Lightricks Transforms Analytics with AWS and DoiT International

Executive Summary

Working with DoiT using Amazon Web Services (AWS) including Amazon Kinesis Data Analytics, award-winning app developer Lightricks has rolled out a new analytics infrastructure. It's 90 percent less expensive, and less time-consuming to run, it also gives the company greater insights from the data it holds and dramatically cuts the time to market for new features.

Lightricks Transforms Analytics with AWS and DoiT International

Developer Lightricks is known for creating intuitive, innovative mobile apps. As a business that regularly releases pioneering and powerful products, Lightricks needed an analytics platform that was as agile and forward-looking as its own.

However, the company's legacy infrastructure had started to hold it back. Lightricks' analytics was based on an in-house system that had suited the company at first but which no longer had enough flexibility to grow and adapt to the business' changing needs.

The legacy system was hampering Lightricks' ability to deliver the premium products it wanted. The data platform and analytics team now had to build custom databases to address complex queries from the business intelligence (BI) team. The platform had become expensive and resource-intensive to maintain. Its fragile codebase meant a change in one area could cause a failure elsewhere, while the system's design made it hard to identify and remediate the cause of any problems. "It was standard legacy hell. The team had become a firefighting team rather than a development team," Adam Lev-Libfeld, head of data platform and analytics, says. "There was a lot of pain in deploying new features and new pipelines."

The company decided to start exploring options for a new analytics infrastructure that would allow it to cut associated overheads and costs and enable Lightricks to focus more on creating new features and delivering great products. To help the company find the best solution for its needs, Lightricks turned to DoiT International, a cloud consultancy that the app developer had worked with for some time.

“The platform has gone from being a weight that we had to drag behind us in everything we did, and now it's like a new engine for the team.”

- Adam Lev-Libfeld, Head of Data Platform and Analytics, Lightricks

A More Flexible Infrastructure

With Lightricks' intake already using Amazon Web Services (AWS), including Amazon Kinesis and Amazon API Gateway, Lightricks and DoiT International agreed that managed infrastructure services represented a quick win for the company. "Given that we have the wonderful people from DoiT International, and given that we have AWS platform with all its merits, what is our shortest path to value? The stars aligned," Lev-Libfeld says.

With DoiT International's assistance, Lightricks migrated to a platform built around Amazon Kinesis Data Analytics and Amazon DynamoDB, moving away from an architecture based on a series of monoliths to one that's centered on functional apps. Initial use cases were running on the new platform within a fortnight, followed a few weeks later by the majority. Within six months, not only were all legacy use cases on the new platform, they were joined by novel ones the company had developed in the meantime. "The system is almost unrecognizably different, it's doing everything it's done before and then some," Lev-Libfeld says.

As the platform was developed and scaled up, Lightricks could benefit from DoiT International's experience to assess whether the system was hitting the deliverables and cost profiles that Lightricks was aiming for. "I look at DoiT International as my safety net: they enable us to take bigger risks. I know that if we get stuck, someone knowledgeable is just a phone call away. We can have the assurance that we're on the right track," Lev-Libfeld says.

Now, Lightricks has a more adaptable analytics system that allows the company to gain greater insight into how its customers use its software and use that information to develop products that better suit their needs, as well as optimize marketing campaigns to find new users or encourage existing users to try other products.

Greater Insight at a Lower Cost

Through the migration, Lightricks has also achieved a reduction in costs of 90 percent compared to the equivalent feature set on the legacy platform. However, the company has become a far heavier user of analytics due to the expanded possibilities that the move to AWS offered.

The new platform has given the company a far greater level of insight into its data than was previously possible. While the legacy system was concentrated mostly on subscription data, its replacement takes in a far broader range of information. Lightricks now has a more granular view of user behavior without the need to collect any additional data, enabling the company to continue respecting its users' privacy. Latency has also come down dramatically, from one hour under the previous system to one second with the new, facilitating campaign optimization that's far more timely and targeted.

And, by having a more in-depth view of its user behavior, the company has been able to cut the time to market for new features: functionality that would typically have taken weeks to roll out can now be released in a matter of days. The work with DoiT International and AWS has also enabled Lightricks to deliver excellent customer experience in other ways: creating a more fault-tolerant, highly available, and elastic platform that can accommodate peaks in customer demand without any interruption in service.

Lightricks' new platform requires far less manual intervention, allowing the data platform and analytics team to spend less time chasing down data and more on delivering business benefit. By spending more time with internal users such as the BI and marketing teams to address their needs, "we understand them better, and they get way faster cycles, which makes them more prone to experiment and be more agile themselves," Lev-Libfeld says. In the future, the team hopes to build a tool to allow internal customers to access the system directly and build their own queries, cutting cycle time still further.


About Lightricks

Lightricks is the creator of popular, award-winning photo and video editing apps. Since Lightricks hit the ground running with its flagship product Facetune, the company has built an arsenal of powerful content creation apps used by millions worldwide.

About DoiT International

DoiT International is a leading global cloud consulting company and an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner. DoiT tackles complex problems of scale for customers, using their expertise in machine learning, algorithms, complexity analysis, and system design.

Published May 2021