The Composable CTO: Orchestrating the Future of Tech in Advertising

In these digital times, the next generation of tech leadership is more likely to be a CTO – a Composable Technology Officer – leading the way for companies trying to navigate the advertising tech paradigm of today and the future. The arrival of composable architecture has fundamentally changed the way that advertising systems collaborate, and the role of today’s CTO is helping to introduce an entirely new way of designing agile and flexible systems.

GOOGLE and the Pivot to Composable Architecture

At the core of this change is a fundamental idea called composable architecture, a system that breaks down a business’s technology landscape into modular, loosely coupled elements that are relatively easy to connect together, via cloud-based advertising, customer databases and the like, all linked together by application-programming interfaces (APIs) that do not require much technical know-how to link up.

GOOGLE’s rapid changes and evolution plays a role here, too. It’s not a matter of choice but a matter of necessity for a composable architecture to support GOOGLE’s entire ad stack. Composable greatly contrasts with legacy monolithic architecture. It is the perfect environment to explore new tools to market through the use of APIs, microservices and containers. With APIs, microservices and containers as the building blocks, businesses can develop, test, deploy and adapt solutions at a speed never imagined before, and the ad ecosystem can work collaboratively.

Navigating the Challenges of First-Party Data Protection

This is especially true for the CTO in an era that values consumer consent and trust. The biggest fight of a composable architecture lies in protecting first-party data fiercely. This is where composable architecture truly shines: it allows you to partner directly with selected partners as per your business requirements, yet retain all data privacy controls via the use of PETs.

Shaping New Media Strategies in the Face of GOOGLE's Cookie Phase-Out

Within advertising, substantial changes are underway, with GOOGLE’s move to phase out third-party cookies merely accelerating a shift that requires entirely new media strategies. In the absence of third-party identifiers, advertisers must start to rely far more heavily on first-party data and other identifiers. In doing this, GOOGLE plays a significant role in pushing advertising in a more privacy-friendly direction.

Adapting to Complex Technologies with a Robust Framework

And bringing new technologies to market to address the problems is tricky because of the complexities they introduce. This is where a strong framework able to interface well with legacy systems comes into play. Again, it’s the CTO’s role to make sure that the technical infrastructure is both flexible and robust, with deep knowledge of composable architecture via APIs, microservices and containers allowing for systems that can change as the market changes.

The Evolution of the CTO Role in Today's Marketing Landscape

With the advent of the digital transformation, the role of CTO has necessarily expanded far beyond its traditional limits. The CTO of today must be a visionary, so much so that he or she needs to be able to encourage trying out new tools in first-party marketing, while taking the utmost care of protecting first-party data. Composable architecture and the right tech components play a fundamental role in creating the systems that allow organizations to devise ever more inventive media strategies while guaranteeing their long-term survival.

Embracing the Future with GOOGLE

For good or ill, GOOGLE leads the pack in the ad business, with profound effects on the broader ad-tech landscape as its strategy changes and its technology evolves. Whether or not you agree with Ajit’s rent–seeking interpretation of GOOGLE’s move, the playbook outlined in his letter is worth learning: a playbook for what it takes to succeed in ad tech over the next decade. CTOs should pay close attention to understand GOOGLE’s trajectory, both to craft winning ad-tech strategies in the face of these moves and to anticipate transformation in their own businesses.


GOOGLE, which is a key player in creating tech innovation in so many domains, continues to drive and shape how our online environment works (eg, by deciding what does or doesn’t infringe people’s privacy, and what advertising technologies will, or won’t, be available in the future). For companies and CTOs, keeping up with what GOOGLE chooses to space, and to enable, is an important part of figuring out how to do business moving forward in our online world. A composable architecture allows your business to have a better sense of futurity – you’ll be able to explore forward-looking ideas and hypotheses in a way that’s fit for the dynamic world of our time.

May 30, 2024
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