MACH Alliance advocates for composability

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MACH Alliance advocates for composability
Jamie Cairns, chief strategy officer, Fluent Commerce - MACH Alliance event Sydney

Not-for-profit industry body MACH Alliance is advocating for a vendor-neutral, composable approach to technology integrations.

MACH, which stands for micro-services based, API-first, cloud-native, and headless, provides an alternative to monolithic platforms from a single vendor.

Jerry Nott, regional director APAC at Contentstack, one of the founding partners of MACH Alliance, spoke at the first MACH event in Sydney last week. The event was hosted at the offices of another MACH Alliance founding partner Fluent Commerce. 

Nott told audiences, “I’m one of the really big advocates of this MACH approach because it gives you this choice, and it gives you this way of doing projects knowing that you're not going have to throw that away in three to five years’ time. You can iterate on that, and you can use best of breed technologies.”

According to Nott, core to the MACH approach is to “keep vendors in the right swim lanes”.

“What used to be the safe option for digital projects was to go monolithic. To build them by one system, which has limited capabilities and a lot of areas that you didn't really need for your project,” said Nott.

“You buy it with all the hope and the RFPs, that all this software was going to do everything under the moon under one platform. And then you'll get to this point where you're already happy. And then suddenly, things would slow down, and innovating and developing on this platform became a bit of a snowball and a mess.”

While MACH is vendor agnostic, its vendor certification provides clarity around the vendors that are adhering to the MACH principles of composability.

Nott believes that the MACH approach allows organisations to iterate as their needs change, without having to completely re-platform and go back to square one.

Agile has been talked about in services land for years. But agile is really what MACH's about for me. And that's about being able to build and change, and change your requirements and change the microservices that you use, as the requirements change, as budgets come in, as expectations of your customers change,” he said.

Andreas Westendörpf, chief technology officer at Emma, The Sleep Company switched to the MACH approach when its monolithic legacy system could not keep pace with its fast growth.

“It became apparent that the current technical landscape would not enable us to further scale our business as quickly as we did in the past,” said Westendörpf.

“It made sense to decouple several domains of the business (a.k.a. ‘packaged business capabilities’ - Gartner’s wording) from the commerce platform and have dedicated systems doing one thing and connecting them – the MACH approach.”

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