sided. If these platforms shut down their business, the consumer would lose all their virtual assets. Service partners need to work with clients to help them understand the risks and build recovery solutions. Providers also will need to deliver cyber security, content moderation, trust, and related security and risk services so clients feel secure that customers will trust their Web 3.0 business initiatives.

In addition, given Web 3.0 enabling technologies are under scrutiny for their environmental impact, clients will look for service partners who have sustainability as a primary offering. Environmental sustainability will take near-term priority for such initiatives.

Moreover, massive opportunities will emerge to build technology workloads by adopting Web 3.0 concepts. In the same way clients adopted Web 2.0 social media and digital commerce to enhance their businesses, they will want to adopt business-contextualized Web 3.0 technologies. The key difference is that Web 3.0 will propel enterprises to engage with stakeholders in previously unknown ways, learn about newer architectures and monetization models, and embrace the creator economy – all pushing them beyond what they are now and realizing the art of the possible.

For more on Everest Group’s research in this area, see our reports on the following topics: NFTs, Decentralized Finance, Metaverse, crypto assets, Blockchain, and trust. If you are a brand management, technology, or strategy consulting provider, please reach out to [email protected] to share your experience in building Web 3.0 business for clients.

Start planning for the future of your organization. Join our upcoming webinar, Key Issues for 2023: Rise Above Economic Uncertainty and Succeed.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) – Technology Provider Landscape with PEAK Matrix® Assessment 2022

Top Robotic Process Automation (RPA) – Technology Providers

The post-pandemic era is repeatedly stress-testing organizations’ abilities to adapt to a volatile world through rising inflation, an economic slowdown, geopolitical tensions, supply chain disruptions, and talent shortages. As corporate executives go back to the drawing board to re-examine their strategic priorities, they are increasingly regarding automation as a strategic initiative to emerge successful amid these uncertainties.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has remained a key enabler for enterprise automation. While the overall automation ecosystem is rapidly evolving through new technologies – such as Intelligent Document Processing (IDP), process mining, task mining, API-based automation, process orchestration, and conversational AI – these technologies only strengthen RPA, which continues to be a foundational element of enterprise automation. RPA provides a host of benefits to enterprises, including improved operational efficiency, enhanced customer and employee experience, and a workforce engaged in strategic activities. With Big Tech firms entering the space, RPA has become one of the fastest-growing software markets.

In this report, we study 23 RPA technology providers and position them on Everest Group’s PEAK Matrix®, categorizing them as Leaders, Major Contenders, and Aspirants based on their capabilities and offerings. The research will help buyers select right-fit technology providers for their needs, while technology providers will be able to benchmark themselves against each other.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT Robotic Process Automation (RPA) – Technology Provider Landscape with PEAK Matrix® Assessment 2022

What is in this PEAK Matrix® Report:

This PEAK Matrix® report examines:

  • Everest Group’s PEAK Matrix® evaluation of RPA technology providers and their categorization into Leaders, Major Contenders, and Aspirants

  • The competitive landscape of the RPA technology provider market

  • Key RPA technology trends

  • Key strengths and limitations of each RPA technology provider

Scope:

  • All industries and geographies

LEARN MORE ABOUT Robotic Process Automation (RPA) – Technology Provider Landscape with PEAK Matrix® Assessment 2022

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What is the PEAK Matrix®?

The PEAK Matrix® provides an objective, data-driven assessment of service and technology providers based on their overall capability and market impact across different global services markets, classifying them into three categories: Leaders, Major Contenders, and Aspirants.

LEARN MORE ABOUT Top Service Providers

How to Clear Up Industry Cloud Confusion and Choose the Right Solution

With so many industry cloud platforms available from different technology players, selecting the right solution for your enterprise is not simple. Learn the important characteristics to look for from providers in this latest blog in our industry cloud series.

As cloud technology matures, industry-specific solutions are emerging as a leading preference over generic options to deliver efficiency, experience, innovation, and business-enabled growth. According to Everest Group’s latest survey, a staggering 87% of enterprises rate industry cloud as one of their top three investment priorities.

The supply landscape is heating up with technology providers leading with an industry cloud-focused go-to-market narrative, investing in multiple offerings for target verticals, initiating industry cloud-dedicated partner launch programs, and announcing large enterprise engagements.

