A composable enterprise is an organization made from or operating on interchangeable building blocks. These blocks can adapt to evolving business landscapes and deliver business outcomes. Senior leaders in the digital space are finding this definition intriguing and thought-provoking. CXOs are looking for moments of composability within their organizations. They’ve already started expanding on the actionable initiatives that can become tomorrow’s interchangeable building blocks.

CIOs should drive their interchangeable building blocks’ strategy based on the business context to strengthen their strategy realization. These blocks comprise people, processes (from demand generation to supply fulfillment), and systems.

People

People across roles and organization hierarchies must transform into a fluid enterprise armyin the digital world.An enterprise army is a group of people with unified resolve to achieve a common goal. This army can withstand unforeseen challenges and interchange roles and responsibilities for higher impact. Flexible enterprises allow such room in roles and responsibilities for a bigger purpose. It is high time to eliminate the 80/20 rule where 80% of the people ride on the safety net created by 20% of the enterprise army.

Integrated capability definition should go beyond role definitions and be aligned with upstream and downstream capabilities to deliver business outcomes eventually. This step is foundational in mapping qualifications to business objectives and key results across people, processes, and systems.

Enterprises must ensure mature systems and self-serviceable and consumable processes without any dependencies. CIOs must take data-driven steps to ensure uniformity in transactional outcomes. Organizations should adopt a robust data foundation strategy based on modular, scalable, and mesh-enabled architecture. Also, such a data capability foundation will have segregated layers across storage, compute, and service for ensuring composability at micro and macro levels. The focus should be on building long-term autonomy and resiliency within an organization.

Collaborative decision modeling can ensure a single version of the truth about people’s decisions. It is like the Byzantine fault tolerance algorithmic approach – a practical decision-making algorithm implemented at the system level on top of the single source of truth data foundation. This algorithm is a neat way to ensure uniformity in action by participants. Simulation model-based learning and assessment methodologies will play a critical role in shaping the people structure across enterprises.

Organizations are already embracing DevOps, MLOps, and many more advanced technologies. These technologies integrate the lifecycles from engineering to operationalization. CIOs must roll out Management Ops (MgmtOps)on similar lines to integrate management philosophies aligned with the business objectives. MgmtOps should stitch together strategic alignment of initiatives, programs, and portfolios with financial planning and modeling and enterprise-level agile execution. Further granularization to project and product-level lean implementations, operations, and services will help in the long run.

Processes

The accountability definition at process levels must be defined similarly to the people. It is essential to consistently monitor the accountability index, process velocity, and efficiency to ensure processes don’t drift away and create bottlenecks. Innovative thinkers must focus on remodeling strategies. An efficient way to strategic remodeling is by factoring in the involvement of non-human actors like Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and intelligent bots. Embedding processes with historical knowledge and predictive insights into the next-best action can simplify your process transformation initiatives. Well-defined Objective Key Results (OKRs) will further help bridge the interdependencies between upstream and downstream operations.

Enterprises in motion can adapt and respond faster to evolving business challenges. CIOs should be rolling out data and analytics-driven initiatives to continuously measure sales, marketing, revenue lifecycle, and CX motion. Integrated control and monitoring mechanisms measure the proportionality across dependent motions and motion segments. It ensures that each activity caters to the enterprise motion and its composability.

Systems

The enterprise technology architecture should sync with the process and information architecture at the system building block level. Defining concise data relationships helps map the association, accountability, and dependency matrix.  Further, system-level OKR should reflect the OKRs of personas that have access to the system in various role capacities.

The guideline for system-level transformation hinges around transforming the infrastructure, technology stack, and purpose-specific software platforms from Capital Expenditure (CapEx) to Operation Expenditure (OpEx) models. It is time to eliminate a portfolio’s traditional vertical and horizontal structural alignment. A product-centric system implementation approach with a product operating model will ensure agility and resilience.  Product-centric systems benefit from the concise mapping of the bounded context definitions based on business requirements. Also, these definitions follow the essential principles of modularity and integration interface capabilities on the input and output side to collect dependent inputs. It further disseminates the outcome insights as inputs for subsequent systems to consume.

There is no one size fits all concept in the digital world. People, processes, and systems are just enablers if seen via individual lenses. However, when blended in the right proportion, they can become a flywheel to achieve sustainable results over a long period. These three pillars together form an entire course of enterprise meal. Data becomes your raw ingredient for each course, and analytical insights become consumable recipes. A well-rounded strategy comprising people, processes, and systems can help you deliver an on-demand enterprise dining experience.


Shafeer Badharudeen - Vice President

Shafeer is a digital transformation evangelist with over 20 years of experience in commandeering pivotal portfolios as a thought-leader to reinvent platforms and products by unleashing the power of trusted data and analytics for the Fortune 500s.

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