Intelligent Composable Businesses: How COVID-19 is reshaping businesses
By Aditya Abeysinghe
Many businesses are facing closures of their operations or are struggling to keep the pace of their trends in processes with the Covid-19 pandemic. Businesses that have been bounded by limits have hard times to adapt to the new way of doing things with the pandemic. Many businesses also cannot adapt to newer technologies due to the type of goods or services they offer. Therefore, an interesting question is highlighted. How to link the uncertainty with the models, businesses have been following? Or in simple words: How can businesses adapt their way of selling goods/ services to an uncertain future? The key word here is “adapt”. If a business is adaptable or transient and resilient with the change then its chances of progressing amidst the pandemic are high. Hence, to survive a business should be “composable” and “adaptable” to change or in other words Intelligent Composable Businesses (ICB)s.
So, what is an ICB?
When you say you are composing something, it means that you will be taking the smallest parts and mixing them to form different combinations and finally building a model. Similarly, composable in the business world means creating a business from the building blocks. Not only creating but also these blocks should be interchangeable to form combinations. There is no “best combination” or “model” as is the case of traditional businesses, but a list of combinations that on need could be picked and applied on a target market or customer base. For example, consider a restaurant amidst the pandemic where they were only serving clients on a “have here” basis. They could adapt to a new mode such as home delivery options, food parcels for self-quarantine patients or even online marketplaces. This new way of adapting using ideas, purpose or the business architecture and the tools is what makes a business an ICB.
The four principles of composable business
An ICB operates on four key principles: more speed through discovery, greater agility through modularity, better leadership through orchestration and resilience through autonomy. These principles enable a business to survive in times of changes with resilience. Discovery means idea generation for new opportunities in the current situation. It enables a business to adapt to a new model within a short time. Modularity means the granular nature at which a business operates. If a business operates at a very granular level, it can be agile to many new situations due to its low cohesion in business processes. Similarly, orchestration means automating tasks and services for better management and coordination of processes. This enables precise decisions and leads to better leadership in a business.
The three building blocks of composable business
An ICB also operates under three building blocks: composable thinking, composable business architecture and composable technologies. Thinking leads to creative ideas by combining the four principles described above. Thinking is a repetitive process and requires a modular approach through discovery. Take for an example a delivery business where they shipped their produce worldwide before the pandemic. However, due to travel restrictions and banned shipments, they cannot continue their business. Therefore, they discover new ideas where they could continue their deliveries and start from their modular approach on current needs in the pandemic. Then they discover some regions where government or other delivery agents could not make deliveries and compose their ideas. Some ideas are picked and leads to a better decision. This leads to a better leadership through idea orchestration. This also creates resilience amidst the change. The thinking part is composed. This is supported by the business architecture where the structure of the business is changed for new deliveries. As the business architecture is also composable, it is adaptable to the new decision. Finally, the necessary technologies such as advertising, media, social media and internal technologies for tracking deliveries, payments etc. and other tools support the new idea creating a new operational mode for the business.
Image Courtesy: www.hp.com