Many technology providers operating in different spaces are approaching this market in their own ways. In our last two blogs on this topic, Demystifying Industry Cloud and The Battle for Supremacy in Industry-specific Cloud Has Begun, we discussed the evolving industry cloud solution provider landscape and go-to-market strategies adopted by key ecosystem players.

Read on for a deep dive into suppliers’ industry cloud offerings and our recommendations to equip enterprises to select the best-suited industry cloud solution for them.

The industry cloud solution marketplace is proliferating

The following three broad categories of industry-specific cloud solutions are emerging in the market:

  • Cloud infrastructure providers such as Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing, AWS for Health, and Google Cloud for Telecommunications focus on providing an industrialized set of cloud solutions and services tailor-made for specific industries. Industry-specific configurations, interfaces, use cases, and blueprints are embedded into existing functionalities and bundled with partner solutions
  • Enterprise platform providers such as Salesforce Financial Services Cloud, SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud, and Oracle Retail Cloud embed industry-specific processes, solutions, and frameworks into their horizontal applications and functions to enable industry specificity
  • Business solution providers such as Veeva Systems Life Sciences Cloud, Temenos Banking Cloud, and Guidewire Cloud for Insurance deliver true and heavily nuanced vertical solutions by providing niche industry-specific functionalities covering the breadth and depth of the value chain, targeting industry pain points

Though the objectives appear similar, technology providers take different routes for portfolio development based on their heritage and core strengths and provide varying degrees of industry specificity, adaptability, and improvisation.

For instance, cloud infrastructure providers offer flexible and ecosystem-driven industry cloud, while business solution providers have a more exhaustive use case coverage.

How to select the right industry cloud for your firm?

Enterprises need to make informed decisions when selecting providers of choice and carefully consider their business objectives, existing technology landscape, level of industry-specificity and enterprise-contextualization required, and preferred consumption model (off-the-shelf solution versus customized offerings).

Below, we detail the key characteristics of each solution type to assist enterprises in selection.

  • Industry cloud solutions by cloud infrastructure providers

Cloud infrastructure players provide a basic level of industry-specific functionalities and configurations powered by advanced cloud computing and next-generation technology capabilities in data analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML), and the Internet of Things (IoT).

These most benefit existing consumers of cloud infrastructure providers’ technology stack that intend to digitize their platforms and services by co-creating or co-developing solutions with ecosystem players, instead of preferring directly consumable end-to-end industry cloud offerings.

Level of industry-specificity: Low-medium

Degree of customization: High

  • Industry cloud solutions by enterprise platform providers

Enterprise consumers of Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and other horizontal applications focused on achieving unified customer relationships, and employee experience can leverage industry cloud solutions by these providers.

Enterprise platform providers provide out-of-the-box industry solution workflows, built on core horizontal enterprise platform functionalities consisting of purpose-built functionalities, pre-built data models, and automation and AI/ML capabilities for particular industries.

Their focus is on digitizing vertical systems across the front, middle, and back offices, powered by customer data-related insights and integration between the sales and operations teams. These offerings have a limited level of customization and are usually available as different editions of off-the-shelf offerings.

Level of industry-specificity: Medium

Degree of customization: Medium

  • Industry cloud solutions by business solution providers

Enterprises requiring extensive value chain coverage and high-grade industry-specific cloud solutions that are looking to digitize their industry platforms can consider offerings by business solution providers.

These solutions are delivered in a pre-packaged and composable format. Enterprises can consume these solutions and services in a modular form and augment functionalities by developing vertical-specific solutions and services on top of these platforms.

Level of industry-specificity: High

Degree of customization: Low

  • Interdependence of technology providers and the role of System Integrators (SIs)

These providers cannot independently provide end-to-end expertise across all layers of an industry cloud stack – infrastructure and platform layer, application layer, differentiation layer, and customization layer.

While these players bring their own strengths to the table, they rely on each other to fill in the missing pieces.

Both cloud infrastructure players and enterprise platform providers depend on business solution providers for domain expertise and vertical-specific contextualization. Meanwhile, enterprise platform and business solution providers rely on cloud infrastructure providers for underlying compute and next-generation technology capabilities.

