What is an Experience Data Platform and how can it fast-forward your composable/MACH journey?

The MACH/Composable movement has gained great momentum in the last years and during 2023 Gartner predicts that 60% of companies will seek composability in their tech investments to gain speed and agility.

With a composable approach to the technology stack, companies can quickly adopt changes and meet the evolving needs of customers. A composable approach involves breaking down the technology stack into modular, reusable components that can be easily assembled and reassembled to meet changing business needs. Using this approach, companies can easily add or remove components as needed, without disrupting the entire system.

But what’s the best way to transition to composable while ensuring your customer-facing applications don’t get disturbed in the process?

While a composable approach offers many necessary benefits, it can also present some challenges related to data fragmentation. When adopting a composable approach, organizations need to carefully consider how they structure their data and ensure it is available in a consistent format across all APIs. Enterprise data from systems such as PIM, DAM, ERP, etc. is often locked in silos where it has its structure and format which makes it difficult to expose the data in a standardized way that is easily consumable by developers. Moreover, different systems may have their own unique way of exposing data, which can make it challenging to achieve interoperability and consistency across APIs. When we ensure data is available in a consistent format and easily accessible, organizations can unlock the full potential of a composable architecture while delivering superior customer experiences.

What role does an Experience Data Platform play in the Composable stack?

An Experience Data Platform acts as an agile unifying layer sitting on top of all data sources, unifying data assets without the need for costly and time-consuming integration projects when launching new digital initiatives. It has the purpose of funneling this unified data and content into a front-end experience in real-time. It can also collect new data from digital destinations and make it readily available to the rest of your tech stack (insights).

Occtoo’s Experience Data Platform (XDP) provides several benefits, allowing you to easily replace parts of your tech stack without disrupting customer-facing applications. By starting your composable architecture journey with an XDP, you can quickly reap the benefits of composable architecture in the customer-facing layer, where it adds the most value, while setting yourself up for less risk as you continue to swap the rest of the components in your stack.

With Occtoo’s Experience Data Platform, we are able to easily access data from many different systems and distribute headless experiences into a variety of applications. Not only are we now 4x faster to market but our costs to build these experiences has lowered dramatically.” - Thomas Davis, Global Digital Operations Director – Cartier SA

Here are five key reasons why an Experience Data Platform (XDP) is a critical investment in the composable stack:

Easily unify data and content from separate systems: It allows you to quickly unify data and content from separate systems, to make better use of the data you already have, in turn, better preparing you for a transition to a composable architecture while still using your existing data.

Leapfrog into a state where you can innovate your customer-facing experiences: When you start your composable architecture journey with an XDP, you have the ability to quickly modernize your customer-facing experiences, giving you a competitive edge and improving your ability to innovate where it matters, in-front of your employees and customers.

Lower integration complexity, lower costs: An XDP reduces integration complexity and costs, making it easier and more cost-effective to integrate new systems into your tech stack. By having an XDP in place before swapping out other systems, you can significantly lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) of your tech stack.

Swap each individual backend system without disrupting your customer-facing experiences: An XDP enables you to swap each individual backend system without disrupting your customer-facing experiences, minimizing the risk of disrupting your revenue streams.

Risk reduction while adapting to your pace of business changes: You can reduce the risk associated with transitioning to a composable architecture, with an XDP. With the XDP serving as a central hub for all data and content, you can transform the rest of your tech stack at a pace that's suitable for your business, without disrupting your existing systems and customer-facing experiences.

All in all, if you are an organization that’s looking at going composable, considering an Experience Data Platform as your first investment may just save you complexity and costs while setting you up for long-term success as you continue to swap the rest of the components in your stack.

Occtoo is also the first MACH Alliance member to have joined in the data layer and as an Experience Data Platform.

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Author – Jimmy Ekbäck

Jimmy Ekbäck is co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Occtoo. Jimmy’s combined passion for new technology and frustration over legacy technology holding CX professionals back from launching innovative ideas is what brought the seed of Occtoo to life. Prior to founding Occtoo, Jimmy has founded and acted as CTO at inRiver, a globally recognized Product Information Management System.