Ready to replatform? Be careful not to end up in replatforming disaster! Here are 10 things to consider:
1. Conduct a gap analysis
A gap analysis is simply a comparison between different aspects of your old environment and the new one. Every application or platform migration does inevitably lead to changes. Underestimating the impact of these changes, however, is what may turn to replatforming disaster. The initial planning is imperative, especially in the case your organization has any custom solutions up and running in production environment. Each piece of content, each workflow and each customization - from finance to operations - needs to be evaluated. Precise analysis shows how all your current processes will fit into your new environment's structure.
2. Choose a solution that scales
The main rule here - when ready to replatform, pick an e-commerce solution that enables your marketing team to scale your business. The reality of today’s omnichannel (https://www.nemesis.io/en/product/application-development-framework#omnichannel-experience) marketplace goes along with scalability. From API performance to integration stability, understanding the measures of “scale” is an essential component of planning a project. You need a platform that auto scales with the growth of your business - traffic, transactions, users, etc.
If you have a ready and running in production environment solution, spend some quality time on documenting the main application features.. Mark down the advantages and disadvantages - what your customers are used to, what they like, what they are not satisfied with. Make the list as detailed as possible. Such document will be there to help you in each stage of replatforming.
4. Prioritize your business’ core goals
ROI is king. It is your Return of Investment exactly that defines which features your new e-commerce solution needs to accommodate. It is not always that hot new user experience characteristic you should run for. Quite often a technical or strategic aim may gain equally impressive profit. What you need is balance between design and conversion. The core goals of your business are unique. Do not forget to implement them and feature what defines you. When replatforming, keep your business’ individuality.
5. Turn replatforming into everyone’s priority
E-commerce replatforming is a process, far more complicated than building a new website. It is not the vision that changes only, it is the organization within the business that will be influenced. Replatforming needs to happen on different organizational levels, in different departments, to be introduced as a way of thinking by the key team members. If not collectively prioritized, replatforming may lead to disaster.
6. Do not try to predict all future requirements
Innovations appear at accelerating pace. The e-commerce market changes in the twinkling of an eye. In such context, the last thing your business may aspire for is a waterfall method of development. Endless planning and extreme detalization of the requirements for your replatformed solution oppose your desire for fast time to market. Instead of trying to predict the future, rely on the resources. Go for experienced software architects and business analysts that will handle your solution’s replatforming with the agile methodology in mind.
7. Choose the e-commerce solution up to your needs
When going for a platform to migrate to, consider your business’ unique needs. It could be not the platform your largest competitor is on. It could be not the platform that start-up has opted for. Examine the solutions at the market carefully before going for a particular one, as it is your specific business that defines the direction of replatforming.
8. Do not replicate your old content structure
What if you were to move from your old office to a brand-new building. Would you bring all the same chairs, desks and piles of paper and lay them out in exactly the same way as before? Of course not! A content migration is also your time for change — it makes no sense to automatically replicate your old content structure in the new environment. The correct approach is to perform a detailed inventory and audit of your existing content.
9. Do one thing at a time
Replatforming does not happen overnight. As a process, it needs time, it needs people’s involvement, it needs change of mindset. Executives from each affected department must collaborate and make tough decisions regarding the appropriate phasing for the project, based on the net benefits.
10. Stay future-minded
One common pitfall when it comes to re-platforming is getting stuck in a restrictive system that doesn’t allow for easy growth and adaptability down the road. No one knows exactly what the future holds, so it’s in your company’s best interest to look for open platforms that allow for as much flexibility, customization and control as possible. Otherwise, before you know it, you might find yourself in this exact same position all over again.
Anything you would like to share from your experience? Feel free to comment below.
If you have any questions in the process of your business’ replatforming, the Nemesis team is here to help you.