Is This the Year of Replatforming? It Doesn’t Have to Be

We have heard the predictions. We know that some industry players and analyst firms alike have predicted that the second six months of 2015 will be “The Year of Replatforming.”

On the surface it makes sense; fast-growing e-commerce companies struggling with lackluster MySQL performance as they attempt to roll out new applications and handle more traffic to their sites need solutions fast. They cannot afford to suffer slow page loads or website crashes that send customers to their competitors. Consequently, many of these companies are choosing the replatforming option— believing it to be the only way to meet these database challenges.

The misconception, however, lies in the characterization of replatforming as the only choice these e-commerce companies have at their disposal. In fact, a scale-out cloud database that allows these businesses to increase capacity by adding nodes in real-time based on need, can improve site performance without forcing the organization to move away from certain platforms.

If an online retailer can avoid replatforming, it makes good business sense to do so. The process is lengthy, expensive and fraught with pitfalls like the possibility of losing large quantities of data during the migration process. Replatforming forces a business to conduct extensive testing after a migration to ensure that the project is successful when it goes live; despite the testing, however, the company will still have kinks to work out. With replatforming, not only does the code have to be rewritten, but the site itself will look and operate differently. All your internal personnel have to be re-trained, and worse- all your customers will be greeted with a site that doesn’t look/feel like what they’re used to. And finally, even when the deployment phase is complete, organizations must continue to make enhancements, onboard new brands, and complete back-end fixes and a host of other maintenance tasks as well…. All of which will take even longer as your site Admins are busy learning the in’s and out’s of the new Administration UI.

Like any problem, a simple solution trumps a complex one every time. If your online business has been considering a replatforming project this year, it may be beneficial to take a little extra time to examine all of your options. You may be surprised by what you find.