The value of MACH goes beyond an IT function
There is an old aphorism: Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. Something similar could perhaps be said for many of the aspects of information technology that are the focus of MACH, but in this case, someone really is doing something about it.
Finally: A Focus on Business Value
The MACH Alliance, MACH being an acronym that stands for Microservices-based, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS, and Headless, is a not-for-profit industry group that extols the virtues of those terms in achieving open and best-of-breed enterprise technology ecosystems. In particular, the Alliance aims to help with the transition from legacy infrastructure to composable or ‘headless’ architecture. That, in turn, should mean more cost-effective, reliable, capable, and affordable infrastructure.
Of course, there are no ‘free lunches’, and MACH also serves up a lot of discipline and best practices. All of that is good for business because IT has rarely managed to live up to its potential. Too many companies, too many competing ideas and practices – all of which do help to advance the state of the art – but raise costs through excessive complexity, incompatibilities, and so on.
MACH requires a commitment from members to put APIs at the centre of what they do, and, by implication, customers become more API centric. This isn’t a free ride. API adoption requires discipline.
But an organisation shaped by MACH principles is in a better place to accomplish its goals. For instance, building business intelligence is easier because access to data is generally simplified, and any given BI process can be developed more easily and, crucially, changed as needed based on experience or evolving needs.
Similarly, a MACH-style enterprise can more easily make and maintain connections with different services, wherever they are and whatever they are.
These capabilities amount to something almost as profound as computerisation or digitisation. The broad benefits are the same, but there is now an opportunity for greater and faster “customisation” or for creating systems that would have been too complex to accomplish conventionally.
Many organisations have recognised the potential value of APIs and have worked to incorporate them in operations and even in new products. Retailers have harnessed APIs to create broader shopping platforms. Some companies have applied them to inventory management. And others have harnessed them better to connect consumer banking information to their financial management activities.
But lacking the breadth and coherence provided by MACH, these efforts have been tentative and less cost-effective than promoters had hoped. Mastering the opportunity by adopting the coherent approach provided by MACH can lead to a significant competitive advantage.
So, MACH matters. It can be a tool for competitiveness, and it can be a means of getting more value from a given IT investment. It is, we believe, part of a bright future for information technology and the management of any organisation.
Learn more about our initiative.
- Top five ways marketers can embrace AI today
- Retail AI discovery workshop: How to create more value from your data – 6th December
- Xiatech and OneStock release first-of-its-kind 2023 Business Value of MACH Technologies Survey Results
- Celebrating a decade of success
- Mercaux partners with Xiatech to accelerate the transformation of physical retail stores into omnichannel destinations
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