Data Integration technology is changing. Not only is technology changing, but the entire architecture is changing, indeed the whole landscape is changing. As the data integration landscape changes, there are new products and features (such as data lineage, master data management, big data integration, cloud integration, easy-to-use interface, etc.) available that you need to take advantage of in order to stay competitive.
The proliferation of different data integration platforms in the organization presents a major pain area, causing enterprises to look at the benefits of migrating from legacy ETLs in order to consolidate on a modern tool. So, Let’s check out Why you should consider migrating from one ETL to another ETL.
What to Explore
Challenges with the Legacy ETL Platforms
How did we get here? Over time, organizations have a build-up of legacy platforms, often through mergers and acquisitions, or bringing in different tools for specific use cases. Integration of other transformation assets, like SQL packages, adds to the mix.
Why is it a problem? With multiple tools come multiple licenses and exploding costs. The combination of legacy platforms and SQL packages results in complexity and presents challenges for governance and lineage. Also, legacy tools were not built for big data or cloud, which are now part of the ecosystem.
According to Dzone, The traditional ETL process is slow, time-consuming, and resource-intensive.
As traditional, on-premise enterprise data warehouses are moving to cloud data lake environments, organizations see a need for modern ETL platforms like Azure Data Factory and AWS Glue to meet their requirements.
Even if companies do not have multiple ETL tools, there is often a need to upgrade their old platform in order to take advantage of newer capabilities like self-service BI and real-time analytics, which can require migration effort. Businesses must evaluate their ETL procedures and consider switching tools as technology continues to advance. So, we will discuss the necessity of migrating from one ETL to another in 2023.
1. Enhanced features and functions:
The new “tool’s” enhanced capabilities and features are one of the primary reasons to switch from one ETL tool to another. Newer ETL tools with advanced features like cloud integration, real-time data processing, and AI/ML-powered data transformation have emerged as a result of technological advancements. Businesses may benefit from increased speed, accuracy, and efficiency as a result of these features.
2. Cost reduction:
Businesses may be able to save money by switching to a new ETL tool. Support and maintenance costs for older ETL tools may be significant, which can add up over time. Additionally, more recent ETL tools frequently provide more adaptable pricing options, such as subscription-based or pay-per-use pricing, which may prove to be more cost-effective in the long run.
Data processing requirements rise with business expansion. Businesses can better manage their expanding data requirements by migrating to a new ETL tool with scalability. Modern ETL services are intended to deal with large volumes of information and can scale processing resources up or down as needed.
4. Compliance and security enhancements:
In this digital age, data security and privacy are of the utmost importance. It’s possible that older ETL tools lack the necessary security features to safeguard sensitive data. Businesses can ensure that their data complies with GDPR, CCPA, and HIPAA regulations by migrating to a new cloud-native ETL tool.
5. Increased productivity:
With drag-and-drop interfaces and pre-built connectors, newer ETL tools are designed to be easier to use. Improved productivity and streamlined data integration procedures are two potential outcomes of this. Furthermore, newer ETL tools frequently offer better automation capabilities, decreasing the requirement for manual “intervention” and opening up assets for different undertakings.
Risk of Migration
While there are many benefits of converting to newer technology, the immense cost of re-writing years of legacy data integrations seems to overshadow any opportunities. Challenges that we commonly see holding back a migration initiative include:
- Time to market and cost of conversion can be significant
- Not clear if the conversion can provide the necessary ROI
- Difficulty not just in re-writing the code, but testing the entire process
- If you have two separate tools, the consolidation effort requires two skill sets
These risks are typical in the traditional approach to migrating ETL and PL/SQL, which includes a manual re-write process using some variation of the following steps:
- Bring in legacy ETL developers for analysis and documentation of legacy ETL mapping
- Document the ETL jobs using Excel templates
- Identify opportunities for improvement and optimizations
- Build a phased conversion plan
- Bring in new ETL developers to begin ‘rewriting’ the ETL jobs
By nature, this approach is tedious, error-prone, and very resource-intensive, leading companies to avoid migration and letting the legacy jobs phase out over time rather than proactive modernization.
Mitigating ETL Conversion Risk
Today, one of the most compelling reasons to migrate from one ETL to another is the fact that there are automated solutions proven to greatly minimize the time, complexity, and cost of a conversion initiative, making it possible to understand the feasibility and level of effort required before even starting.
For example, Bitwise uses an automated process to assess the ETL environment, including a detailed analysis of complexities and risks, and a complete inventory listing for jobs and their components, which is used to provide a precise roadmap with conversion timeline estimate and business case for reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) of data integration platforms.
To determine if an automated conversion approach might be a good fit to help you in migrating one ETL to another, visit the Bitwise “ETL Converter” page which includes webinars and case studies on a solution that automates up to 70-80% of the conversion process and realizes ROI of conversion cost within 1-2 years from saving on legacy licensing.
Lastly, migrating from one ETL tool to another in 2023 can give organizations further with improved functionality, cost savings, better security, scalability and consistency, and enhanced productivity. However, in order to avoid disrupting business operations, it is essential to carefully plan the migration process. To ensure a smooth transition to the new tool, an effective ETL migration necessitates thorough planning, testing, and execution.
Editor's Note: The blog was originally posted on August 2019 and recently updated on January 2024 for accuracy.