Opinions & Insights
5 Industry Insights from Compose 2023
All good things start somewhere, but great things found their debut at Compose 2023. For the first time, Netlify welcomed more than 1,200 virtual and in-person attendees from the historic Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.
While the Fairmont was an amazing backdrop for our first-ever conference, it was eclipsed by the content and people who really made the event special. The day was packed with breakout sessions from Netlify folks, industry experts, analysts, and practitioners who all weighed in on the future of composable.
But before we get to the insights, let us highlight a key announcement from the opening keynote.
Netlify announces the Composable Web Platform
To kick off the conference, Matt Biilmann, Co-founder and CEO of Netlify, reminded us where it all started—seven years ago when he introduced a new concept called Jamstack. Back then, it was a radical idea where the frontend UI layer was decoupled from backend business logic—pivoting away from monoliths to turn web UI into its own self-standing application.
Fast forward to today, and there’s an entire ecosystem built around this concept. In fact, Gartner states that:
“Organizations adopting an intelligent composable approach will outpace the competition by 80% in the speed of new feature implementation.”
In order to keep pace with the growing need for enterprise composable architecture, we publicly announced the Composable Web Platform (CWP). The Netlify CWP is the foundation for companies looking to modernize their web architecture—ship faster, be more productive, reduce risk and complexity, and drive higher conversions and revenue.
To learn more, check out our recent announcement.
5 industry insights from Compose 2023 revealed
To say that Compose was filled with many ‘Aha!’ moments would be an understatement. And while we encourage you to watch the sessions, we’ve extracted five insights that we believe are truly redefining the way we build, collaborate, and deliver exceptional experiences for customers:
- The shift to composable must be buy vs. build
- Executives are ready to go composable
- Composable is a foundational block for customer experience (CX)
- Adoption of composable is a company mindset
- Generative AI will accelerate composable
Let’s dive in.
1. The shift to composable must be buy vs. build
For a long time, there’s been a battle between whether companies looking into composable architectures should buy or build. Traditionally, large companies would buy their core architecture—often a monolith—and build their website or app there. It was quickly realized that these off-the-shelf solutions limited their optionality and ability to deliver experiences that didn’t, well, seem off-the-shelf.
In order to craft digital experiences that are unique to your business and exceed your customer’s expectations, you need to buy the components you need to achieve that. In other words, you don’t want your developers to spend time reinventing a CMS or ecommerce platform, you want your developers to build things that are unique to you—things that will differentiate your business from the competition.
When we think about the composable tradeoff between building vs. buying, it needs to be a highly efficient process. One where you can use developers to build what's unique to your company and buy ready-to-use components for the rest.
2. Executives are ready to go composable
Long has there been this concept that composable is reserved for developers. While developers are often the primary beneficiaries of composable—after customers, that is—executives have remained the primary drivers for adopting change.
According to Akia Obas, Director of Data and Insights at Netlify, in her talk, Let’s Talk Data: The State of Web Development, she stated that 64% of executives understand the benefits of going composable. She went on to note that they recognized faster time-to-market, improved site performance, and higher productivity as the primary benefits of going composable.
On the flip side, her research exposed that executives are fed up with the limitations of monolithic platforms. Specifically, they agree that flexibility, vendor lock-in, and costs are all drawbacks of traditional monolithic architectures.
This is huge for the future of building a better web. If the days of developers fighting for the tools they need to be productive and efficient are behind us, what does that mean for businesses?
Well, it means better customer experiences and a bigger bottom line.
3. Composable is a foundational block for customer experience (CX)
Let’s begin with a quote from featured speaker Joe Cicman, Analyst at Forrester Research:
“Composable software is an architecture of technology that dramatically alters the economics of delivering value to customers no matter what value your business provides.”
Let’s think about what that really means. If your business is able to change quickly and economically as your customers’ preferences change, imagine what that can do for your business.
Today, composability is changing the form factor of enterprise technology for delivering customer experiences. Traditional enterprise IT is clunky. It's rigid. It's expensive. What’s worse is that developers have to work in ways that feel like writing music by hand with ink on paper.
If 58% of global enterprises are in a traditional IT state of maturity, the payoff to shifting to composable is this: A lower cost for making changes. When that happens, enterprises can iterate more. And when enterprises iterate more, they can innovate more. When enterprises compose their digital systems so they can re-compose them as and when they need to, they’ll have no trouble keeping up with the ever-changing demands of their customers.
4. Adoption of composable is a company mindset
Let’s be clear, the adoption of composable is only achieved when Chief Digital Officers, CMOs, Architects, Developers, and even Sales Operations leaders are on the same page. But all too often these individuals are speaking about technology through different languages. In order to adopt composable, we need to bridge the conceptual gap and arrive at alignment.
However, it’s not the technology on its own that understands what customers want. The CMOs, sales leaders, and the rest need to put in the work toward moving to a customer-centric operating model. When companies put the customer at the center of their leadership, strategy, and operations, composability allows you to respond to customer needs and market circumstances.
According to Forrester, only 6% of global enterprises are in a state of customer obsession. However, when you orient your business around the customer and combine that with the right technology, you’re building a future-fit technology strategy.
The more you integrate the customer and composable architecture into your business strategy, the faster you’ll be able to pivot quickly when needed. But this requires everyone to be on the same page.
5. Generative AI will accelerate composable
Generative AI may seem like a distant reality, but the truth is that it’s already here. Not everyone is using it though. And those reasons are still a bit varied. Nonetheless, generative AI means acceleration for businesses. More content. More code. More assets. More components to integrate with. And all this more means that things will be able to move faster.
The bottom line? More developers to get things done. The economic law called Jevons Paradox states that when the cost of a resource goes down, the demand goes up. So if we expect the cost of custom development to go down, then demand will go up. And if you’re following along, we’ll need more developers to keep up with all this demand.
We should all keep our eyes on generative AI and how it will reshape the development landscape in the near future.
Looking toward Compose 2024
If you enjoyed these insights, be sure to sign up for our newsletter below—we’ll send you one email a month, don’t worry. We’d also like to take this moment to thank all of our customers, partners, and sponsors for making this event possible. We can’t wait to see what comes of the future of composable, but it’s impossible without you.