Travo Summit 2024: MACH Alliance on the need for MACH architecture

Travo Summit 2024: MACH Alliance on the need for MACH architecture

'There’s huge benefits to doing this in terms of change agility,' said John Williams, CTO of Amplience

What is MACH architecture and why is there a need for it was the theme of a keynote delivered at the European Summit last month.

John Williams, CTO of Amplience and founding member of the MACH Alliance, and James Brooks, CEO of Sweft and founding member of the MACH Alliance, presented a joint session to explain MACH is an acronym that is microservices-based, API-first, cloud-native, and headless technology.

It allows for mass roll out; the duo expressed which allows you to be able to scale releases from below ten per annum to thousands if you needed due to deployment being streamlined and less complicated with MACH. 

“Teams are able to deploy every day, twice a day, whatever the cadence needed” to continue optimising with every change, said Williams.

“There’s huge benefits to doing this in terms of change agility," he said. 

The need for MACH architecture and taking this approach is so it is composable, which means a travel company can assemble independent and reusable components to create its digital experiences, as every component is pluggable, scalable, replaceable, and can be continuously improved.

“Instead of gluing lots of things together and having to take the whole thing of everything. 

“You can have all the pieces you need, you can have your best of breed suppliers and vendors and you can assemble the system you need exactly for your business, instead of having to take everything and being shoved into a single monolithic platform.

“So, what you can end up with is a much more composable platform that you can add vendors into and later if you want to swap them out with a new vendor you can as well.” 

Gartner names this Package Business Capabilities which allows your business more freedom when it comes to its architecture.

Brookes added: “Fundamentally it’s all about being a bit more plug and play and modular right. 

“Ideally you don’t want to have to pick a bit of software right now that’s going to serve you for the next twenty years because the realistically is everything changes but you can plug and play with a little bit more confidence if everything is MACH and composable.”

The pair advised that the way to approach making your business MACH-first is with great speed but to do that you have to start small. 

They urged to start with the biggest pain point, select a vendor and select a set of APIs and fix that one thing first. 

“Build out from there, iterate, learn, and keep iterating and pulling pieces out one bit at a time,” said Williams.

“The reason why you can do that is the API approach and the microservices, you can take those little pieces, implement and grow from it and then that allows you to move much more quickly instead of slowing down with a big digital transformation.”

“The better approach is find business applications that you can really focus on and get value from very quickly,” echoed Brookes. 

“This gives you the opportunity to organise your business together in product teams.

“That means you have teams focused on business areas, iterating, making those business areas better rather than making a technology layer better and if you do that ultimately you’ll get better results.”

“The one thing as a technology that you should always stay focused on the business, it’s really easy when getting into this world of MACH, playing around with new technology, it’s easy to get absorbed in that and get right into the tech, when actually you need to focus on the business problem is.

“What is it you’re trying to solve? Not how are you trying to solve it but why are you trying to solve it?”

Williams and Brookes concluded by adding that if you lose sight of why you’re making a change, it could lead you to be unsuccessful in your efforts for switching to MACH architecture in the first place.