We’ve entered a new age of digital experience, which requires an entirely new way of thinking about content. Digital has evolved from posting static messages on your website to living at the core of your business. Your audience’s expectations have evolved as well: they expect highly personalized experiences based on where they are in their journey, no matter what digital surface they engage with.
There are new challenges, new requirements, and new opportunities. To grow, you need to adapt quickly to the market, with the power to compose and recompose your business, technology, and the content that sits at the heart of your digital strategy. Welcome to the composable era.
In this post, we’ll explain how we’ve arrived at the composable era, describe the mindset shift needed, and share what you need to do to embrace the change and be successful.
The tidal wave of the internet has ushered us through three distinct time periods, each with their own characteristics. As technology has evolved, so has the way we are able to work with our digital business.
In the 2000s, the internet served as a new place to communicate your message. Content was made up of text and images, written in HTML, and managed by webmasters.
At the end of the day, these websites were static, and maintaining them was a manual job. For most companies the internet was nothing more than an experiment, a marketing surface at best. It was the start of digital experience.
Driven by advances in hardware and software technology, we entered the omnichannel era. The experiences got richer and more interactive, and “digital” moved from being your marketing surface to becoming your store. Consumers began shopping online and interacting with content across different channels and devices throughout their journeys.
But behind the scenes, the content was still living in silos, purpose-built for individual channels, with static content models and workflows. Many companies put digital stores as a layer outside their traditional business.
Most companies still operate their business that way, and it was a great improvement. But the future holds even more promises for digital.
Today, we’re moving into a new age: the composable era, where every business must think in a digitally native way. In the web era, “digital” was your marketing surface. In the omnichannel era, “digital” was your store. And in the composable era, “digital” is your business.
The demands of this new era are different than in the past, and you need new capabilities to meet them:
Consumers’ expectations are higher than ever. People now expect highly personalized and relevant experiences wherever they are in their journey — we are moving from channel-specific to context-specific experiences.
To meet or even exceed these expectations, you’ll need to be able to rapidly compose content into highly personalized experiences, tailored to each individual and their particular situation, from a single source of truth.
So the way you need to think about content is expanding. Content is more than text and images; it’s your product data, and it’s metadata that enables automation in delivering highly personalized context-specific experiences, across all channels.
Content has moved from a static supporting role to a core revenue driver that’s crucial for attracting, engaging, and retaining loyal customers. Every business is operating like a publisher, and investment into content is skyrocketing.
When content becomes your brand, content capacity and content velocity — how much you can publish, and how fast — become your competitive advantage.
The pace of change is accelerating, and you need to be able to respond and adapt just as quickly. In the omnichannel era, we thought of digital channels such as a website as something that had a lifecycle of 5-7 years before a major upgrade. You now have to be able to change and adapt your infrastructure constantly. You have to compose your IT infrastructure, as well as your organization, in smaller units that can be used and reused, and rearranged as your business evolves.
Businesses must not only become API-native, but also reflect this composability in their organizational structure. Having teams that are broken down to more independent units that can be composed and rearranged as you develop your business.
And the content at the heart of your customers’ experiences need to be modular, programmable, and reusable — with data driving intelligent orchestration. It’s no longer possible to be confined to rigid systems, manual work, and static content.
Now, let’s look at how Sanity helps you prepare for and be successful in the composable era.
The Sanity Composable Content Cloud was built from the ground up for the requirements of the composable business.
It’s based on three principles: composability, customizability, and content as data. These principles have always been important to us, but now we’re doubling down on evolving the product based on these key requirements.
Sanity has three components that power content operations:
- The Content Lake, a real-time structured content database that enables you to fully customize your content model.
- Sanity Studio, the real-time customizable application where your teams create, publish, and manage content.
- A set of APIs: APIs that enable you to connect other sources of data and metadata (ERP, e-commerce, databases, etc); APIs that let you connect tools to enrich your content (translation, image annotation, analytics, etc.); and APIs that enable you to distribute your content to any situation and person, in any channel.
Our latest release of Sanity Studio is generally available today. We couldn’t be more excited for our customers, because the third generation of Sanity Studio embodies the principle of customizability.