In this ecosystem-led play, SIs play the key role of ecosystem enablers. For an effective industry cloud implementation, enterprises should engage with SIs for enterprise contextualization, industry knowledge, implementation capabilities, and system integration expertise.

Industry cloud offerings in banking and financial services

To illustrate, we compare different industry cloud solutions in the banking and financial services space by these provider categories below:

Picture1 3

The industry cloud outlook

Though this space is witnessing heightened investments and significant interest among enterprises, the market is still primitive, and the road to success is not straightforward.

To ensure optimum value from industry cloud adoption, enterprises need to clearly define their industry-specific cloud requirements, identify target use cases, choose the appropriate sourcing strategy, analyze available solutions, align the partner ecosystem, factor in technology-related dependencies, and consider industry-specific compliance regulations.

To share your thoughts and discuss industry cloud, contact [email protected] and [email protected].

Also, learn how enterprises can measure the value of cloud and how to unlock its full potential to maximize efficiency in our webinar, How to Unlock the Full Value of Cloud.

3 Tips for Managing Perpetual Change from Software-defined Operating Platforms

Over the past seven years, almost all large companies made substantial progress in implementing digital transformation across a wide variety of functions. At the core of those enormous investments and efforts was building software-defined operating platforms, which put companies on a trajectory to fundamentally change how they operate their business. However, studies show many companies (70%) failed or underperformed against their digital transformation objectives. In this blog, I’ll discuss three tips for how to avoid that outcome and, instead, reap the significant benefits of software-defined operating platforms.

Read on in Forbes

Task Mining Playbook: Featuring Bayer Case Study | On-demand Webinar

In this on-demand webinar, Amardeep Modi, VP at Everest Group, will join a panel to discuss why organizations demand deeper visibility into people, processes, and technology.

You will learn:

  • Why traditional manual techniques for process discovery are a barrier to scale
  • How organizations can kick-start their task mining journey
  • How technology leaders can drive a shift towards task mining in their organizations, and more

Watch Now

Presenters

Amardeep Modi
VP, Everest Group

Jürgen Winandi
Group Product Manager, Automation, Bayer

Samson David
CEO, Soroco

Watch Now

How Automation Makes Biz Processes Agile, Less Tedious | In the News

When we think automation, we normally think robotic assembly lines on factory floors. But automation is now everywhere in the enterprise, thanks to technologies like robotic process automation (RPA), AI, and ML.

Anil Vijayan, Partner at Everest Group, said a big advantage of the new automation tools is that they are non-invasive. “You need not rip and replace fundamental systems within the organization,” he said.

Read more in Times of India

Digital Transformations: 5 Emerging Trends in the Intelligent Process Automation Market

The pandemic’s effects on the digital landscape are long-lasting. Businesses are evolving to rely on the intelligent process automation market (IPA) to promote growth and keep up with competitors. Read on to learn more about five growing IPA trends.

In a world becoming increasingly reliant on technology, financial services organizations are digitizing and automating more processes to keep up with the competition. The intelligent process automation market, growing by about 20% across all fields, is now becoming ubiquitous.

IPA is defined as automation in business processes that use a combination of next-generation automation technologies — such as robotic process automation (RPA) and cognitive or artificial intelligence (AI)-based automation, including intelligent document processing and conversational AI. Solution providers are offering solutions across RPA, Intelligent Document Processing (IDP), and workflow/orchestration, as well as crafting innovative solutions such as digital Centers of Excellence (CoE) and investing more in as-a-Service offerings.

In our recent Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) – Solution Provider Landscape with PEAK Matrix® Assessment 2022 report, our analysts ranked IPA technology vendors and looked at the market for IPA solutions. Based on the research, the growth of IPA technology and reliance will expand to around 25% over the next three years.

Five intelligent process automation market trends enterprises should know

The question of how to become faster, more efficient, and more resilient is the focus for just about any organization undergoing digital transformation. Very often, the answer to this question is at least, in part, intelligent process automation. In the near future, we can see five emerging IPA trends:

  1. IPA will get smarter

A greater proportion of cognitive elements is finding its way into the intelligent process automation market. About 60% of new automation projects involve more advanced cognitive tools such as IDP, conversational AI and anomaly detection. As the maturity of AI-based solutions increases, cognitive automation will be in greater demand. All-round adoption of IPA will be fueled by providers entering new geographies and organizations starting IA initiatives.

