A Composable Approach to Digital Business Platforms

| | 8 min read

AI: A Powerful Ally, But Fragmented Tools Hold You Back

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming industries, offering a wealth of opportunities to enhance operations, customer experiences, and innovation. However, fully leveraging AI's potential poses challenges, particularly for businesses entangled in a web of independent SaaS and digital systems. These specialized tools, while valuable in their own right, often create data silos and hinder seamless integration. This fragmented landscape poses significant hurdles for businesses seeking to leverage data and AI effectively. Budgetary constraints, limited resources, and the complexity of integrating disparate tools can leave even the most forward-thinking CTOs facing a daunting climb.

Composable Digital Business Platforms: A Smarter Ascent

Drupal as a DXP
Digital Journey

Gartner says that organizations need a digital business technology platform (DBTP)1 to enable the end goal of optimizing or transforming their business. While building such a platform from scratch might not be viable for a small to medium enterprise due to the time and cost overheads, building a Composable Digital Business Platform (CDBP) might be an acceptable solution. 

Composable Digital Business Platforms present a pragmatic solution to these challenges by leveraging existing tools and resources to create a unified environment where AI can excel. By seamlessly integrating SaaS solutions, these platforms enable free data flow, allowing AI to operate across the entire business ecosystem.

This platform becomes a launchpad for swift experimentation, iteration, and adaptation, allowing you to respond to market demands and customer needs in real-time. It's not just agility; it's a strategic weapon for outmaneuvering competitors and unlocking the full potential of your SME.

Composable Digital Business Platforms leverages the modular efficiency of composable architecture2 and the rapid prototyping3 of prototype-driven development to empower SMEs to strategically "hack" their way to digital transformation.

Think of it as building a platform, not an entirely new structure. You leverage existing bricks (your current tools) and connect them efficiently, creating a foundation for powerful AI integration. This not only eliminates the need for costly, lengthy development cycles but also fosters agility and adaptability – key ingredients for success in today's rapidly evolving landscape.

Instantly - Pipedrive - Mattermost
Integrating multiple tools with no-code low-code solutions

By embracing a Composable approach, you can:

  • Embrace AI seamlessly: Integrate AI solutions effortlessly into your existing infrastructure, minimizing disruption and maximizing your return on investment.
  • Adapt and evolve quickly: Respond rapidly to changing market demands and technological advancements, ensuring your AI solutions remain relevant and effective.
  • Experiment and innovate: Foster a culture of experimentation, allowing you to test and refine AI solutions before full-scale deployment, mitigating risks and maximizing impact.
  • Collaborate and share data: Break down data silos and facilitate data flow, creating a unified environment where AI can learn and grow, generating deeper insights and more impactful solutions.
  • Faster Time to Market: No more waiting for complex development projects. Build and iterate quickly with low-code tools.
  • Enhanced Efficiency: Seamless integration eliminates data silos, streamlines workflows, and improves productivity.
  • Reduced Costs: Leverage existing tools and minimize custom development, freeing up valuable resources for innovation and growth.
  • Unprecedented Agility: Rapid prototyping and modular architecture enable swift adaptation to changing market trends and customer preferences.
  • Improved Customer Experience: Deliver personalized offerings and seamless interactions by unifying diverse customer data across the platform.

In short, Composable Digital Business Platforms offer a smoother, more accessible path to harnessing the power of AI. It's about building on your existing strengths, not starting from scratch, and unlocking the transformative potential of AI to propel your business towards success.



Real-World Scenario: The Common Struggle of Small and Medium Media Organizations

Small to medium-sized media organizations, despite their dedicated readership and strong content, face significant challenges in the digital landscape:

  • Fragmented Audience Understanding: Data lives in silos, hindering a complete picture of reader interests and behaviors.
  • Content Bottlenecks: Editorial decisions rely on guesswork, not data-driven insights into what resonates with their audience segments.
  • Inefficient Operations: Teams struggle with email overload, spreadsheets, and scattered communication, hindering productivity.
  • Unexplored Revenue Potential: Overreliance on ad revenue leaves them vulnerable. Reader-supported models are untapped due to a lack of tools.
  • Limited Community: Engagement is often one-way (newsletters, comments), missing out on the potential of real-time interactions that build loyalty.

