The emergence of new mobility technologies and services, such as electric and autonomous vehicles, ride‑hailing platforms, and connected infrastructure, has led to a growing demand for more flexible and adaptable mobility solutions. Users feel the need for a more aggregated and integrated travel experience, because of the otherwise‑fragmented mobility environment.
To meet this demand, the adoption of composable IT architectures has gained traction as a way to create more modular and scalable mobility systems.
Composable architectures are based on the principle of breaking down complex systems into smaller, reusable components that can be combined and reconfigured to meet different needs and use cases.
But what are the benefits and challenges of adopting composable architectures in mobility? How can composable architectures help to reduce development costs, improve time‑to‑market, and enable more rapid innovation?
Modular solutions are the key to enabling the integration of multiple mobility services, allowing for the perfect cooperation of more flexible and adaptable transportation systems that can meet the diverse needs of users and communities.
What is a Composable Architecture
A Composable Architecture is a software architecture that evolves continuously and rapidly. Based on preference, at any time new modules can be added, existing ones can be updated, and features that have become obsolete can be removed, all without affecting or damaging the rest of the systems.
Gartner defines Packaged Business Capability (PBC) as the building blocks of Composable Architecture. A PBC is a set of components that share the same goal and perform a given task or business functionality. PBCs can be developed in‑house by the organization or outsourced by purchasing them from third parties or using open‑source components.
Most of the time, this type of solution implies the adoption of a microservices architecture in which services communicate through APIs.
A Composable Approach to Mobility
The mobility sector is one of the fastest evolving industries today, with new technologies and innovative business models emerging constantly. As a result, companies in this sector need to be able to adapt quickly to changing market conditions, customer demands, and regulatory requirements in order to remain competitive.
While monolithic solutions have been popular in the past in the mobility sector, the limitations of this approach make it difficult for companies to evolve their platforms as easily as those that choose a composable approach.
A composable architecture is designed to be modular and flexible, allowing for individual components to be developed and deployed independently. This approach guarantees far greater business agility and enables companies to easily add new features and scale their platform as needed. By breaking down the application into smaller, more manageable pieces, composable architectures also make it easier to test and debug code, and to identify and resolve issues more efficiently.
In the mobility sector, composable architectures have also emerged as a promising way to build a platform that integrates different services – both mobility specific and agnostic – and covers the entire travel journey. For example, Trenord – one of the first railway services in Italy – decided to build a Unique Digital Platform aggregating information about different services and phases of the mobility user experience, powering up their Trenord mobile app, which integrates all the features used day by day by all the users.
One of the key advantages of composable architectures is, in fact, the ability to support the integration of both first‑party and third‑party services. First‑party services are those that are developed and operated by the mobility platform provider, while third‑party services are those that are developed and operated by other companies. By using a composable architecture, a mobility platform can easily integrate both types of services, allowing users to access a wide range of options and services that best fit their needs.
For example, a mobility platform could integrate with a ride‑sharing service, a public transportation service, a car rental service, and a hotel booking service. This would allow users to plan their entire travel journey from start to finish, including transportation, lodging, and activities. By integrating with third-party services, the mobility platform can offer a more comprehensive and personalized experience for users. This can help generate a competitive advantage.
Users could ideally be provided with a single platform (very much resembling a Mobility as a Service platform) from which they can plan their trip, book their transportation and lodging, and even receive recommendations for activities and sights to see during their trip, even in real-time. This helps provide a truly user-centric Mobility Experience. After the trip, the platform can also offer post‑travel services such as feedback and reviews, which can help improve the overall user experience.
Through Mia‑Platform’s suite of products for the development of digital platforms, you can easily secure the success of your composable strategy.
- Mia‑Platform Console – To reshape your architecture with a microservices approach and industrialize cloud‑native development and operations. Mia‑Platform Console is an Internal Developer Platform (IDP) designed to industrialize cloud‑native development and operations, helping you rethink your architecture with a microservices approach.
- Mia‑Platform Marketplace – To drastically reduce time‑to‑market. Mia‑Platform Marketplace is a software catalogue that collects and provides reusable modular components ready to be deployed. To name some: Authentication Service, Geofence Service, Payment Integration Hub (an end‑to‑end solution for managing the entire digital payments lifecycle that supports all the main payment providers) and many others.
- Mia‑Platform Fast Data – To get the most out of your data. Mia‑Platform Fast Data is a set of ready‑to‑use microservices that decouples data from enterprise systems, re‑aggregates it and makes it available to channels in real‑time, 24/7, thus ensuring consistency of information across systems and applications. With Mia‑Platform Fast Data, you’ll be able to shape Single Views that may display anything you want, based on your Business Logic. For example, a provider might want to aggregate data relating to Kilometers travelled or consumption (linked to Public Transit, Idling, sublet etc.), Unit Costs (for maintenance, fuel and drivers), Revenues, FTE, and so on.
Forrester argues that “In fragmented ecosystems, aggregators will rise”. The mobility sector will inevitably see an increase in companies trying to aggregate service offerings of any genre and achieve Integrated Mobility. That’s why providers need to understand the value of broadening their value proposition if they want to be established as market leaders.
If actors in the transportation sector truly intend to put user’s needs and wants at the centre of their strategy, the best solution is to answer their demand for a much more integrated, personalised and harmonized mobility experience, especially now that the continuous birth of new mobility solutions makes the market increasingly fractured.
On balance, the best way to support this strategy is through the adoption of a composable approach and the subsequent evolution into a Composable Enterprise. In this way, it is possible to deliver a diversified, personalised, and smooth mobility experience, while also ensuring the scalability and business agility that a leader in the mobility industry needs in terms of IT infrastructure. Download the White Paper to discover why composability is the future!