One of the biggest challenges with adopting MACH (Microservices, API-First, Cloud-Native SaaS, Headless) is understanding what you’re in for. After all, going composable and embracing MACH patterns and architectures is not for the faint of heart.
So if you’re seriously considering MACH, is your company prepared for what’s ahead? What resources will you require? And what does success look like?
To help answer some of these foundational questions, the MACH Alliance – a not-for-profit group that advocates for open and best-of-breed enterprise technology ecosystems – has developed a new MACH Maturity Assessment Tool. This five-minute "quiz" focuses on high-level business considerations instead of just the technical landscape, giving you a quick snapshot of your organization’s MACH readiness.
The online self-assessment provides a step-by-step Q&A that scores your overall readiness to make the MACH shift. The questions focus on six key pillars: Strategy and Transformation, Organization and Governance, Process and Metrics, People and Culture, Technology and Architecture, and Business Intelligence.
I previously chatted with Casper Rasmussen, President of the MACH Alliance, to ask why this assessment tool is so important.
“What we set as an objective for 2023 is to help buyers make the right decisions,” he said. “We want to clarify the role of MACH and whom it’s for – and this tool plays a vital role in doing that. It allows an organization to gauge its readiness to adopt MACH, but it’s not a technology evaluation. This is a 360-degree view of the actual organizational aspects.”
It’s worth noting that MACH Alliance member Deloitte Digital led the development of this tool, along with a group of Alliance member volunteers and SI reps. The consortium included professionals from commercetools, Capgemini, Apply Digital, Orium, Vuestorefront, Big Commerce, Scaleflex, Vercel, talon.one, Cloudinary, Intive, Bold Commerce, Epam, and Valtech.
The Maturity Assessment questions align with what Casper described as six dimensions of a MACH-ready business – the same dimensions the Alliance has been consistently focused on.
But, as he points out, there’s always a journey element to MACH. Part of that transition is evaluating readiness, but it’s also identifying the gaps to help improve it.
“We’re not expecting companies to be perfect,” he clarified. “Not only do we score based on the answers that brands provide us, but we help them figure out, rectify, and actually improve across the dimensions that might be troublesome or problematic for them. This helps them navigate the journey they are about to embark on.”
The MACH Alliance also released a white paper covering the six pillars, which pair up to each self-assessment stage. Here’s a brief summary of each dimension:
Like any objective knowledge-seeker, I took the MACH Maturity Assessment myself.
As billed, I spent just a few minutes from start to finish and found the experience clear, frictionless, and kind of fun. Each question was multiple choice (A/B/C), peppered with intuitive options that use words like “firepower” and “big bang.” This makes the flow easy and highly accessible to business users.
A few questions did meander into techspeak (CI/CD processes, APIs, etc.). As a cloud guy, I easily understood the concepts, but you can pause the assessment and even back up if there are any specific details you need to hunt down. Once completed, you can enter your email address and have the assessment sent to you (not a requirement, BTW).
The final report generates a slick performance chart that maps your maturity as Weak, Immature, Moderate, or Mature. I included mine below:
I pulled a “Moderate” based on some of my answers, and was given a set of suggestions for improving my performance in the areas that required the most attention. For example, I was stronger in People and Culture but weaker in Business Intelligence – so the tool suggested I invest in improving my ability to track metrics across applications and experiences.
Again, this is a high-level snapshot, so not enough detail to prescribe specific solutions. But certainly enough to plan next steps.
Reviewing my results reminded me of how Casper framed success in our discussion. “The more we can emphasize the potential areas that will end up being problematic and really improve, the better,” he said. “Because it means brands are walking into it eyes wide open.”
If you’re considering a transition to MACH – and want an eye-opening experience – I would wholeheartedly recommend the MACH Maturity Assessment. It takes just a few minutes, but it’s a great place to start your journey.
You can access the tool online at https://machalliance.org/mach-maturity-assessment