Why do we need the composable enterprise? Well, the enterprise has a problem. Specifically, it is massively inefficient. This has expensive ripple effects. Inefficient operations make employees feel less valued. They render leaders unable to adapt or make decisions quickly. And, ultimately, they cause once-successful companies to lose what used to be their competitive edge. This is one reason why, according to McKinsey, come 2027, 75% of the companies currently quoted on the S&P 500 will have disappeared.
What accounts for this? Well, to an extent, it’s a cost of scale. As enterprises grow, and as they adopt new technology tools and systems, their operations become by necessity more complex — and harder to adjust or improve.
But much of the problem is a product of limitations imposed upon the two sides of the enterprise: IT and the business. See, IT needs to enable the business, but it also needs to secure the tech stack and maintain compliance. The business, meanwhile, needs to move fast, while trying to adhere to the necessary requirements of minimizing risk.
Challenges of enterprise growth.
The problem is, in the enterprise today, neither side has what they need to do that. IT, specifically, lacks either the resources or the bandwidth needed to enable the business effectively. When the business needs a solution, for example, IT has two options:
1) Buy packaged, task-specific apps for the business
2) Develop custom solutions themselves.
This is an imperfect strategy. Custom solutions regularly take 6–9 months (or more!) to build — and require IT to provide tech support and guidance even after that — and purchased apps, while effective at solving certain process challenges, can actually lead to gaps or inefficiencies elsewhere. They’re too functionally specific, and incapable of adapting to user-preferences or powering cross-functional processes end-to-end. You add a tool to solve some specific problems, but you can’t actually extend it to reduce the number of tools in your stack: this is usually how it goes. It’s also why the typical enterprise process involves so many different monolithic apps in their processes; the average enterprise today reports using around 1,295 apps and SaaS services.
That number wouldn’t be so distressing if these apps made us more effective. But they don’t! In Tonkean’s State of Operations survey, in which we surveyed 500 enterprise business operations and IT professionals, only 24% of respondents reported that their current tech stack — composed of apps both purchased and custom-built — “satisfies all their operational needs.” 82% of IT respondents believe their organization uses too many software apps.
The average enterprise today reports using around 1,295 apps and SaaS services.
What IT ends up doing, then, is playing a kind of technological whack-a-mole. They’re always implementers or custodians, scrambling to solve cross-functional process challenges with task-specific tools, never architects or orchestrators.
For enterprise leaders, it can often feel as if the question of how to change this dynamic — and in the process finally equip the business to run with agility, efficiency, and adaptability while simultaneously ensuring compliance, security, and governance — just doesn’t have a good answer.
Building the composable enterprise with Tonkean.
We are so excited to announce the release of the next generation of our no-code process orchestration platform, defined by two primary tool-suites: Enterprise Components, and the Solutions Studio.
These composable enterprise tools serve to give tech teams what they need to finally bridge the gap between the business and IT — a third option, if you will, for enabling the business to innovate and problem-solve on their own, while preserving IT’s governance over the tech stack.
How so? Let’s start with Enterprise Components. Enterprise Components are designed to empower IT to deliver reusable building blocks which the business can use to compose their own custom workflows. These building blocks can facilitate integrations to 1000+ enterprise systems; extend custom applications; process unstructured data (like emails, chat, documents, etc.) using NLP and OCR; facilitate people coordination, and more. Most importantly, they allow a way to extend capabilities that normally require custom coding with a dedicated development team to more areas of the business, while maintaining security and compliance.
You can think of built Enterprise Components as a way to package and democratize APIs and other business capabilities. Like APIs, tech teams maintain governance over them. But, unlike traditional APIs, they’re accessible across teams, processes, and functions.
Enterprise Components are designed to empower IT to deliver reusable building blocks which the business can use to compose their own custom workflows.
Business teams access Enterprise Components via another revamped component, our no-code Solutions Studio — a business logic modeling layer for building complex, cross-functional processes. Here, business teams building process solutions can make sure they’re following best practices with versioning, environments, release management, and more.
Taken together, these suites provide a composable enterprise environment that is, in effect, an operating system for process orchestration, systems integration, and safe citizen development.
It’s an operating system, in other words, for finally bridging the business and IT, facilitating genuinely powerful business enablement, and addressing this seemingly un-addressable problem of inefficiency in large organizations.
Beyond that, these tools allow enterprise leaders a path to the composable enterprise.
The composable enterprise is an enterprise able to deliver innovation quickly and adapt dynamically. It’s an enterprise that rejects functionally limited, monolithic applications, and provides users instead a cadre of differentiated, flexible capabilities from which to choose when designing their own solutions, customizing their own workflows, and extending the capacity of their existing tools. It’s an enterprise that strategically empowers every area of the business with technology. And it’s an enterprise that harnesses the creativity and expertise of every individual stakeholder internally, as well as the functional capacity of all their existing, previously siloed tech tools and systems.
This is the future of the enterprise. It’s a future where we’re all less dependent on apps; where the business and IT work in harmony; where you no longer need to know how to code to be technically creative; where business logic is the differentiator of value.