  1. IPA will be more scalable

Although many organizations are trying to adopt intelligent process automation, the real question is if it can be scaled up or, in other words, if it can be brought across the organization. To help enterprises scale automation, solution providers are investing in expanding their partner ecosystem, strengthening technology capabilities, and enhancing their services portfolio.

Providers are also expected to help enterprises scale up through more effective change management and CoE set-up strategies. Aided by the prevalence of process intelligence solutions to form robust pipelines and orchestration tools to facilitate holistic automation, enterprises are better equipped now to move away from siloed applications of IA to scaled-up automation implementations.

  1. Citizen development will grow

Many organizations are experimenting with what they can do with citizen development, especially with the current talent shortage. Citizen-led development also holds the power to disrupt the current state of building automation and addresses the issue of talent availability. Solution providers are expected to invest in citizen development and low-code/no-code technologies enabling business users to build automation, consequently also addressing the talent shortage in the market.

Solution and technology providers are also expected to invest substantially in developing the low-code/no-code capabilities of their platforms to enable business users with limited technical exposure to build automation solutions on their own. A few solution providers are implementing citizen development programs in their own organizations and are planning to leverage the learnings to develop effective governance programs for enterprises.

  1. IPA service providers will bring IPA solutions packages to the market

Packaged solutions are gaining traction in the IPA market due to their ease of implementation and quick Return on Investment (RoI). Solutions for F&A are the most prevalent in the market. These solutions will need training on particular data sets to make them functional for a particular process, but they will speed up implementation. Providers are expected to take conscious steps toward promoting sustainable AI by developing solutions complying with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) parameters. They are also investing in AI solutions that are transparent about their working and usage of data.

  1. IPA service providers will pre-build connectors to legacy and other systems

There are a host of technologies, including RPA, conversational AI, process mining, and process orchestration in the IA ecosystem. Very often these IA solutions need to talk to the various other systems. Many IPA service providers are driving innovation and crafting new solutions to keep pace with the fast-moving IPA market and create a more holistic integration process. One such method is offering enabling capabilities like pre-built connectors for a faster and less complex implementation.

If you would like to learn more or discuss the intelligent process automation market and IPA trends, reach out to [email protected].

Learn how the healthcare industry is utilizing intelligent automation, digitalization, and telehealth as fundamental driving forces to transform and evolve in the webinar, How Intelligent Document Processing Is Transforming the Healthcare Industry.

Composable Commerce: For Composing the Best-of-Breed Customer Experience

From monolithic to MACH architecture, the next evolution in digital experience is here – composable commerce. Similar to building with Lego Blocks, this modular approach allows enterprises to create unique models by selecting “best-of-breed” digital commerce components. Learn how composable commerce is optimizing all aspects of the online shopping experience and what tech providers are pioneering solutions in this rapidly rising area.

Digital commerce growth leads to composable commerce

Just as the COVID-19 pandemic has been a catalyst in accelerating digital platform adoption among enterprises, modern consumers’ purchasing habits have dramatically changed due to frequent lockdowns and increasing online purchasing convenience.

According to a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report, the average share of internet users who made purchases online increased from 53% before the pandemic to 60% across 66 countries following its onset in 2020/21.

The shopping experience has evolved from brick and mortar stores to online and moved to unified commerce – an amalgamation of offline and online channels with an ever-evolving myriad of customer touch points such as social commerce, video commerce, and now metaverse, etc.

Emerging business models such as Digital to Commerce (D2C), new and interactive channels, and advancements in technology, especially Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR), have fueled digital commerce’s growth. In response, the underlying digital commerce architecture principles have also morphed to meet the pace of change in digital-native customer expectations.

What is composable commerce, and how will it unlock business value?

Up until a few years ago, monolithic architecture-based platforms were the de facto choice for any digital commerce storefront. These big and chunky solutions providing standard out-of-the-box features for all customers offered a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Enterprises had to be content with these standard features and were required to spend huge budget and time on customizations to meet their business requirements.

