Gautam Lohia, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Apply Digital, knows a thing or two about content and technology. He’s seen the evolution of digital content from its tentative first steps to the powerful composable content platforms emerging today. While composable looks different for everyone, Gautum’s insights can help you understand what composable might look like for you. Apply Digital is a Contentful 2023 Solution Partner Award winner.
How do we keep up with the pace of change?
Companies are struggling to keep up with an ever-increasing pace of change. New technologies, like AI-enabled tools, are emerging at a stunning speed. Market disruptions feel like the norm. And every cool new digital experience drives customer expectations up higher. They need more speed and agility than traditional tools can offer.
At Apply Digital, we help companies transform from outdated technology to modern ways of working. We’ve gone all in on MACH technologies and a composable approach that lets us choose the best tools for each client’s unique needs. Composable technologies help companies do things faster, even when you aren’t sure what new market, initiative, or channel you’ll need to conquer next.
Every composable journey is unique
No matter who the customer is, every composable journey starts with “why.” Why are you seeking new technology solutions or a new approach to the way you work? Do you want to accelerate time to market or launch a new initiative? Are you hitting limitations with your current technology or falling behind the competition?
Knowing your “why” helps define your composable journey. With a composable approach, you choose best-for-you tools for each business function. It’s endlessly customizable. Where you start your composable journey, what tools you choose, and what changes you make are all up to you.
No two teams or companies are alike; each journey to a composable approach will be unique, but working with clients across industries has given us a broad perspective of common pain points and how composable solves them. We can help you decide where a composable solution will deliver the most value, how to start the transition, and what composable components you need.
Where will composable deliver the most value to your business?
Unlike other systems (content management or not), with composable, you don’t need to replace your entire system at once. This means you can focus your efforts on areas that will deliver the most value to your business. Those high-value areas often depend on the industry you’re in.
Commerce companies benefit from unified content
Enabling teams to pull content from one repository and quickly build any digital experience is a big benefit, especially for commerce companies. Commerce companies have marketing sites, product information pages, transactional areas, etc. Separate teams manage these components in silos, making it hard to weave that content together into seamless customer experiences.
A composable content platform brings all that content together and organizes it for use across digital channels. This streamlines content production, extends the use and value of each piece of content, and makes it easier for multiple teams to deliver experiences with consistent messaging.
This combination of speed and consistency is valuable to companies that manage many different customer touch points.
Launching in new markets faster appeals to global companies
Global companies face different challenges. They need to react fast to market changes on a global scale. The ability to create content once and quickly make that content available for translation, localization, and publishing in multiple markets is a big advantage.
We're helping Moderna launch in multiple countries and they sometimes have rapid fire needs because of market events. To meet these challenges, we implemented the Contentful Composable Content Platform and built a nice design system as well. These composable solutions increase the amount of work we can do for Moderna with the same amount of effort. The faster pace helps them stay ahead of their competitors around the world.
How do you transition to composable?
A composable approach is a paradigm shift. It’s a new way of working that takes time to adopt, but once you get there the benefits are enormous. So, where do you start?
We often use a two-speed approach. Choose some small projects that will have an immediate impact and transition them to composable solutions, while working toward the long-term changes that will transform your company.
This is the approach we took with Kraft Heinz, which has over 200 brands. We transitioned a couple of brands to composable in the first five months. Sharing those results with the entire organization helped get buy-in so we could start rolling out changes to everybody else.
We’re also using this approach with a large education company that has hundreds of sites on a mix of old monoliths and homegrown solutions. We need to move those to a modern composable system, but it doesn’t have to happen all at once. We’re looking for quick wins that will build certainty that composable is the right choice before going for a bigger bang.
Which reference architecture is right for you?
When you start your composable journey, you implement composable tools alongside your legacy systems. Instead of a “rip and replace,” you’re building a new architecture from many different tools and integrations. This composable architecture will eventually replace the monolith, but how do you know when it’s safe to unplug?
This is where a reference architecture can help. A reference architecture outlines the components and integrations you need to have in place before unplugging the monolith. Understanding the reference architecture for your business helps you identify the parts of the monolith you need to replace. Then you can start unplugging the monolith one piece at a time without worrying that a critical component might be missing.
While a content platform is core to most reference architectures, other components will be specific to your industry and use cases. For example, the components someone running a sports team needs will differ from the components a grocer considers critical. This is one place where experienced partners can help.
Great partners smooth the journey to composable
Figuring out what the composable journey will look like for your business can be intimidating. You want to get this right. But you don’t have to figure it out on your own.
At Apply Digital we have a strong planning team that goes through all the changes clients need to think about — technology, integrations, procedural changes, etc. It’s our responsibility to educate clients and to share the knowledge we’ve gained working in different industries so you can get the most value out of modernizing your business.
Strong partners can help at every stage of the process, from getting buy-in and early wins through long-term change management. We can fill skill gaps and help you with content strategy, content modeling, and authoring to accelerate your progress.
Having thrown our hat in early on MACH architecture and a composable approach, we understand the impact this new technology can create. At the same time, we’ve worked with legacy tools for many years. We know how to integrate modern technologies into existing systems without breaking things.
I truly believe that modern technology is good for us, good for our clients, and good for their employees. It transforms the way you work, lets everyone use the best tools for their job, and gives companies a competitive edge they can’t get using the same old monoliths.