Alternative Text Stephen Birch | 30 April 2024 |

Integrated Composable Commerce (ICC): A Human Body Analogy

AI generated image produced by Copilot showing a human body analogy of AI

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Karie Daudt and Brian Gillespie as they shared insights on how HCL Commerce is blending the best of the MACH and Monolith approaches.

Their discussion got me thinking, and I came up with an analogy to help me understand this new world and its comparison to the human body. Bear with me as I delve into this concept.

Let’s begin with the classic Monolithic Architecture, which I see as akin to the entire human body. Just as the body is made up of various organs and systems that collaborate to function seamlessly, a monolithic architecture comprises tightly integrated components forming the entire application. While the body can execute numerous functions efficiently, it lacks flexibility and modularity. Swapping out an organ, akin to a heart transplant, remains complex, time-consuming, and costly, with associated risks.

To address some of these challenges, we turn to the microservices approach. Picture having control over very specialised cells within the body, combining to perform specific functions and contribute to overall organ and system functionality.

When executed effectively, microservices act as pre-defined and pre-integrated sets of business functionalities seamlessly integrated into e-commerce solutions. The major advantage lies in the ability to precisely alter the specifics of a given function, much like altering the genetics in cells to enhance overall organ health. However, embracing microservices comes at the cost of increased complexity, timeframes, and expenses.

Now, let’s discuss Packaged Business Capabilities (PBCs), which can be likened to the organs of the human body. Each organ, such as the heart or lungs, performs a distinct function and communicates with others to maintain overall health. Similarly, PBCs are independent services performing specific functions within an application, communicating through agreed lightweight mechanisms. The beauty lies in the ease of swapping out a component, like a pricing or promotions engine, without disrupting the system’s integrity. Imagine a world where a heart replacement could occur without concerns about rejection, failure, or impacts on other organs.

Finally, let’s explore Integrated Composable Commerce (ICC), which I see as analogous to the body systems, such as the circulatory or respiratory systems.

ICC revolves around integrating pre-defined business capabilities (PBCs), like pricing, promotions, cart management, and checkout, into a cohesive and modular architecture. This allows these capabilities to be packaged as independent components, deployable and manageable separately, fostering greater flexibility and agility in constructing and expanding e-commerce systems.

In conclusion, the future of e-commerce hinges on embracing an integrated and composable approach. By leveraging ICC, organisations can drive operational efficiency, deliver personalised experiences, and outpace the competition in the dynamic digital commerce landscape. Agree? Get in touch so we can shape the future of commerce together by selecting the right combination of PBCs to create the tailored platforms that serve your clients most effectively now and into the future.

If you would like to discuss the potential of Integrated Composable Commerce with us, please use the chat box or submit the form on our contact us page. 

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