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Oct 30, 2023 | 6 minute read

The MACH-lash: The End of the Big Bang MACH Project, and Rise of The Unplatform™

written by Seamus Roddy

Want to spook a commerce leader? Give them a call and pitch them on a big MACH project.

MACH, which stands for microservices, API-first, cloud-native, and headless, was once a commerce buzzword that represented innovation and business growth. Now, over and over, we’re hearing concerns from brands that a MACH project is less likely to unlock commerce success than to blow up budgets and the timelines.

Why is there growing skepticism about MACH? What should commerce leaders and brands think about MACH? Where does composable commerce fit into all this? Is there a way for your brand to use MACH to advance business goals?

Learn why the MACH-lash has begun, how composable commerce uses MACH technology to advance business goals, and why The Unplatform™ approach will supplant the MACH project.

MACH is a collection of technologies, not a business strategy

For years, there’s been a false – or at least incomplete – understanding of what MACH means and how it can be used to achieve commerce success.

MACH is a collection of technologies. It’s not a business strategy.

Read that again: MACH is a collection of technologies. It’s not a business strategy.

Over the years, some brands have been led to believe otherwise. These businesses were told that by putting MACH technology first, they would achieve digital nirvana. They were in for a rude awakening.

Just imagine: Your business is ready for something new, so you buy a bevy of MACH technology, believing it will fuel growth. This technology covers practically the entirety of your digital commerce solution. You’re excited to get business results, and then you realize…

  • You don’t know how to implement this technology.
  • You’re not sure how to customize the technology to meet your business requirements.
  • Some of the technology you’ve paid for isn’t addressing immediate commerce needs.

Now, your costs are higher than anticipated and still rising, your timelines are getting longer and longer, and you’re going weeks, months, and maybe even years without showing a strong return on investment. It’s as if you traded one monolithic solution for another.

Maybe it’s an uncertain economy, but right now businesses just aren’t willing to accept a “buy the technology and figure it out” approach to digital commerce. Nor do many businesses have the appetite for a full-on replatform, which is what happens when you rip-and-replace the entirety of your existing solution at once.

Two-thirds of digital projects fail, and that’s exactly what the MACH-lash is about. Businesses don’t want a cumbersome, costly, long tech-driven project. They don’t want to spend gobs of money on technology that doesn’t have a specific business purpose. They want a business strategy, using good tech, that delivers real business value and makes it possible to offer unique commerce experiences.

Try Elastic Path today

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Composable commerce uses MACH to advance business goals

The MACH-lash doesn’t mean that MACH architecture can’t help advance business goals. Composable commerce uses MACH architecture to advance specific business goals and address individual commerce pain points.

The reality is that for all the hesitation about MACH projects, MACH technology helps power composable commerce, which empowers business and tech teams with best-of-breed technologies that meet unique business needs fast:

  • Microservices enable individual commerce components that are independently-deployed and managed, so you can choose preferred vendors.
  • API-first approaches mean different parts of your commerce solution can communicate.
  • Cloud-native means your software is built and managed off-site, enabling fast changes and limited service interruptions.
  • Headless means your frontend is decoupled from your backend, so you can give your customers new experiences without rearranging all of your business logic.

Sounds great, right? Composable commerce is about using the power of MACH technology to achieve business goals. You don’t have to overhaul your entire solution, or build your business ambitions around the technology you blindly invested in.

Instead, composable commerce is about looking at your customers’ experiences with your present digital commerce and asking questions. What’s working and what isn’t? What changes or improvements would have the biggest bottom-line impact? What would add the most value, and make the most money? What pain points are holding us back from expanding to new products or markets?

With composable commerce, MACH isn’t a project. It’s a technology, tied to real business value, that helps power a broader commerce solution.

Composable commerce doesn’t require a replatform. Unplatform™ with Elastic Path instead.

Adopting a composable commerce solution – and getting value from MACH technology – doesn’t require a long, costly replatform. The MACH project might be dead, but the Unplatform™ uses MACH technology to solve solve business challenges one at a time.

Unplatforming is about modular, initiative-specific projects that achieve business objectives iteratively. In other words, you unlock commerce innovation piece-by-piece. This way, you can test and track what’s working, spend money on commerce experiences that truly move the needle, and avoid the hassles and delays of a full-on replatform.

Don’t buy fancy-sounding technology and see how it works. Identify real business issues and address them individually, without blowing budgets or timelines courtesy of the Elastic Path Composable Commerce family of products:

Then, use Composer, the only iPaaS purpose-built for commerce, as a connective tissue to keep your multi-vendor, multi-product working together in sync.

Avoid the MACH-lash. Embrace composable commerce incrementally with the Unplatform™. You’ll be getting the most of MACH – not wincing every time you hear the acronym.

Talk to an Elastic Path expert today to learn how the Unplatform™ can help you accomplish commerce initiatives and grow your business.

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