The Composable Solution: A Frequent Success Story

We've consistently seen small and medium media organizations thrive by adopting a Composable Digital Business Platform (CDBP) tailored to the industry.  Here's how this approach addresses their challenges:

  • Centralized Data Dashboard: The CDBP integrates data from website analytics, email, social media, and user behavior, creating a unified audience view.
  • AI-Powered Content Insights: The platform analyzes this data to suggest content types, titles, and promotional strategies that have proven successful.
  • Workflow Automation: Tools like Make or Zapier streamline content creation and distribution, automating tasks and enabling collaboration across platforms.
  • Targeted Membership Strategy: The CDBP identifies high-engagement readers for proactive membership campaigns and can suggest content tiering strategies.
  • Real-Time Community Hub: Integration with tools like Mattermost fosters dynamic discussions, strengthening brand loyalty and even sourcing story ideas.

The Impact We Frequently Observe

  • Optimized Content = Peak Engagement: Data-driven content decisions boost engagement, loyalty, and traffic.
  • Streamlined Workflow = Agility: Automation lets teams focus on creation, adapt quickly to trends, and publish faster.
  • Active Community = Brand Champions: Discussion platforms transform readers into brand advocates.
  • Growth Beyond Ads = Stable Revenue: Membership models diversify income streams, reducing risk.



The Transformation

Data becomes a strategic asset, driving content optimization, operational efficiency, and a vibrant community.  The Composable Digital Business Platform empowers these organizations to move from reacting to trends to proactively shaping their future, achieving more sustainable business models in a shifting media landscape. 

Read a detailed case study on how we helped an online news portal with their reader revenue strategy.

Navigating Your Composable Platform Journey: Challenges and Solutions

While the Composable Digital Business Platform offers immense potential for SME digital transformation, navigating the technical and organizational complexities is understandable. Let's explore some key hurdles you might encounter:

Technical Challenges

  • Integration Complexity: Ensuring seamless API integration and data flow requires careful planning and expertise. Bottlenecks and stability issues can be mitigated through rigorous testing and optimization over time.
  • Security Vulnerabilities: Since multiple tools and platforms are involved, implementing robust security practices, data encryption, and access control frameworks is necessary to safeguard sensitive data and mitigate potential risks.
  • Data Governance: Defining clear data ownership, access control, and consistency prevents silos and ensures compliance with regulations. In some scenarios, a careful evaluation of the privacy policies of tools involved is also required. This can be achieved through comprehensive data governance policies and procedures.
  • Service Quality and Reliability: Since the platform comprises multiple independent tools, downtime in any one of them can impact the system's overall responsiveness. It is required to assess the service level agreements (SLAs) and uptime guarantees of these tools to ensure the platform's reliability and minimize downtime.

Operational & Strategic Challenges

  • Change Management: A well-defined change management program with comprehensive training, support, and communication is important for smooth platform adoption and user buy-in.
  • Governance and Oversight: Establishing clear roles, responsibilities, and approval processes for platform management ensures accountability and effective decision-making.
  • Skill Gaps: Training and resources can bridge any skill gaps within your team, empowering them to manage and utilize the platform effectively.
  • Internal Buy-In: Building a compelling case that demonstrates the platform's value proposition and potential return on investment is key to securing cross-functional support and commitment.
  • Vendor Lock-In: One major challenge we see in heavy dependency on SaaS platforms is vendor lock-in. Choosing free and open-source solutions minimizes lock-in, ensuring long-term flexibility and scalability. As the platform grows and stabilizes, you retain the option to replace components with your own custom-built systems or swap out any unreliable services.
  • API Stability and Maintenance: Monitoring and updates of API compatibility are essential for seamless integration and platform stability.

