Composable Software is the Technology Ops Teams Have Been Waiting For

Brett Li
Brett Li
February 3, 2023
June 28, 2022
min read
Composable Software is the Technology Ops Teams Have Been Waiting For

A wise person once told me: “Always use the right tool for the job.” This maxim holds true regardless whether you work with your hands at a trade or are coordinating workflows for entire departments within an enterprise. Well, the most powerful tool available to operations professionals is a composable software platform because it allows anyone—particularly operations teams—to rapidly build bespoke software solutions that meet specific business needs as they arise. It enables truly agile development—almost a cheat code for ops teams.

Freedom to create

The biggest barriers to creativity are the tools you use and the necessary skills to use them. For example, you can frame a perfect photograph in your mind’s eye, but you need quality camera equipment and at least some working knowledge of how to use it in order to capture the scene as you see it.

It’s the same for operations professionals who make a living imagining ways to make their organizations more efficient, improve processes, automate repetitive tasks, and better empower employees. But too often, they run into the tools and skills problem: they can’t code.

But with composable software, they don’t need to. Just like how an amateur photographer with a good eye can use the modes and automatic settings on their camera to help them get the shot, rather than meticulously setting each parameter manually, operations pros can use no-code tools to creatively solve problems.

Good tech, bad tech

So, great, there’s some new technology that promises to make everything easier. We’ve all heard this one before: Someone on your team, or a supervisor, or another department in the organization excitedly proselytizes or rolls out some new technology. Sigh. Yet another interface to learn. More links in the chain or steps in the process that present additional vectors for errors, bugs, and hiccups.

But that’s a description of bad technology, or at least a poor implementation of and weak support for new technology. In other words: the wrong tools for the job.

Good technology, with strong implementation and support, doesn’t introduce new barriers; it removes them. And it empowers people to do better and more efficient work.

But such is the challenge for operations teams. They’re always refining existing processes and workflows, creating new and more efficient ones, or bringing in some new technology to speed up or automate tasks.

Shooting your shot

That’s why a composable software platform is so compelling. The camera metaphor is useful here, because like composability, a good camera is a tool that enhances the output of the user, wherever they may be on the spectrum of knowledge and ability. Automatic settings obviate the most mundane tasks, while presets and manual settings allow the photographer to exert as much control as they wish.

For example, on one extreme of the spectrum is the people who know just enough to use their smartphone to snap a half-decent image. Nearly 100% of the controls and parameters are automated. This is analogous to average professionals who know their area of expertise well but are anything but technologists. But they can use the automated systems even if they have no idea how they work.

On the other end of the spectrum are photographers who enjoy making all settings manual, so they can more precisely tinker and tweak the exposure, depth of field, and so on. They’re like IT pros and developers who are extremely technical and can build software one line of code at a time.

Everyone else is somewhere in between. Today’s cameras allow you to automate as many parameters as you like–but they reward users who understand those parameters and how they affect a shot.

The ops team sweet spot

Ops teams occupy this particular “in between” within their organizations. They have to deeply understand the particulars of their business, becoming de facto subject matter experts, and they have to fully grasp the typical operational needs of the people working on the business side. Simultaneously, they have to understand the concerns and capabilities of the technical teams that build and support the tools everyone uses.

And they have to be able to connect those dots for all parties in order to provide solutions that work.

In other words, ops teams have to know something about everything. And that’s why low-code and no-code platforms can prove of immense benefit to ops teams. Instead of having to code software from scratch, ops people can use blocks of existing code to assemble and reassemble software solutions that they can manage and iterate on in an agile fashion. They can solve problems and meet needs for business teams without the bottleneck or burden on IT or dev that typically accompanies new technologies.

A composable platform is the right tool for the job, and in the hands of the operations teams, it can make a huge difference in organizations.

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