Application Modernization is not about Rip and Replace - It’s about building on top of what exists today

February 22 2011

In my blog entry After all these years of saying "Applications too!" when talking about Notes & Domino, this is the time to focus on apps!, Wayne macKirdy made this comment:

At the same time, a large percentage of our work force is still in the brick and mortar HQ. And all the pretty little toys that the field force is working with are not available, and not needed. And here's the rub...the HQ and the field MUST exchange information to get the job done. Too many "toy" manufacturers are driving the enterprise, and leaving a lot of folks behind!

I am not sure if Wayne thinks I agree or disagree with him based on my slides and post, but for the record, I think the foundation of the Application Modernization movement is about taking what applications you have and adding to them. I am not advocating a rip and replace strategy in any manner.

In the Notes & Domino World, this starts with XPages. Why? Because you can keep your business logic and existing application interfaces in place. This adds a web 2.0 user interface for those that have modern browsers and newer Notes clients. It allows those with older Notes clients and older browsers to keep using the applications they have today. And the data is in a single location. The business logic on the back end doesn't have to change. You can then add mobile functionality using the XPages mobility toolkit. All while existing users are not left behind.

There will be places where existing applications should be rebuilt. Moving business logic to different models such as Java and SSJS vs LotusScript. Changing the data storage model. Improving the business process workflow by evaluating the old steps. Those are options, but are not requirements.

Application Modernization is about changing the user experience via modern tools without ripping and replacing anything. If you make that decision, it should be for the right reasons of it's the best business decision vs. being forced.

The reality is that end users want modern experiences. We have to meet those expectations or they will bypass the internal tools. More on that in a future post.