However, major issues with scalability, complexity, longer time to market, and budget made this implementation approach less useful for modern commerce businesses where staying abreast of technological advancements, customer centricity, and nimbleness are of utmost priority.

The next major evolution in digital commerce architecture is MACH (microservices-based, API-first, cloud-native, and headless) architecture enabled enterprises. This approach will overcome the shortcomings of monolithic architecture and responsively and dynamically adapt to customer expectations.

Exhibit 1 Characteristics of MACH Architecture

Taking a step forward from MACH architecture, the era of composable commerce has dawned. Composable commerce – a modular approach to implementing digital commerce – uses interchangeable building blocks, leveraging the MACH Architecture framework. It offers enterprises the choice to select “best-of-breed” digital commerce components such as Product Information Management (PIM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), pricing, etc., and is similar to Lego Blocks where users can create unique models. These composable components are the specific solutions provided by third-party vendors.

While the microservice approach breaks down the digital commerce modules into individual building blocks, composable commerce enables the linkage of these microservices to realize a specific business value. Composable commerce utilizes Packaged Business Capabilities (PBCs), a fully functional, independent component serving a defined business capability. These are used as building blocks for “composing” the unique platform. Each PBC can consist of several microservices. These PBCs can be individually replaced or modified without impacting the entire platform.

Exhibit 2 Central Tenets of Composable Commerce

Thus, composable commerce has shifted the focus toward business-centricity. Composable commerce is built for an organization’s unique operating models, strategic priorities, and customer focuses. Businesses can select essential functionalities for their requirements and “compose” them into a custom application built for their digital commerce platform. This allows enterprises to focus on the relevant PBCs for their business that are sometimes unavailable in the traditional and bulky monolithic platform’s “out-of-the-box” features.

Below are some benefits of composable commerce that enterprises can realize.

Exhibit 3 Benefits of Composable Commerce

The number of PBC vendors providing functionalities such as loyalty, promotions, search, reviews and ratings, analytics, etc., is rapidly growing. Enterprises have the flexibility to choose the best vendor for their platform, considering their individual business and technical requirements. They can manage multiple brands and varying business models, leveraging the same composable commerce stack to stay nimble in response to market changes. Complex business can be launched and managed more efficiently using composable commerce.

Technology providers are already pioneering composable commerce solutions

Technology providers have extensively started working on solutions to enable enterprises to get on board the composable commerce bandwagon. Below are some examples:

  • Spryker has launched the cloud-native “App Composition Platform,” which gives enterprises seamless access to third-party services and best-of-breed digital commerce vendors
  • Virto’s Atomic Architecture™ allows customers to get a composable, flexible, manageable, customized, and easily-updated digital commerce architecture that is fully adaptable to market challenges
  • Elastic Path’s Composable Commerce Hub is an open exchange of composable commerce solutions for digitally-driven brands that want to seamlessly create complete digital commerce experiences for their business
  • Fabric provides a configurable and composable commerce solution to rapidly deploy and scale unique brand experiences, product offerings, and services
  • Infosys Equinox is powering Nu Skin to compose unique and delightful digital journeys across ever-evolving channels
  • Avensia’s composable commerce solution Avensia Excite is built on commercetools. Avensia Excite uses Contentful for CMS, Inriver for PIM, and Apptus eSales for search engine

Composable commerce outlook

While MACH architecture had set a strong foundation for modern digital commerce architecture, composable commerce is the next logical iteration in the digital commerce business model to meet rapidly changing customer expectations and the growing number of touch points. Composable commerce adoption will continue to witness a rise as enterprises plan to move away from the traditional approach of implementing digital commerce solutions. More and more niche third-party vendors are emerging faster than before, providing ample choice for enterprises to craft and “compose” their digital commerce stack.

If you have questions about digital commerce, please reach out to Nisha Krishan ([email protected]) and Aakash Verma ([email protected]).

Stay tuned for insights on the digital commerce platform market from our recently launched inaugural Digital Commerce Platform PEAK Matrix® Assessment.

Request a briefing with our experts to discuss the 2022 key issues presented in our 12 days of insights.

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