Orchestrating the digital experience: the rise of the composable DXP

Aug 23, 2023
  • sales, marketing and service

As customers, we expect our interactions with companies to be natural and cohesive – even when switching between channels. And thanks to the digital experience platform or DXP, they often are. But in today’s fast-paced digital world, with its onslaught of new technologies and changing expectations, something even more powerful and flexible is needed. Welcome to the era of the composable DXP.

What is a DXP?

A DXP empowers organizations to create, manage, and optimize digital experiences. Moreover, because all relevant data is unified in one central hub, organizations can deliver consistent, personalized, and engaging content and experiences across multiple digital channels and touchpoints.

To make all this possible, DXPs bring together a variety of tools, technologies, and capabilities, including:

  • Content management: creating, organizing, and publishing digital content, such as text, images, videos, etc. This is what a content management system or CMS does as well.
  • Personalization: tailoring content and experiences to individual users, based on demographics, behaviors, and preferences.
  • Multichannel delivery: delivering content and experiences across various channels and devices, including websites, mobile apps, social media, email, etc.
  • Customer data management: collecting, storing, and managing customer data (to make the above-mentioned personalization possible).
  • E-commerce integration: enabling online transactions and sales thanks to direct integration with e-commerce platforms.
  • Analytics and insights: measuring user engagement, tracking performance insights, and gaining insights into the effectiveness of digital experiences.
  • Integrations: connecting with third-party systems, services and tools via APIs to enhance functionality.
  • Automation: creating automated workflows and processes for delivering content and managing interactions. 
  • Experimentation and optimization: setting up A/B and other tests to determine what works best for users and further optimize content and experiences.
  • Security and compliance: protection against bad actors and ensuring compliance with data protection and privacy regulations.

While businesses of all sizes and across industries use DXPs, they are all but indispensable for large and complex organizations with a wide range of divisions, websites, social media channels, …  Without a DXP, it simply wouldn’t be possible to create and maintain a cohesive and seamless digital ecosystem that meets users’ needs and expectations.

The composable DXP

Up until recently, most DXP solutions were monolithic in nature, meaning a single application contained all the functionalities. As companies tried to keep up with rising customer and user demands and emerging technologies, these monoliths quickly proved too rigid and inflexible. What was needed was an agile and scalable platform that allowed for fast and easy ad-hoc developments and implementations. 

Contrary to a traditional, monolithic DXP, a composable DXP is not a one-size-fits-all package with a fixed set of features, but a collection of various modular components and services. These components can be broken down into independent building blocks that can be assembled and reassembled – or ‘composed’ – to fit the organization’s goals and needs. 

The ability to select and configure individual components results in several powerful competitive advantages: 

  • Agility and adaptability: By quickly assembling and reassembling components, your business can respond faster to changing market conditions, user preferences and emerging trends. Swapping out or upgrading features is also relatively simple and can be done without disrupting the entire system, and is a surefure way to remain relevant in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. 
  • Cost optimization: By selecting only the components you need, you avoid investing in irrelevant features. What’s more, most composable DXPs work well with existing, third-party tools and services thanks to built-in APIs and integration capabilities. So for example, if you have a good CMS or PIM already, you won’t have to replace it. This also reduces the risk of vendor lock-in.
  • Better return on investment (ROI): Because the composable DXP matches your exact requirements, you’ll maximize the value of your investment in digital experiences.

Overall, a composable DXP empowers organizations to create adaptive, personalized, and efficient digital experiences that can evolve with the changing needs of their users and the industry. It provides a versatile foundation for innovation and growth in the digital space.

Going composable: a step-by-step approach

Beyond the technical aspects, composability is also a mindset. As such, switching to a composable solution doesn’t happen overnight: it requires careful planning, assessment, and execution

Here are the most important steps for organizations looking to embark on a ‘composable transformation’.

  1. Assessment: Understand the current state of the organization’s digital experience ecosystem in terms of technology stack, digital channels, user needs, and pain points. Here, you’ll also define goals and objectives for the transition to a composable DXP, e.g., improving personalization, automating workflows, cost reduction, etc.
  2. Requirement definition: Identify the exact components and services the organization requires to achieve these objectives and prioritizing them. 
  3. Component selection: Evaluate different vendors and solutions to find the best fit. Optional: conduct a proof of concept to assess how well the selected components and services work together in your specific environment.
  4. Planning and design: Create an architectural plan that outlines how different DXP-components will integrate and interact with existing and other third-party systems and solutions. Plan the migration of existing content and data to the new DXP and design the user experience, interface, and overall look and feel.
  5. Development and integration: Develop or configure the chosen components to work together seamlessly and ensuring that APIs and integration points are properly set up. If needed, custom components or extensions will have to be developed as well.
  6. Testing and quality assurance: Testing each component as well as the complete platform to ensure they work correctly and align with user expectations and needs.
  7. Training and onboarding: Providing training to users and administrators on how to use and manage the new composable DXP and providing the necessary documentation and resources for users. 
  8. Deployment and launch: Gradually migrating users and content to the new platform, and providing support for any issues that might arise. 

And things don’t end after go-live. To make the most of the investment, don’t forget to gather feedback from users and stakeholders to identify areas for further improvement and refinement, establishing a culture of continuous improvement. 

The right first step

It’s pretty evident by now that transitioning to a composable DXP is a comprehensive process that requires a solid strategy, careful planning, and cross-departmental teamwork. If all of that seems pretty daunting to you, don’t worry: our experts can help you every step of the way. 

Nice to know: at delaware, we work together with three of the most renowned vendors of composable DXPs: Sitecore, Optimizely, and Kentico. Each of these has its unique strengths and benefits. Find out which one serves your needs best by reaching out to Yannick. 

start orchestrating your organization's future

Yannick De Pelsmaeker, Sales manager delaware digital

Connect with Yannick via LinkedIn

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