Adobe Business Catalyst End of Life - What Next?
Some good things must come to an end, and on March 26, 2021, we’ll officially say goodbye to Adobe’s Business Catalyst. Here’s an excerpt from Adobe’s product announcement:
“Adobe is committed to delivering exceptional software and services to our customers. It’s in our nature to innovate and try new things, and it was in this spirit that we acquired Business Catalyst in 2009. As we re-focus on products that broadly provide our customers with the most value, Adobe is announcing the end of development for Business Catalyst as of March 26th, 2018.
Adobe will stop hosting existing sites on Business Catalyst on March 26th, 2021. Adobe encourages customers to download their data and migrate to other systems well before March 26th, 2021.
Customers' data will be retained by Adobe until March 26th, 2021, after which date the data will be deleted. Data retention is for the sole purpose of allowing customers to export their data and transfer to another platform.”
Why This is Happening
While there are undoubtedly many strategic considerations that went into this decision, it’s worth noting that Adobe Business Catalyst hasn’t kept up with similar platforms in the space, and it’s been showing major signs of aging.
Business Catalyst has, over the years, billed itself as an “all-in-one” platform that promised a lot: hosting, email marketing, CRM, blogging, analytics, webforms, e-commerce, and more.
In reality, the experience fell short of user expectations, and better alternatives - both holistic and a la carte - became available to users.
Why You Should Start the Migration Process Now
Yes, Adobe has announced that they will host existing sites built on Business Catalyst through March of 2021, but moving off of a legacy platform can easily take between 3-12 months to complete (perhaps, even more, depending on the complexity of your web properties and the team behind the migration).
That being said, as we approach the two-year mark after the initial “end of life” announcement, there are so many incredible alternatives out there to make site management, CRM, marketing, e-commerce, and analytics easier for your team and more powerful.
Through this lens, Adobe’s announcement creates a lot of opportunity for former Business Catalyst users who are frustrated with the platform’s performance and usability.
Preparing to Migrate
First and foremost, regardless of what platform you are migrating off of or onto, it is critically important to back up all of your content, including images, videos, code, and copy.
Next, backup all of the customer information that you can access. Information such as passwords will not be accessible without explicit permission from each one of your users.
This step deserves special consideration, given the risks inherent in not securing customer data during the migration process. Plus, it’s nearly impossible to migrate users over to your new platform while not having access to current passwords and other PII (personally identifiable information).
Another less obvious source of content that needs to be backed up is anything stored in Adobe Business Catalyst’s WebApps that you may want to backup.
Luckily, most platforms onto which you would be migrating your website have plugins or add-ons that will prevent the need to migrate this type of content in the future.
Selecting a New Platform
Structure the selection process by involving the development, marketing, and operational teams whose work will be impacted by the move off of Business Catalyst. Ask yourselves:
- What will the new platform provide that BC could not?
- What will it not provide that BC could?
- If a prospective platform does not provide all of the same functionality your team needs, what other systems do I need to spin up and integrate into my new system?
- What partners do I need to engage to manage the migration process, minimize risk to our existing content, keep our costs low, and expedite our timeline? (Hint: Mindgrub has performed hundreds of successful migrations off of legacy platforms and would be happy to guide you through yours).
Throughout the selection process, it’s important to keep in mind the timeline Adobe has laid out for the sunset of Business Catalyst:
There’s still time to migrate off of Business Catalyst and on to another, more future-proof platform.
Selecting a partner with experience in content migration, systems integration, and web design can help you select the right technology stack for your organization, migrate securely, and keep costs in check.
No one likes to have to change their entire digital ecosystem at once, but with the right partner to guide you through the process, migration can be painless and, ultimately, profitable. If you’re ready to move off of Adobe Business Catalyst, give our digital strategy team a call today.