Legacy Platform Migration to Open-Source Tech with Pantheon

The pressure to innovate and stay competitive is strong than ever. However, many businesses find themselves burdened by legacy monolithic platforms that hinder their ability to adapt and scale. In this episode of Lessons for Tomorrow, our host, Landon DePasquale, and Erin Walker, Vice President of Sales at Pantheon explore the transformative journey of migrating from monolithic architectures to open-source technologies, with a focus on leveraging Pantheon, a leading platform for webOps and hosting.



Landon and Erin delve into the differences between monolithic platforms and open source, the benefits and drawbacks of adopting open source, strategies for successful migration, and how to address concerns of risk-averse leadership.

The Difference Between a Monolithic Platform & Open-Source Technology

Monolithic platforms, exemplified by solutions like Sitecore or Adobe, resemble luxurious but constrained Lamborghinis of content management systems (CMS). They limit code access, especially in on-premises setups. Open source tech, in contrast, offers liberation from legacy on-premises limitations. Transitioning to cloud-based open source solutions is facilitated by collaborative communities, accelerating go-to-market efforts. Monolithic platforms are ideal for certain tasks, like a Lamborghini for specific drives, while open source provides versatility for everyday needs like a practical vehicle.

Advantages of Open-Source Technology

Unlike monolithic platforms, which come with hefty licensing fees and limited code access, open-source solutions like Pantheon facilitate quick modifications across an enterprise stack. Clients can witness returns on investment within weeks, and open source's community support accelerates development. Erin shares real-world examples, such as schools adapting websites for real-time course updates, and businesses reinvesting savings into performance improvements and niche content like recipes. The robust open-source community and collaborative associations further contribute to its value by sharing trusted insights and expertise.

Disadvantages of Open-Source Technology

While open source offers numerous benefits, there are certainly limitations. For example, it may not be suitable for customers who require a more out-of-the-box solution, especially when dealing with heavy traffic or lacking a strong developer practice. It’s important to have transparent discussions about platform fit. Additionally, open-source platforms like WordPress and Drupal may not excel in all areas; for instance, WordPress is not a strong candidate for user management or media library needs. Pantheon's roadmap includes enhancements, but third-party tools and future updates may address these limitations more comprehensively.

Business Advantages of Embracing Open-Source Solutions

When businesses transition to open source, there are additional value gains. Apart from efficiency, additional value gains include flexibility and resource deployment. Open-source platforms like WordPress and Drupal have a larger pool of skilled professionals, making it simpler to find and hire suitable talent compared with newer technologies in the monolithic space. This widespread skill set availability empowers businesses to swiftly advance their operations.

How to Approach the Legacy to Open-source Transition

Transitioning from a monolithic to an open-source mindset demands a strategic shift. It’s important to conduct a thorough and strategic overview before choosing between monolithic and open-source technologies. Businesses need to determine their goals, assess customization needs, and find suitable partners. This approach ensures successful transitions. Shifting from a singular focus to a collaborative, strategic perspective can be challenging for those accustomed to monolithic thinking. Erin's insight underscores the value of patient, comprehensive planning to integrate open-source solutions effectively into a company's digital ecosystem, ultimately fostering growth and impactful results.

Key Considerations for Migration from Legacy Platform to Open-Source

Customers often seek validation for their research-driven decisions. They value the flexibility and customization potential that open source offers. However, they later realize the underestimated complexity of migrations, especially when shifting from DIY solutions. The hours, resource requirements, and data considerations become apparent during implementation. There’s a common underestimation of migration challenges and shares a mix of both straightforward and intricate migration experiences with Pantheon. This insight reflects the importance of understanding the migration process comprehensively before embarking on an open-source journey.

Erin Walker discusses monolithic versus open-source technology


How to Communicate with Risk-Adverse Leadership About Moving Away from Monolithic Architecture

When addressing risk-averse leaders about transitioning from monolithic architecture to open source, trust and transparency are key. She understands that leaders seek reassurance and direct access to experienced teams. Erin highlights the importance of Pantheon’s 13-year track record and 13,000 customers. She focuses on explaining technology differences, operational agility, and the empowerment open source brings to marketing and project management teams. The key lies in building trust through open communication and demonstrating the enhanced capabilities, reliability, and support that open source platforms like Pantheon can offer, ultimately fostering successful transitions.

Gain a Competitive Edge Through Open-Source Adoption

Open-source platforms offer autonomy, quick modifications, and the support of vibrant communities. Its benefits include flexibility, customization, and efficient resource availability. However, migration challenges and understanding strategic goals are crucial. Erin stresses the significance of trust and transparent communication when addressing risk-averse leaders. Open-source solutions like Pantheon provide reliability and empower marketing and project management teams. Trust, thorough explanation, and a proven track record are key to guiding leaders through the transition to open source technologies.

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The Lessons for Tomorrow podcast is centered around conversations between industry experts sharing insights from the past, to apply in the present, to achieve success in the future. This podcast is the "motivational poster" in your ear; each episode is centered around conversations that motivate you to tackle new initiatives at your organization. We will be talking with some of the best and brightest minds in technology and marketing and will hear from the experts themselves about their latest experiences, their most recent challenges, and the road ahead. Every episode has a different story, a different answer, and a different approach.

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About Author

Podcast producer at Americaneagle.com
Bryan Winger is a Podcast Producer with Americaneagle.com. He began his career in broadcasting back in Minnesota, producing for several radio stations and syndicated shows throughout the Twin Cities. He has over 5 years of experience in the broadcasting industry, before joining the team at Americaneagle.com. He enjoys playing golf and hockey, watching football on Sundays, and producing music for fun.

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