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Making the Move to Lightning: Some Pros and Cons

Roadmap lightningI’ve written before about how businesses need to consider making the move to Lightning as soon as possible. Yesterday’s Salesforce World Tour in New York further emphasized this, with lots of sessions on ensuring migration readiness, and best practices for customer implementations.

Aside from the demos and workshops, there were some great discussions about Lightning Experience, too. In a session called “Why Lightning?” Ned Liddell, a partner at Remio, discussed why he initially resisted Lightning, but eventually got on board. Ned outlined a few pros of Salesforce Classic: First, it’s so comfortable, it feels like an old friend. I totally agree: At this point, I could move around Salesforce with my eyes closed. With each new release of Classic, the interface was tweaked to get better and better. And Lightning isn’t necessarily better to move around in, at least not at first.

Second, there are a thousand AppExchange apps, but only 350 or so which are Lightning-ready. Clearly, it’s in its infancy. But if you’re heavily reliant on third-party tools, these may not be available, since it’s only recently that third-party vendors have started to rebuild their products to work in Lightning. Plus, Lightning components, while easy to drag on and off pages, still require coders to make them happen.

According to Ned, if an organization is primarily made up of people used to Excel spreadsheets, the visual representation of Lightning may not be for them. I would add that, yes, it’s hard to migrate an org that people have been using for 10 years—that muscle memory is ingrained—but it’s not impossible. And this definitely makes the case for starting new orgs in Lightning right away.

There are other considerations that tip the scales towards Lightning. As Ned said, “This is the future of representation.” The way we communicate, and the interfaces we use, have changed dramatically in the last few years. Lightning reflects this shift: It’s an interface that relies on icons and sections, for example, and not just a dozen related lists at the bottom of a page. Another huge advantage of Lightning is that it’s super-smart: It gets to know a user’s preferences and presents them with information that is most relevant. Finally, this was the important piece for Ned: Lightning allows us to build software quickly and reliably test it. It comes down to efficiency of development.

Lightning is ready and if you haven’t considered migrating your org, I suggest you start as soon as possible. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be outlining some steps to get you ready—stay tuned!

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