Backed by an unparalleled developer experience, Studio v3 is the most configurable and customizable application for your teams to work on content together. You have the freedom to tailor the studio to however your team works. Find out more about everything that’s new with Sanity Studio v3.
Sanity, featuring our rebuilt Studio application, gives you a new level of control and capability to meet the requirements of being a composable business:
Composable content is all about delivering personalized content to someone across any channel or device, in any situation.
In this new era, content is far more than text and images. Content is also product data, pricing data, and metadata. Because Sanity treats content as data, it can be delivered anywhere and everywhere from a single source of truth.
Have you ever used a CMS that felt like “one size fits no one?” It can be such an awful experience. We’ve invested countless hours to bring you the most customizable solution available, so everyone on your team can feel at home.
Sanity Studio enables you to configure tailored workflows for many different situations. When your business changes, you can easily and programmatically update your workflow and use multiple workspaces for different teams and their workflows.
You need to be sure that you can interoperate the best-of-breed solutions and evolve your infrastructure without constraints. Sanity was born that way: composable at all levels. Even our Content Lake and Sanity Studio are separate applications, interacting through public APIs.
We’ve always made sure that our software is composable, that you can bring in other sources of content and other tools — and easily change them as you need to. And now we’re making Sanity Studio even more interoperable with other applications. The newest version is embeddable within any web project, so you can work with content wherever you need to and use content workflows in other situations far outside your website and CMS.
Digital experience is your business, and content drives the experience. It’s mission-critical to have a content solution that powers how your audiences interact with your company on any digital surface. Teams at top brands and emerging businesses rely on Sanity to power even their most complex projects for customer interaction, commerce, service delivery, and so much more.
Sanity is used by e-commerce and consumer goods companies with data-heavy use cases (Puma, Burger King, Skims), media companies that manage their core content and editorial work (Semafor, Morning Brew), and fast-growing digital-first businesses that power their marketing and product experiences with structured content (Figma, Amplitude, Brex).
There are more than 400,000 projects and more than 50 million documents created with Sanity. And we're delivering more than 20 billion API calls and more than a petabyte of data each month.
Our most successful customers unify their teams with Sanity to achieve their digital goals. In the composable era, these content-centric teams require a space where they can work together, in real time.
Business leaders and product managers launch and adapt digital experiences to reliably get results. Content creators use custom workflows built around their needs to operate quickly and efficiently. And developers and designers take advantage of modern tooling and a highly interoperable system to craft the workflows, integrations, digital products, and marketing surfaces where consumers experience content.
The key is to invest in these teams and unify them to create remarkable experiences for your customers. Your business strategy and technology decisions need to spring from a composable mindset, so everyone is moving fast together. Composability at all levels — the content, the workflows, and the architecture — is essential to moving fast and getting to launch day with confidence.
Although there are many teams involved in content creation and orchestration, we’ve always believed that the principal enabler of content velocity is the developer. That’s why we’ve always cared more than anyone else in this industry about the developer experience and the developer efficiency.
We’re moving from the omnichannel era to the composable era, which requires a new mindset and new capabilities. Here’s a recap of what that means for you:
- Delivering remarkable experiences, tailored to each person and their situation, means a better-performing digital experience that will lead to revenue growth and loyalty.
- Being truly content-centric means focusing on unifying the team around content velocity — to launch better things and new things faster.
- Being composable means you can adapt fast, and react faster to new opportunities and threats. Your business, technology, and content can change quickly, without having to hack it or completely rebuild it.
As we move from the omnichannel era to the composable era, the Sanity Composable Content Cloud supports your requirements to be successful. With the release of Sanity Studio v3, you get an entirely new capability to customize your content operations to exactly how your business operates.
We’ve never focused on static, siloed channel-specific omnichannel content delivery. Instead, we’ve redefined how you should think about content: as data that can be flexibly composed and recomposed for any situation, from a single source of truth. We give you the ability to customize your content model and your workflows. And we’ve spent thousands of hours making sure that Sanity offers you composable technology that evolves with you as your business grows.
Discover what Sanity can do for you
With the highly customizable Sanity Composable Content Cloud, there's no limit to what you can build and achieve. Sanity treats content as data, enabling your team to launch new projects, iterate, and innovate faster than ever before.