Businesses must provide compelling end-to-end digital experiences to their customers to remain competitive. Their software solutions must be more modular to do this quickly. This is where the MACH architecture approach comes into play (Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, Headless). It promotes flexibility, scalability, and speed of your software development. 

According to the latest survey by the MACH Alliance, 87% of companies that increased their MACH adoption have become more responsive and were able to get ahead of the competition quickly.

However, adopting the MACH approach is a challenging thing to accomplish. How can you verify that your organization is ready for such a task? And how do you ensure the transition process goes as smoothly as possible? Read on to find out. 

What is MACH architecture?

MACH architecture is a modern approach to building software solutions that allows businesses to build applications that are easy to scale, maintain, and adjust to changing needs. Solutions built based on MACH comprise separate and independent services that use APIs to communicate with one another. They are designed to be deployed as self-contained (containerized) units and run in the cloud.   

The driving force behind the transition to MACH

Over 80% of technology decision-makers agree that the future of architecture of technology solutions is with MACH (according to the MACH Alliance survey). Improving customer experience is the main reason for this, but other factors promote the adoption of MACH as well.  These include responsiveness to market changes, security, innovation, etc. 

Top reasons to move MACH architecture

How to prepare for MACH implementation

First and foremost, it is essential to understand that MACH is not for everyone. While large enterprises that aim to move away from legacy tools can benefit significantly from MACH, completing such a move may be too much for smaller businesses. It becomes particularly beneficial for those already experiencing hindrances due to their existing infrastructure or spending excessive time and resources on maintaining and upgrading their current systems. If competitors are swiftly deploying new customer experiences while your systems constantly hinder your employees or postpone your technology initiatives, it may be a sign that it’s time to embrace MACH entirely. However, this transition demands technological and organizational changes, requiring companies to prepare adequately for the modular approach to operations.

Embracing the modern mindset

To take full advantage of modern technologies, your organization has to switch to a modern mindset focused on enhancing your organization’s digital maturity. It is essential that you can promptly react to or seize market opportunities by leveraging current technology stacks, available staffing resources, and digital tools.

This shift may entail adjusting incentive structures or empowering individuals to make decisions at different levels than they currently do. Ultimately, it may require giving them the responsibility to adopt new working methods. 

Additionally, this involves restructuring your teams to align with the microservices model. You should create separate teams for each service to empower and give ownership to distinct groups on individual landscape components, such as API development, cloud infrastructure, or containerization.

Treating each tech initiative as a full-fledged product

The mindset about your tech initiatives should change when you move to MACH. You can no longer consider them one-time projects but treat each initiative as a full-scale product. It should have a dedicated team responsible for its entire lifecycle, from planning and implementing to maintaining, improving, and measuring the value it brings. Unlike projects with fixed end dates and a focus on meeting specific requirements, products have evolving roadmaps and prioritize delivering functionality and measurable value over time. 

Making technology a top priority

Engaging with cutting-edge technologies helps you get ahead of the competition quickly but also involves navigating uncharted terrain. If you want to find and hire the right tech experts and be able to evaluate the risk versus reward of your initiatives accurately, technology should be of top priority within your organization. 

MACH architecture diagram

Top best practices for a successful move to MACH

Implementing MACH properly to take full advantage of its benefits takes work. Besides careful planning and preparation, there are several best practices that you have to follow if you want to succeed. 

Seek assistance from an experienced consultant 

A move to MACH requires experienced talent who can offer a diverse range of expertise. More importantly, you will need different experts while auditing the existing systems, initiating the shift, or during long-term support and improvement of the platform. 

Therefore, it is essential to partner with a reliable technology consultant early on who is well-versed in the domains crucial for MACH (cloud and software development, DevOps, etc.). They can provide the experts you need to quickly fill in the roles required for each stage of the move or augment existing teams with specific skills. Furthermore, experienced consultants usually have the processes and methodologies in place to make the shift as smooth as possible for your business. They can also use their experience to train and educate your employees and make their adoption of MACH principles easier. 

Start with a PoC as soon as possible

Adopting a new software solution, whether developing it from the ground up or building it on top of an existing system, can take a long time. Many things can change during this time, from business needs to market and technology trends. Moreover, finally flipping the switch and moving to an entirely new system can be daunting for the business and its employees. 

Therefore, experts advise gradually moving to MACH architecture, starting with a Proof of Concept ASAP. Experienced consultants can assess your needs and develop a PoC of your solutions within several weeks. Also, they can help you experiment with new technologies quickly and cheaply by taking advantage of the cloud's pay-as-you-go model and low entry barriers. This will reduce the stress on your organization and help you test and improve the solution as you develop it to match your needs better.  

Map out interactions between services

When operating multiple platforms simultaneously, you must pay special attention to the interaction between services. Hence, you must carefully document which service is responsible for which data and establish processes for caching, image delivery, plugins, libraries, static and dynamic delivery, etc. Doing this from the get-go will help you avoid significant issues in the future and make the transition smoother. 

Decouple the front end from the back end

A good way to start the transition to MACH is to decouple the front end (for example, by maintaining the existing front-end setup and enabling APIs for the back end). It may introduce several challenges, such as managing security, resource management and scheduling, data consistency, or individual component testing. However, when addressed proactively, the benefits far outweigh the challenges. 

This approach will help you build a solid foundation for your transition that significantly boosts business flexibility. It enables you to make quick changes in the front end while introducing more substantial back-end modifications at its own pace. More importantly, it allows you to adapt to changing business needs by quickly adding or removing third-party services and making modifications without the risk of them impacting the entire system. Finally, it makes your software more resilient and future-proof by eliminating the risk of tech vendor lock-in. 

Wrapping up

As businesses seek to stay competitive and responsive to evolving market demands, the MACH architecture emerges as an innovative approach to software development. Emphasizing flexibility, scalability, and speed, MACH enables organizations to build solutions that adapt seamlessly to changing needs and deliver superior customer experiences. 

While indeed not easy, you can transition to MACH successfully with meticulous planning, adherence to the standard best practices, and partnering with an experienced technology consultant. By embracing MACH, you will foster innovation, resilience, and agility, which, in turn, will drive sustained growth and increase in revenue for your business. 

Benefit with MACH architecture

How can N-iX help you embrace MACH? 

  • With 21 years of experience, N-iX offers deep expertise in all domains that are crucial for MACH, such as DevOps or the cloud;
  • When it comes to the cloud in particular, N-iX has an AWS Advanced Tier Services Partner, Microsoft Solutions Partner, and Google Cloud Partner designations, solidifying our profound knowledge of cloud technologies; 
  • There are over 2,200 experts at N-iX, which allows us to quickly find and fill in all the required roles to ensure that each stage of your transition to MACH goes smoothly.

Have a question?

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N-iX Staff
Andriy Varusha
Head of Cloud & Security

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