The kind of thinking that comes out of Marketing MBAs sometimes just drives me nuts. Wait, what are you selling? How is this different than last year … last decade … last millennium? The garbage industry phrase of 2022 has just been minted. Composable Ecosystems. Let’s take a peak into this insanely new business model that deserves a hashtag.


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I received an email about a webinar about this new “Composable” thing. I won’t mention the sender but let’s just say they are a WordPress hosting company whose name rhymes with orange. This is the kind of hoodoo that comes out of the $1,000/hour think tanks from Gartner, McKinsey, etc. that gives folks who actually worry about and implement technical business concepts a bad name.

So what is this “composable” thing? From the Gartner white paper (it is a “paywalled” PDF so your mileage may vary):

A composable enterprise is an organization that delivers business outcomes and adapts to the pace of business change. It does this through the assembly and combination of packaged business capabilities (PBCs). PBCs are application building blocks that have been purchased or developed.”

What on earth does any of that mean? Honestly, who cares. It’s been created, defined, and massaged into something is so futuristically esoteric that anyone can achieve the “composable” KPI (I can use small words too).

I have read and re-read the white paper multiple times and to call it vision scamming would be an understatement. Here are some of the beautiful phrases that emerged:

  • “mesh app and service architecture (MASA)”
  • “postmodern ERP”
  • “New Work Nucleus”
  • “multiexperience strategy”
  • “hybrid headless”
  • “assembly and dynamic reassembly of PBCs”
  • “Copernican Shift in ERP Strategy”
  • “Hype Cycle” (I may actually understand this one)

Every generation of gee-whiz MBA consultants is always trying to reframe a very basic technology paradigm – CLIENT <> SERVER. We can dress it up in whatever new and fun names we want to but at the end of the day it is a disservice to customers up and down the food chain to think that any such razz-matazz lingo actually does anyone any good.

Anyone in any service industry, be honest about the services and consulting that are being provided, you’ll be better off, the “composable ecosystem” will be better off.

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