Organisations must embrace business composability to thrive through disruption in 2022 and beyond, according to Gartner’s annual global survey of CIOs and technology executives. EMEA CIO respondents projected a 3.7% IT budget increase for 2022, on average, which is slightly higher than the average global IT budget growth (3.6%).
Business composability is the mindset, technologies, and set of operating capabilities that enable organisations to innovate and adapt quickly to changing business needs. It’s built on applying the key principle of modularity to business assets to achieve the scale and pace required of business ambition.
“Business composability is an antidote to volatility,” said Monika Sinha, research vice president at Gartner. “Sixty-three per cent of CIOs at organisations with high composability* reported superior business performance compared with peers or competitors in the past year. They are also able to better pursue new value streams through technology.”
Gartner analysts presented the survey findings during Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo EMEA, which is taking place virtually through Thursday.
In terms of IT budget, EMEA CIO respondents projected a 3.7% IT budget increase for 2022, on average, which is slightly higher than the average global IT budget growth (3.6%). “The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated a shift toward digital where funds have been reallocated internally toward IT. This IT budget increase also means EMEA CIOs and technology executives have a choice of where to invest,” said Sinha.
Spending on AI, Security, Data and Analytics and Cloud Support Business Composability
In EMEA, more than 40% of organisations reported that artificial intelligence (AI) and distributed cloud are the two main technologies they are most likely to have already deployed or plan on deploying in 2022. These technologies are a catalyst for business composability because they enable modular technology capabilities.
In 2022, 65% of EMEA CIOs plan to increase spending by the highest amount on cyber and information security. “There is a continued need to invest in cybersecurity as the environment becomes more challenging. A high level of composability would help a company recover faster and potentially even minimise the effects of a cybersecurity incident,” said Sinha.
EMEA CIOs ranked business intelligence/data analytics (47%) and cloud platforms (47%) in second position, followed by API architecture and digital business transformation initiatives with 37% of respondents each.
Three Domains of Business Composability
To become a composable business CIOs will need to incorporate three elements: composable thinking, composable business architecture and composable technology.
“Business composability isn’t uniformly high across the economy because it requires business thinking to be reinvented,” said Sinha. “Traditional business thinking views change as a risk, while composable thinking is the means to master the risk of accelerating change and create new business value.”
CIOs leading high-composability organisations recognise that business conditions often change, from customer demands to financial models, and empower the teams that are closest to the action to respond and re-form to those new conditions.
Composable Business Architecture
In the digital era, business architectures need to be designed for uncertainty and continuous change. Instead of optimising for efficiency, the composable organisation optimises 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 organization and then shirk accountability for the implementation results, treating it as just another IT project,” said Sinha. “Instead, high-composability companies embrace distributed accountability for digital outcomes, reflecting a shift that most CIOs have been trying to make for several years, as well as creates multidisciplinary teams that blend business and IT units to drive business results.”
“Business runs on technology, but technology itself must be composable to run composable businesses,” said Sinha. “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.”
“Preparing for change is insurance for future business viability,” said Sinha. “Composability makes change easier, faster, safer and thereby less costly. It is a model worth the investment for those that expect demand for change to continue to increase.”