The Critical Role of Technology Professionals in Emerging Technology-Free Companies
With the rise of digital services and development tools, there’s never been a better time to launch businesses — or new businesses within businesses — with composable building blocks now available through APIs, microservices and cloud platforms. In other words, IT without all IT. Where does that leave tech professionals?
In fact, building composable businesses means more work than ever for tech professionals and managers – it just adds a new dimension to their work. Appropriate technologies have yet to be identified, tested, implemented and replaced. With the shift to composable, “companies will need help at every level – strategic consulting, business services, enterprise software, cutting-edge technologies, operations support – very little is out of reach,” noted Rajesh. Kandaswamy, analyst at Gartner. Although it is aimed more specifically at leaders in technology products and services, it also applies to individual professionals.
The rise of composable enterprises means the technology development process will be more inclusive, suggests Matt McLarty, global CTO and vice president of the digital transformation office at MuleSoft, a Salesforce company. I had the chance to meet McLarty at the recent MuleSoft summit in New York, where he provided his latest insights on a topic he has been evangelizing for several years.
“It doesn’t just include developers, but more builders,” he says. “Developers are going to be out of work. They will never be out of work. There will always be a need for system keepers and thinkers to manage the stability and interoperability of these systems. But having more people who can inject new business ideas.”
McLarty says there are many examples of people building successful businesses without any on-site IT. This is especially the case for digital native startups such as Clubhouse and Lyft. “Nobody really starts from scratch,” he says. “They built their businesses by basically reusing an API that did all the heavy lifting. You might think startups are all cool new tech. But they’re constantly looking at the landscape of available APIs.”
This also applies to larger, more established businesses. “Even if companies aren’t necessarily making their legacy systems compostable via APIs, they’re looking to the digital ecosystem and finding capabilities,” McLarty says. “They can use Stripe, Twilio, Google Maps, and AWS for their infrastructure. They start their business on top of all those APIs.”
When it comes to building a composable business, “it’s not just about connecting things, it’s about how you connect them,” says McLarty. “It’s more important to be adaptable than to be the best at something. For today’s business, things move too fast. The past three years have taught us more than ever about the ability to change quickly. is the most important strength. And the only way to change quickly is to develop your core skills in a way that can be pivoted and used.”