Considerations for Tool Selection

  • Challenges with Low-Code/No-code Platforms: Although these platforms come with out-of-the-box integrations, integrating complex or legacy systems might necessitate additional plugins or custom development efforts. Systems lacking APIs or webhooks pose additional challenges. In these instances, it's crucial to meticulously assess the integration challenge to determine whether writing custom code or incorporating a manual step is necessary
  • Subscription Considerations: Fluctuating tool prices over time or changes in plans can impact financial planning. Some contracts offer monthly payments with an annual price lock-in, while others require an annual payment for price stability. Careful selection of subscription plans is necessary to maintain financial stability.

Partnering for Success: Unlocking the Full Potential

Digital Transformation

While these challenges may seem daunting, partnering with a seasoned digital transformation expert can significantly mitigate them and unlock the full potential of your Composable platform. Here's how:

  • Expertise at Your Fingertips: Gain access to a team well-versed in low-code/no-code platforms, API integration, data governance, and performance optimization, providing expert guidance throughout your journey.
  • Tailored Roadmap and Planning: Benefit from a comprehensive assessment of your unique needs and goals, resulting in a customized roadmap for building your Composable platform and its eventual evolution into a robust digital business platform.
  • Reduced Risks and Complexity: Leverage their experience to navigate technical hurdles, ensure secure integration, and implement robust governance frameworks, minimizing risks and ensuring long-term platform success.
  • Bridging Skill Gaps: Access ongoing support and training to empower your team to manage and utilize the platform effectively, ensuring knowledge transfer and sustainability.
  • Vendor Selection and Lock-In Avoidance: Benefit from their expertise in selecting the right technology stack, avoiding vendor lock-in, and ensuring long-term flexibility and scalability for your evolving needs.
  • Sustainable Evolution: Ensure your platform grows and adapts to your changing needs with their ongoing support and guidance, ensuring the platform remains a valuable asset for your business.

By bootstrapping your digital transformation journey with a Composable Digital Business Platform and partnering with an expert, you're not just addressing challenges; you're setting yourself up for long-term success. This approach can help you:

  • Minimize Investment and Time to Market: Leverage existing tools and low-code/no-code solutions, reducing upfront costs and accelerating your digital journey.
  • Foster Innovation and Agility: Experiment and iterate quickly with the platform, responding to market demands and customer needs swiftly, gaining a competitive edge.
  • Break Down Silos and Improve Collaboration: Facilitate seamless data flow and collaboration across teams, leading to data-driven decision-making and enhanced operational efficiency.
  • Unlock the True Potential of AI: Integrate AI tools seamlessly into your platform, unlocking its transformative power for enhanced efficiency, deeper insights, and personalized customer experiences.

Digital transformation is an ongoing journey. Consider this your invitation to take the next step. Assess your digital infrastructure and explore how a Composable Digital Business Platform can accelerate your growth. Embrace the opportunity to transform not just your technology, but the very heart of your business for sustainable success.

Next Steps and Beyond

Dashboards to aid decision making.

Your first steps can be cautious, not chaotic. This approach prioritizes pragmatism and iterative construction, mitigating risks through measured progress and expert guidance. Data-driven decisions fuel your ascent, ensuring each step is informed and optimized.

Imagine building your digital future, bricking by modular brick, as your SME reaches new heights of efficiency and performance.

Ready to start your journey? We offer expert guidance and support throughout, helping you:

  • Chart the course: Assess your needs and define a tailored roadmap.
  • Select the right tools: Choose the optimal technologies for your unique requirements.
  • Bring your platform to life: Develop and implement your Composable solution.
  • Empower your team: Provide training and manage change effectively.
  • Prioritize security: Implement robust security measures and ongoing optimization.
  • Navigate the journey: Support you in executing your roadmap seamlessly.

Unlock the power of digital transformation for your SME. Contact us today to discuss your unique needs and embark on your path to success.