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Enterprises need to embrace ‘Business Composability’ in 2022: Gartner Survey

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Dec 06, 2021
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Business composability is the mindset, tech and operating capabilities that enable quick adaptation to changing business needs

Enterprises need to embrace ‘business composability’ to thrive through disruption in 2022 and beyond, according to Gartner, Inc’s annual global survey of CIOs and technology executives.

Gartner defines business composability as “the mindset, technologies, and set of operating capabilities that enable organisations to innovate and adapt quickly to changing business needs.”

“It is built on applying the key principle of modularity to business assets to achieve the scale and pace required of business ambition,” it said.

“Business composability is an antidote to volatility,” said Monika Sinha, research vice-president at Gartner.

As per the report, 63 per cent of survey respondents at organisations with high composability reported superior business performance compared with peers or competitors in the past year.

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The survey separated CIO respondents’ enterprises into levels of business composability (“low,” “moderate,” and “high”) depending on the extent to which they utilise the three domains of composable business.

The three domains of business composability: composable thinking, composable business architecture and composable technology.

“They are better able to pursue new value streams through technology, too,” Sinha added.

Investments in AI, Cloud and Security technologies

Investments in areas such as artificial intelligence, cloud and security help support business composability.

“Artificial intelligence (AI) and distributed cloud are the two main technologies that a majority of high-composability enterprises have already deployed or plan on deploying in 2022,” the report said.

These technologies are a catalyst for business composability as they enable modular technology capabilities.

Cyber and information security also top the list in terms of priority areas for increased spending in 2022, with 66 per cent of all respondents expecting to increase associated investments in the next year. This is followed by business intelligence/data analytics (51 per cent) and cloud platforms (48 per cent).

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Among respondents from India, 64 per cent of CIOs have cyber and information security as an area for increasing spending, followed by business intelligence/data analytics (56 per cent) and digital business transformation initiatives (51 per cent).

“There is a continued need to invest in cyber security as the environment becomes more challenging. A high level of composability will help an enterprise recover faster and potentially even minimise the effects of a cyber security incident,” said Sinha.

Leveraging IT

“On average, high-composability enterprises expect greater increases in revenue and IT budget in 2022 than their moderate-or low-composability peers,” as per the report.

CIOs and technology executives at high-composability enterprises expect their revenue and IT budgets to increase, on average, by 7.7 per cent and 4.2 per cent, respectively in 2022, while low-composability enterprises only expect both to increase by 3.4 per cent and 3.1 per cent, respectively.

“Most high-composability enterprises set up strategic planning and budgeting as a continuous and iterative activity to adjust to change more easily,” said Sinha.

“Without big deficits to remedy elsewhere, CIOs can afford to invest in composability, especially for IT developers and business architects who can design in a composable manner,” Sinha said.

Three domains of Business Composability

“With volatility serving as a business driver for the foreseeable future, CIOs are in a unique position to advance the three domains of business composability: composable thinking, composable business architecture and composable technology,” as per the report.

“Business composability isn’t uniformly high across the economy because it requires business thinking to be reinvented. Traditional business thinking views change as a risk, while composable thinking is the means to master the risk of accelerating change and to create new business value,” said Sinha.

Over half of high-composability respondents said that they promote a high-trust culture that encourages employees to independently make decisions. This is double the percentage of moderate- and six-times more than low-composability enterprises.

In terms of business architecture, composable enterprises optimise for adaptability. Systems, processes and workers no longer serve one predetermined use case or purpose.

“Digital business initiatives fail when business leaders commission projects from the IT organisation and then shirk accountability for the implementation results, treating it as just another IT project,” said Sinha.

“Instead, high-composability enterprises embrace distributed accountability for digital outcomes, reflecting a shift that most CIOs have been trying to make for several years, as well as create multidisciplinary teams that blend business and IT units to drive business results," Sinha added.

“Business runs on technology, but technology itself must be composable to run composable businesses. Composability needs to extend throughout the technology stack, from infrastructure that supports rapid integration of new systems and new partners to workplace technology that supports the exchange of ideas," Sinha further said.

Internalising business composability domains

As per the survey, CIOs and technology executives in high-composability enterprises have pushed forward more aggressively when it comes to iterative technology development, sharing data across systems and people, and building out integration capabilities data, analytics and applications.

“CIOs at moderate-or low-composability enterprises must internalise these three domains of business composability to make their organisation nimbler and well equipped to handle the rapidly changing business environment in which they operate. It’s a gradual, but imperative, process going into 2022 and beyond,” said Sinha.

The 2022 CIO and Technology Executive Survey gathered data from 2,387 CIO and technology executive respondents in 85 countries. The survey covered all major industries, representing approximately $9 trillion in revenue/public-sector budgets and $198 billion in IT spending.

Published on December 06, 2021

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