In today’s digital age, IT is ubiquitous and businesses are becoming increasingly digital. With this shift, companies are facing a big decision: should they buy or build their IT solutions? This is a complex decision that requires a strategic approach, as the trade-off between buying and building is not black and white.

One way to approach this decision is by rethinking the way we look at the business. Instead of viewing IT as a monolithic entity, we should decompose the business using architectural thinking. This means breaking down the business into smaller, manageable components and evaluating each component individually. 

For example, Amazon product teams use a user manual and product pages to understand the specific needs of each product. This approach allows them to make decisions based on the strategical impact of the component, rather than viewing the business as a monolith. This approach is described in “The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback” by Dan Olsen.

When evaluating a component, there are several types of solutions to consider. Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions are pre-built and ready-to-use, making them a good option for companies that need a quick solution. Low-code and no-code solutions, on the other hand, are designed to be easily customizable and are well-suited for businesses that have specific requirements that cannot be met by COTS solutions. Procode, or professional coding is a solution for companies that have highly specific or unique requirements that cannot be met by low-code or no-code solutions. Often in highly regulated, competitive markets where long term agility, adaptability and system stability are important.

It’s important to note that all different types of solutions can and should cooperate to drive the business in a composable digital organization.

In conclusion, the decision of whether to buy or build IT solutions is not a simple one. Companies should approach this decision by rethinking the way they look at the business, decomposing the business using architectural thinking, and selecting the solution that best meets the needs of each component. By doing so, they can create a composable digital organization that drives their business forward.