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Expecting Too Much from a Single Vendor

By John West on 15-08-2023

When implementing composable software solutions, customers should beware vendors that attempt to provide too much functionality in a single product. Optimally, each product should meet requirements for a single functional domain, referred to as a Packaged Business Capability (PBC). Customers should select and integrate the products from multiple vendors that best suit their needs rather than expecting a single vendor to provide a complete solution in an individual product. Customers that have worked with monolithic Content Management Systems (CMS) and digital experience platforms of the past need to reset their expectations to achieve success with composable solutions.

This blog post is part of a series about various challenges and risks that customers face when implementing composable software solutions, and suggestions to address those concerns. For more context and links to other posts in this series, please see:

One advantage of composable software architecture is that each vendor can focus on a single core competency, such as content management, commerce, search, content delivery infrastructure, and otherwise. Rather than relying on a pre-integrated platform that provides every possible feature for every potential project, especially one that depends on using specific hosting facilities, composable customers pick the optimal components for their solution, and only those components that best suit their needs.

A major challenge with the composable approach is that customers must stitch together components from various vendors rather than depending on a single pre-integrated platform. Because composable vendors typically compete directly with platform vendors (in addition to other composable vendors), they may try to expand their offerings to provide functionality to support requirements for the most common use cases. For example, the vendor of a composable (“headless”) Content Management System (CMS) may provide facilities to implement a presentation layer for the website (the head). This can reduce short-term implementation costs, but tight coupling between the CMS and the front-end works against the principles of composable architecture. While this can be advantageous for the vendor in the sales process and for the customer in implementation, it can dilute the vendor’s focus on its core competency and works against the objectives of composable architecture. In the long term, using presentation technology independent of the CMS reduces risks associated with vendor lock-in, such as high development, replacement, and maintenance costs.

Additionally, the more that any solution depends on any single vendor, the tighter the lock-in to that vendor is. Vendor lock-in is one of the disadvantages of platform architecture that composable architecture intends to avoid. Organizations should beware of software vendors that attempt to provide an extremely wide range of functionality across multiple functional domains rather than focusing on basic capabilities within a single Packaged Business Capability.

Get in touch today! Interested in exploring a composable approach tailored to your specific needs? Connect with us today to discover how Perfection can help you avoid vendor lock-in and create a flexible, cost-effective digital experience. Book a demo to see our solutions in action.