Unlock Enterprise Agility through Componentization
Manufacturing, Automobile and Electronics industries have leveraged the benefits of Componentization to enhance agility, speed and to lower cost. It is time now for IT services in ‘Digital world’ to embrace this paradigm shift to transform their own industry.
What is Componentization?
Componentization refers to breaking services into ‘atomic’ units and the ability to build complex services rapidly by assembling these ‘atomic units’. Componentization enhances reusability, modularizes service delivery, drives standardization, enables faster time to market and reduces cost of delivery. Microservices architecture is a manifestation of this design principle for rapid application development.
IT services is the next realm for Componentization.
The origins of componentization
Componentization is the foundation on which many industries such as — Airlines, Manufacturing, Automobile, Electronics etc., have flourished. It unlocked greater potential in these industries and helped them scale rapidly by standardizing components and interfaces, building an ecosystem of partners for manufacturing these components and a supply-chain for integrating and delivering finished goods. This transformed these industries and fueled rapid growth for the last few decades.
Componentization is a new design paradigm that fundamentally shifts the way services are engineered and delivered at scale.
The need to evolve IT services industry thru componentization
‘IT services’ as an industry is still in the early stages of maturity and growth. While it was meeting the demands of the market, the true potential is yet to be unlocked.
IT services industry today functions in a highly non standardized manner. Service delivery is run as a ‘Monolith’ and is predominantly people centric. This model worked well for the last 2–3 decades. However in the ‘Digital world’, user-experience, speed, agility are key. The current ‘Monolith and people centered model’ is struggling to cope up with rapidly evolving business demand. It necessitates a relook at the way services are being delivered today. Some of the best practices of manufacturing, automobile industries that we discussed earlier come in handy in shaping the way forward.
Componentization with an example.
In componentization, services are broken into atomic units in such a way that every component performs one automated task. Let us look at typical Enterprises that has performs various services (see diagram below) HR has activities such as ‘Background checks’ , ‘Benefits administration’ etc. IT has activities such ‘Create user-id’, ‘Create mail-id’ etc., These are examples of services that can be both automated and made reusable.
In this case here, services such ‘Create wifi-access’, ‘Create VPN access’ etc are examples of components that are automated and reusable. Enterprises can start building a library of such automated components for improving their service delivery. For a medium sized organization with around 2K-5K employees, anywhere around of 200–500 reusable services can be expected.
Lego block approach to assembly
Components created separately through the above process, can be chained together like Lego blocks to provide complex business outcomes. Take the same examples of components namely ‘Create mail id’, ‘Provide VPN access’ etc., These can be chained together in a sequence based on Enterprise’s choice to provide ‘User onboarding as a service’.
Enterprises can reassemble the same services in a different sequence of their choice to enable a RBAC (Role based access control) as a complex service. Componentization, thus services both the purposes — in creation of atomic units and in enabling rapid assembly of newer services.
Moving services into Exchange
Reusability of services is not restricted to an Enterprise or a function. There is a significant amount of reusability that exists across Enterprises, especially in a commoditized world like IT services. Hence it makes sense to provide these services thru a common Access mechanism like a Service Exchange or an App-store. While on one hand this provides an avenue for newer components to created and stored, it also makes provisions for any Organization to consumer services rapidly. The cost of delivery for organizations and the speed of automation is significantly improved.
Service Exchange democratizes delivery by enabling an avenue for componentized services to providers.
And in summary, as highlighted earlier Componentization does drive reusability to a large deal.
It will unleash agility in Enterprises, so newer technologies can be adopted a lot faster and newer business models can be evolved with a lot lesser effort.
However this is a new paradigm shift in Service Delivery and there is a change management involved. We expect the current form of service delivery to continue for a few more years, however the percentage of service portfolio will shift decisively towards a much flexible and an agile ‘Component based’ Service Delivery.
Chime in with your views on how you see Componentization evolve. Where is your organization currently in this journey. Do you agree with the thoughts here?