The MACH Alliance is breaking out the balloons and stringing the streamers.
Reaching 100 is quite an accomplishment by almost any measure – and today, the organization celebrates its own centennial benchmark as it surpasses 100 members.
The group of independent tech companies advocating for open, best-of-breed technology ecosystems just announced the news as it welcomed eight newcomers to its community, spanning its various membership categories:
Boutique System Integrators
Independent Software Vendors
Startup Independent Software Vendor
The continued growth of the Alliance’s membership reflects an industry trend toward adopting modern, composable technologies. It also coincides with a surge in interest from established vendors who are actively building their MACH credentials through strategic acquisitions and innovative re-architecting of solutions. Newcomers Inriver, Mirakl, and Salsify are examples of such vendors that have fully aligned their entire product offering around MACH principles.
"The MACH Alliance's growth to over 100 members is a testament to the industry's recognition of the transformative power of composable technologies,” said Casper Rasmussen, President at the MACH Alliance. “The increase in membership applications from SIs alone shows how the industry is maturing and changing. As we reflect on our achievements in 2023, we’re proud of the momentum and collaboration across our community. We are particularly encouraged by seeing established vendors shifting gears to embrace MACH principles,"
Since its launch in 2020, the MACH Alliance has focused on defining and establishing the rapidly maturing MACH (Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS, Headless) industry standard. In that time, 225 companies have applied for certification, with around 45% meeting the membership requirements. Many have re-applied several times, re-architecting their portfolios to achieve MACH status.
The MACH Alliance creates clear guidance for enterprises, differentiating MACH technologies that foster future-proofing and vendor independence from those that don’t. That guidance is especially important for buyers given the rapidly shifting dynamics of the technology landscape.
This past year, the MACH Alliance observed a significant paradigm shift, with established vendors recognizing the transformative potential of MACH principles. MACH is a coveted seal for companies building future-proof tech stacks, and adoption continues to grow.
With MACH now perceived by many as “the standard” – along with evolving industry and vendor behavior towards that goal – the MACH Alliance announced in December it is assessing how it can provide market guidance as more established vendors seek validation for their MACH strategies.
As a body, research has long been a central function of the MACH Alliance. This includes both broad-market and member-focused analysis across all of the Alliance's categories.
The 2023 MACH Alliance Global Research initiative – which polled 500 tech leaders – confirmed that 85% of organizations have increased the percentage of their MACH infrastructure in the past 12 months. Those companies cited several motivations, including the ability to respond to changes in the market faster, to build and implement new functionality more quickly, and the propensity to reduce costs.
The respondents were also more likely to say that their investment in MACH has enabled their infrastructure to keep up with customer demands – and helped them stay ahead of competitors with lower MACH adoption rates.
The fourth edition of this research will be published in March 2024.
Here are a few of the MACH Alliance's achievements in 2023 and some of the roadmap for the year ahead:
With the continued rise in new members and increased applications from System Integrators (SIs), the Alliance is diversifying the representation of organizations eager to adopt and champion MACH technology. Early 2024 will also focus on how the Alliance can ensure holistic guidance to the market.
Networking events, forums, and an awards program organized by the MACH Alliance have facilitated extensive collaboration across the group’s vast community, allowing for the exchange of ideas and experiences that have accelerated MACH adoption. The Alliance will kick off 2024 at NRF in January, followed by a series of local market events throughout the year. MACH THREE, the Alliance’s signature annual event, will be held in June 2024 in New York City.
The Alliance is fiercely committed to empowering established and emerging businesses with the knowledge, skills, and insights needed to navigate the MACH landscape successfully. To this aim, a dedicated education program will be launched in early 2024. The Alliance is also working on deep-dive projects around critical topics, including MACH interoperability and how companies can make the best use of AI in MACH implementations.
Over the last few years, the MACH Alliance has been a bellwether in the composable storm. As enterprises sought the benefits of building their own stacks, they faced significant challenges and confusion. The Alliance provided a collective compact of trust for best-of-breed solutions, giving organizations greater confidence in the technologies they choose – and breaking free from the stranglehold of monoliths and vendor lock-in.
Evolving from its early posture as an exclusive cabal, the Alliance has garnered respect, trust, and even reverence by investing deeply in education across the market. That open narrative and engagement has reinforced its commitment to provide greater transparency around its membership practices, which many vendors and industry watchers have demanded of the organization.
Still, the composable storm has been stirred by controversy, particularly as key terminology caught fire with single-vendor DXPs and became part of the marketing lexicon. In a recent open letter, the Alliance invited companies that are claiming to be “MACH” to undergo certification to help avoid market confusion for buyers as they evaluate software.
Despite these headwinds and growing pains, the milestone of surpassing 100 members is a clear validation of the MACH Alliance's value to the market. It signals the continued desire for platforms to be associated with the organization's mission and to benefit from its governance and practices. This is amplified by its goals to introduce MACH certifications and other educational initiatives in 2024, which gives members a stronger position to compete with.
As it continues to invest in worthy causes (which include stated commitments around diversity, inclusion, and sustainability), the MACH Alliance represents qualities that go beyond pure technology considerations. These attributes might help future-proof the training, employment, and nurturing of tomorrow's digital workforce – and ultimately scale the Alliance towards another big milestone.
We'll keep the balloons handy.
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