For enterprise-level businesses, especially eCommerce brands, architecture choice is quite important. It needs to integrate with other technologies such as CRMs, currency converters, EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), order management systems, and more.
Enterprise architecture is evolving faster than ever.
A modern architecture like the MACH architecture is the key to adapt to this speed. Integrating technologies built on MACH (microservices, API-first, cloud-native, headless) principles must do the trick.
In addition to these technologies being modular and scalable, they support a continuously evolving enterprise architecture. Also, they have a pluggable look and feel, meaning that they allow you to change the look and feel of the graphical user interface at runtime.
What is MACH architecture?
MACH architecture is a set of principles that focuses on a best-of-breed approach (rather than all-in-one like in traditional architectures) to building tech stacks (or technology infrastructure).
It incorporates microservices (M) with an API-first approach (A) for connecting services and applications, cloud-native SaaS (C), and headless technology (H).
The 4 pillars of MACH
In Kong Yang’s words, “microservices are a method of developing software applications which are made up of independently deployable, modular services.”
So the solutions aligned with MACH architecture are built as independent components that communicate via a well-defined interface using lightweight APIs. Each microservice made for business capabilities is independent and performs a single function.
The microservices-based solution provides these benefits:
- Optimizing infrastructure costs of the commerce service.
- Allows customers to create a best-of-breed solution picking the best-in-class functionality.
- Fault isolation- If one of the microservices is down, the others still operate.
- No technical dependency to package new features, patches, updates, releases, and upgrades into more significant releases for rollout.
API-first approach is extremely important for both developers and business owners. For c-suite executives, it means investing in a platform that supports the development of APIs on priority, whereas, for developers, it means the ability to manipulate the set of APIs and develop top-notch applications.
This approach to software design creates an ecosystem of reusable and extensible applications.
The right API design will allow your developers to enjoy these benefits:
- Improved flexibility on the choice of front-end technology or framework
- Simplified development with no channel siloes and duplication of development work
- Accelerated Speed-to-market to learn the APIs, implement new touchpoints, and extend the ecommerce API capabilities.
3. Cloud-Native SaaS
The third principle of MACH stands for Cloud-Native SaaS. This is the pillar that allows cloud providers to respond to the demands of their customers quickly and safely. With this, the months-long development process should be a thing of the past.
This MACH principle allows the commerce service to be delivered in the SaaS model, which provides benefits like:
- On-demand service, without deploying and re-deploying solutions.
- Easy scalability to support peak demand and long-term business growth.
- Reliability to maximize up-time and reduce potential revenue losses.
“Heads” means front-ends. The headless approach means that the front-end user experience is completely decoupled from the back-end logic, meaning that the application is running without a graphical user interface. This allows for complete design freedom in creating the user interface.
This fourth and final pillar of MACH is responsible for all backend processes, calculation, and data storage. It exposes all of the backend logic through a flexible commerce API (Application Programming Interface).
Benefits of the headless approach:
- Omnichannel journeys- Continuous customer journeys across touchpoints with unified business logic.
- Flexibility to choose any front-end technology to build channel applications.
- New business models to drive revenue growth
- Decreased interdependence of components
- Simplified customizations
Modern commerce platforms are developed very differently than their counterparts of over decades ago. They always adhere to the 4 guiding MACH principles discussed above.
Adopt the MACH architecture to future-proof your business
With time, technology needs to change for all businesses. Surprisingly, MACH architecture is rarely something that a company would look for. It is something that they end up with as their technology needs evolve.
For instance, your business might be due for an upgrade in relation to the technology stack. Before the upgrade, you might want to expand the capability of your tech stack or explore better options. One thing will lead to another and you will probably end up with MACH, wondering why in the world you didn’t adopt it earlier.
With customers becoming digitally advanced at lightning speed today, companies too, are realizing the importance of heading in that direction. If you need continuous evolution to keep up with your customer expectations, outdated traditional technologies won’t be of any help.
Enterprise software suites are no longer a viable choice. Adopting the MACH architecture is a far better way to remain agile, customer-centric, and future-proofing your business.
A recent research conducted by DJS and commissioned by the MACH Alliance, 81% of IT leaders strongly intend to increase MACH elements in their front-office architecture within the next year.
Out with the old, in with MACH!
Some popular use cases of MACH
1. Deliver top-notch customer shopping experience
Ever since the retail sector has moved from offline to online, customer experience (CX) has become a differentiating factor for brands’ success.
Commerce leaders like Amazon have already set a high bar in terms of online customer shopping experience and expectations. Most consumers now expect the same from all other e-tailers.
MACH architecture helps brands stitch together a modern, unique, and predictive online commerce experience that consumers demand in terms of delivery, returns, and overall shopping journey.
The MACH Alliance research mentioned above also suggests that 63% of IT leaders said that improving CX (customer experience) and meeting the evolving customer needs is the main driver of their transition to a modern MACH infrastructure.
2. Launch new apps 2-3X faster
You need to bring new digital business models and products constantly in the market to end up in the winning pack.
The headless approach of the MACH architecture allows you to launch new digital offerings or models in the market faster by using repeatable architecture patterns and content models.
Its microservices principle assumes that every service is developed and deployed individually, often built with re-usable API components, which means that it is pluggable to a range of other offerings.
In comparison to a basic monolithic architecture, MACH is a modular and speed-oriented architecture that allows bringing unique retail experiences to the market.
3. Improve infrastructure scalability
The volume of ecommerce sales is constantly rising and is projected to rise even further by the mid of 2021. Do you know that a minute of infrastructure downtime can cost your enterprise retail business over seven figures on average?
High uptime has become a critical success factor for ecommerce retailers.
We no longer live in a time where you need to rely on extra on-premises hardware or public clouds to accommodate the spikes in demand.
The “Cloud” principle in MACH promotes greater reliance on a combination of diverse deployment scenarios for ecommerce platforms, including on-premises, in public, private, and hybrid cloud environments. By leveraging it, you can achieve rapid infrastructure scalability for customer-facing applications with more secure and affordable storage.
By leveraging the modular and speed-oriented MACH architecture, you can make your enterprise business more agile and proactive in its digital approach as opposed to the slow-paced monolithic architecture.
Jellyfish Technologies has years of experience in technologically equipping businesses with sophisticated MACH architecture.