The composable enterprise is here.
What exactly is a composable enterprise? It’s constantly adapting and evolving its digital capabilities through IT assets (including APIs) to increase internal effectiveness and create more robust customer experiences.
Companies succeeding in this new environment know that they must have flexibility and speed in every step of their business, not just at the beginning or middle. That kind of flexibility has been made possible by composable APIs.
The companies charging ahead in the digital economy are using their APIs to build agile, composable platforms. Composable enterprises can adapt and respond to changing market conditions more quickly.
They’re using modern API management platforms to manage their digital initiatives to get there. These solutions allow digital teams to publish, iterate rapidly, and share their APIs across internal and external stakeholders.
With faster and easier access to these capabilities—and a platform designed for developers—enterprises can create new business models, deliver engaging customer experiences, and even drive new revenue streams.
Composable APIs allow businesses to create new digital products by combining existing assets without developing them from scratch.
What is a Composable Enterprise?
The composable enterprise is a new way of operating businesses—one that is not only more agile and flexible but also reliable, scalable, and secure.
Rather than being a monolith, the composable enterprise breaks down into smaller, modular components. And rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach to operations, the composable enterprise can adapt to meet the needs of different industries, regions, and business models. It can even change to meet the needs of its evolving strategy over time.
The composable enterprise allows companies to be more agile in their approach to innovation and make better use of new technologies. It gives them greater flexibility in how they engage with customers and partners and how they respond to changing market conditions. And it provides growth opportunities by creating new revenue sources within existing markets and opening up entirely new ones across geographies or customer segments.
Why is the Composable Enterprise Gaining Momentum?
It’s all about the customer. Today’s customers have higher expectations, and they expect companies to be able to jump from one challenge to the next quickly and seamlessly. They also hope to access a company’s services through any device and for the company to know who they are and what they need without any effort on their part.
To succeed in this competitive market, companies need to be able to move quickly. But for that speed to be sustainable, companies need to be able to handle multiple challenges at once without hiccups or slowdowns.
So how can organizations stay agile? The answer is that they must “compose” their organizations by breaking them into smaller parts that can adapt quickly and offer a wide variety of services with no loss of efficiency. This approach allows companies to remain responsive while still being efficient, and it helps them cultivate agility as a core strength rather than an elusive goal.
Finding the right balance between “small enough” and “big enough.” If a company is too small, it will struggle with offering comprehensive services; however, it will lose its ability to react quickly if it’s too big. The right size depends on each company’s objectives.
Why is a Composable Enterprise Important?
It is often said that the future of software is not the code. The future of software is the data that flows through the code. If a business can generate data, it can create value and derive value from the data. The more secure and robust the business’ data is, the more valuable it becomes.
Composable enterprises are built around technologies that allow them to create, grow, manage, and share their data in an open ecosystem that captures all of that value.
A composable enterprise enables businesses to produce information on which they can base decisions, policies, and processes. It offers opportunities to improve customer service and enhance employee productivity. A composable enterprise allows companies to build up knowledge assets across departments. And a composable enterprise lets companies collaborate with others to increase productivity by creating shared value for all concerned.
How APIs Empower the Composable Enterprise
Over the past few decades, we’ve seen a massive transformation in how companies operate.
Some of the changes have been driven by technology—the advancements in digital products, analytics, and cloud computing have all played a role. Others have been driven by external forces—the shift from manufacturing to services, the increase in international trade, the rise of outsourcing and offshoring, and more.
But one thing has remained constant: For companies to stay competitive, they are increasingly being forced to transform themselves into “composable enterprises.”
The composable enterprise can quickly assemble and reassemble itself as needed, seamlessly integrating different components (or “microservices“) on demand.
An API (application programming interface) is a code that allows two different applications or platforms to communicate with each other. It’s like a translator who knows both languages and helps them understand each other so they can work together smoothly.
When your company uses APIs to connect your apps and services, you have more flexibility and control over the functionality of each app or service. Each one can specialize in doing what it does best.
In addition, the composable enterprise is an organization that leverages its resources and capabilities to meet the needs of its customers in real-time. In other words, it is a flexible business model that uses technology to adapt quickly to new opportunities and customer demands.
APIs enable this model by providing a digital platform to connect different applications, systems, and business processes together.
Composable APIs Scale to Any Need
It is the best of all worlds: High-performance APIs, cloud-native infrastructure, and the option for developer tools that make it simple to create, deploy, and manage your APIs. You can easily update your APIs without breaking old integrations, plus you can create new API versions with zero downtime.
Further, creating and editing API services is faster with composability. Composition enables you to quickly create new API services by composing them from existing APIs in your enterprise. The ability to quickly compose new API services from existing ones enables you to rapidly scale to any need as your enterprise grows and as the needs of its customers evolve.
What are API Platforms and API Groups?
API platforms and API groups allow you to connect your backend systems to other applications, databases, or services.
At the top level of your API platform are API groups. These are high-level containers that gather together similar APIs. For example, you could have a group for all of your APIs related to customer data. You would likely have many APIs that handle specific tasks within this group, like creating a new customer profile or retrieving customer information.
The API platform itself is the top-level grouping for all of your API groups. An API platform is a way to create an ecosystem of applications.
It brings together a group of APIs, which are individual building blocks used to offer services to external customers. The API platform can be used in conjunction with an access control system (ACS) to set up roles and permissions for users and devices accessing your APIs. This allows you to ensure that only authorized users can access sensitive data or change your systems.
What Does the Future Hold for APIs and the Composable Enterprise?
No one can predict the future, but we can see signs of what’s to come. The future of API development is inextricably linked to the future of the composable enterprise, and right now, that future looks bright.
APIs are essential to this strategy because they enable businesses to expose their data, applications, and devices in ways that allow them to be easily used by others both inside and outside the organization. As this model becomes more common, many companies will be able to compete using a new currency: their ability to deliver innovative solutions faster than anyone else.
The composable enterprise is not a pipe dream—it’s happening right now. By embracing APIs as a core part of their digital transformation strategy, enterprises can position themselves for success in this new world of connected technology.
As we enter an era of connected applications and devices, we need to think carefully about how we’re taking advantage of APIs. APIs are a critical part of any digital transformation strategy, but they don’t always get the attention or credit they deserve. The companies that use APIs to their fullest potential will be the ones that thrive in this new era—and it all starts with the composable enterprise.
The composable enterprise is the ultimate goal of any organization looking to engage with customers, employees, partners, and things at scale.
The emergence of APIs has presented a shift that reflects a fundamental change in how organizations must operate—to remain competitive in today’s digital economy, they must continually deliver game-changing innovations to meet rapidly changing customer expectations.
This also requires the ability to connect into their application portfolio and business networks quickly, so they can more easily facilitate new partnerships and integrate existing assets on demand.