Business Blog Moving to MACH: Top 10 transformation tips

commercetools author image Stephanie Wittmann
Stephanie Wittmann
October 2021

We get it: change is hard. But changing your commerce platform from monolith to MACH doesn’t have to be.

In fact, businesses find it’s far easier to do than expected, and the benefits are instant and substantial. So we turned to some of our illustrious speakers from Modern Commerce Day who gave us their best tips, based on their real-life experiences, when moving their businesses’ commerce to MACH architecture.

business blog Moving to MACH: Top 10 transformation tips

1. Define your “why”

To figure out your transformation path, you must first establish why it is necessary to transform in the first place. This involves taking stock of the business issues and concerns of your organization, and asking questions like, “Can my current system support new features easily? Can it scale easily? Is it PCI-compliant?” Your motivating factors need to be based on your “why.”

Once your “why” is defined, the key is to use it to educate everyone in your organization.
Mihaela Mazzenga

CTO, SharperImage.com

2. Have a single vision, but welcome multiple perspectives

Staff your project with people who share the same mindset and vision, and guide autonomous teams to the target lane. Give everyone a voice and the possibility to improve your organization and your product.

You will be surprised how many good ideas and improvements we have recognized with [this] approach.
Andreas Lederwascher

Business Solution Architect, Audi

3. Involve the whole organization

The key difference between MACH-driven platforms and off-the-shelf platforms is that headless is not a tech platform – it can’t be tech-led.

With black-box platforms, all the decisions are made for you. You just need to fit into their workflow, their journey. Whereas tools like commercetools allow you to really build a business that fits your model. What that means is IT needs to be far more aware…it needs to be owned by the business as a whole.
Taher Khaliq

CTO, Trinny London

4. Choose partners wisely

Focus on finding the ones that can deliver to your needs and are willing and able to meet your deadlines. Consequently, sometimes it’s not necessarily about picking the best-in-class vendor, but more about finding the “best-in-need” vendor.

We were saying, ‘Who can accomplish this function the best within our tech stack?’ We had a lot of players in there, but each one we felt was perfect to fit the needs of each one of the functions for a commerce stack to operate.
Ian Rosen

EVP Digital & Strategy Harry Rosen Inc, Harry Rosen

5. Test. Try. Thrive.

Make a huge list of every single integration along with every single feature, map out testing you can do for each one and then have the team and people who are not necessarily close to the project start testing.

Once you get more people and other eyes on it, they start seeing things and trying things that you haven’t really thought about. They ask you, ‘Why is this doing that?’ Then you can go back and iterate.
Michael Ewald Hanson

eCommerce Director, Lakrids by Bülow

6. Rein in your releases

To minimize external change management issues, take things slow – once your team sees how easy it is to release, the tendency is to want to speed things up. Instead, try releasing internally to gather user feedback and train your sales team.

We try features and capabilities for about a week or 10 days before the customers see it. It gives sales the opportunity to see the feature, internalize it and create their own narrative about how to talk about it to their customers.
Gireesh Sahukar

VP Digital, Dawn Foods

7. Start small before going big

Implement a proof-of-concept on a feature first or a single brand. This approach is the perfect way to build stakeholder confidence.

Identify the unknowns, solve them…it’s really low risk. It doesn’t even have to go live to get some lessons learned.
Mark Elliott

Chief Architect, Boohoo.com

8. Realign your teams

The horizontal teams in place at many enterprises that focus on specific technology areas (like database, infrastructure, backend, frontend, etc.) are not effective in a MACH environment. Smaller vertical teams that focus on business domains (like pricing, checkout, etc.) are able to capitalize on the benefits MACH delivers.

By forming full-stack teams based on specific areas of lego.com (cart, checkout, loyalty, etc.) you can give them the autonomy they need to innovate on their own, to go live to get some lessons learned.
Simon Young

Senior Engineering Director – Unified Commerce, The LEGO Group

9. Keep track of your microservices

It’s easy to make a lot of new microservices and not think about how you should take care of them after. Whether you have under 50 or 250+, having someone on the tech side and business side that understands them.

It can be quite costly if you lose control [of your microservices], and it can drive up development costs.
Filip Elverhøy

Co-founder, The Green Deal

10. Stay focused, get rewarded

Don’t let organizational politics distract you from your vision. Your vision and the needs of your customer have to guide your decisions. Always remember, you can make group decisions, but customers? They are always the main expert.

External pressures lead to bad decisions.
Andreas Lederwascher

Business Solution Architect, Audi

If you’re interested in discovering even more insights from our over 40 MACH leaders, experts and mover and makers from this year’s Modern Commerce Day, read the full Modern Commerce Day Report or our Modern Commerce Day recap.

commercetools author image Stephanie Wittmann
Stephanie Wittmann
October 2021

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