The enterprise is on the brink of big change—and it’s starting in the world of Business Operations. The Great Resignation altered the way people think about work, as it inspired employees to demand much more out of their work experience. (IT, for example, doesn’t want to spend so much time enabling the business in a support capacity, and the business doesn’t want to remain so functionally dependent on IT.) Advancements in no-code, automation, and composability, meanwhile, have made changing the way people work a real possibility.
Where does “changing the way people work” happen? Business Operations.
In 2022 and beyond, innovative technologies will combine with market forces to both enable and compel organizations to not only deliver for their people more personal agency, creative capacity, and mental engagement, but to reimagine the way their organizations operate across the board.
Composability is a new approach to solutions design. At its core, it’s a means of building software using “building blocks” composed of business capabilities. These building blocks—which are curated by IT, can take the form of actions on people, actions on data, or actions that perform business logic, and which are fundamentally modular, interchangeable, and reusable—can be assembled and reassembled with a no-code platform to create full blown, complex solutions.
The potential of composability should not be understated. The modularity inherent to composability mirrors the modularity with which developers build software using open source components, or with which kids compose complex structures using pre-built Lego blocks. It allows totally nontechnical teams to build many different kinds of tools—from solutions that automate entire business processes to applications that do something very specific or solve a unique business problem—without ever having to write a line of code themselves. Composability has the potential to enable every end-user inside organizations to be technologically creative.
As Tonkean’s co-founder and CEO Sagi Eliyahu has written, composability makes it possible for entire organizations to operate in a true agile fashion—or, to deliver solutions and fix problems in an iterative, incremental, adaptive, fundamentally agile way.
Historically, this is something nontechnical teams have been unable to do Instead, they’ve remained creatively dependent on IT, or people who can code. And seeing as how only about .04% of the human population can code… well, you can see how tight of a bottleneck that can be.
Composability, however, obliterates that bottleneck, and introduces to business operations a whole new way of working. In 2022, this new way of working will be increasingly embraced. The reason is simple. As Simon Sinek has said, Agile is the secret to unlocking “unimaginable innovation.” Each of the world’s most innovative and productive companies have embraced efforts to make the whole of their operations more agile. “Create a product, ship it, see how it does, design and implement improvements, and push it back out,” Alphabet chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt and former Google senior vice president of products Jonathan Rosenberg once advised. “The companies that are the fastest at this process will win.”
Composability is the most transformative means of enabling true agility—and breaking down formerly limiting functional silos—the enterprise has ever known. The more widely this becomes understood, the faster organizations will move away from traditional means of business operations for one that’s composable.
And this is in large part because of how integral no-code plays in composability.
No-code platforms are the means by which nontechnical teams go about accessing, manipulating and composing the building blocks which ultimately comprise their composable solutions. Without them, nontechnical teams wouldn’t be able to create solutions, because they would get bogged down in technical requirements. Low-code platforms wouldn’t do the trick to this end, either, because of how using them necessitates a not-insignificant amount of technological expertise.
But truly no-code platforms, by abstracting the technological expertise required of interacting with complex and innovative software components—such that makers composing software solutions can focus on business logic determining what their solutions do—in effect make the building blocks accessible.
Composability helps no-code technology mature and lends it a use-case that makes it enterprise viable. No-code, in turn, allows nontechnical employees to participate in composable software design and implementation… which in effect allows organizations to realize composability’s true promise.
As an understanding of the potential of composability spreads, so too will the demand for no-code platforms increase.
The reason? More and more people are realizing that low-code simply doesn’t give you what you need to be composable.
No-code and low-code are very different. They function differently, and they serve very different purposes and audiences. Low-code is meant to help coders build software faster.
One is an accelerant for a small subset of people. The other is an enabler for everyone.
That enablement—and the opportunity to leverage software that it provides—is foundational to composability’s most interesting promise, which is to empower entire organizations to operate in a more agile and effective manner.
Until now, the distinction between no-code and low-code has remained muddy. They’ve even been referred to using the same term: “low-code/no-code.”
But the difference between the two technologies is huge. As more organizations adopt composable operating structures, that difference will also become far more clear and understood.
Right now, the primary purpose of automation software is to increase organizational efficiency on a task-by-task basis. It relies heavily on traditional coding schemes, techniques, and procedures—putting the management of it out of reach for all except highly technical teams. RPA bots are a prime example, constituting an overly complex technical approach to automating manual work that you basically have to be a developer in order to use.
In fact, automation can be used to reimagine work experiences throughout organizations—and, via no-code composable platforms, automation implementation can be driven by nontechnical teams that know and run the business.
Inside Tonkean, for example, makers everyday are creating solutions that automate not just individual, menial tasks, but many different elements of cross-departmental and cross-team workflows. So, too, are they using automation to personalize their work—creating process solutions as they automate select elements of workflows specific to their day-to-day—and they’re doing so with autonomy and creative freedom.
Moving forward, automation will permeate every element of organizations. Because citizen development/automation will become more prevalent, there will arise more and more opportunities for more parts of the organization to embrace automation. Rather than relying on IT to automate very specific processes on a one-off basis, organizations will empower all kinds of users to use automation to redesign many different kinds of work experiences, serving to make the processes that power the organization more fundamentally personalized and human-oriented. This is one way in which composability will change the way we interact with technology at work: by making our technology work for us, rather than forcing us to work for our technology.
There is virtually no limit, in a composable organization, to what functionalities and capabilities IT can make available to makers composing software solutions. The conduits are the composable building blocks. The library of building blocks that makers in a composable organization have to choose from when composing solutions constitute the means by which employees will access innovative technologies moving forward.
This means that IT can create new blocks consisting of new innovative tools, and makers can more easily augment the solutions they build with whatever new technologies are made available to them. And this is how an exponentially larger number of workers inside the enterprise can leverage cutting edge technologies, such as AI. In the future, composability will make it simpler to do so.
In truth, these technologies will be among the legion of new innovations that people working inside composable organizations will have access to—and will be able to utilize in creating a better personal and holistic work experience—moving forward.
And it is changing dramatically. The way we interact with SaaS applications is changing. We will no longer consume apps through a single UI, for example. Nontechnical teams will no longer rely so fundamentally on the apps that IT purchases or builds for them. Nor will business operations departments have to work so tirelessly around their apps’ limitations. Instead, people will pick and choose which of these apps’ functionalities they like and need, and be empowered to create the near ideal experience themselves—all due to the availability of no-code and the adoption of composability. .
Empowered by composability, no-code, and a new approach to automation, the way we think about leveraging technology will change. We’ll no longer shop around with a mind only for solving point problems. Rather, our governing concern will be more grounded in the needs and wants of every organization’s most critical and powerful asset: their people.
That’s a future worth getting excited about. And it’s going to be here much sooner than you may think.
Want to learn more about composability? Download our Introduction to Composability eBook