When should I upgrade to Salesforce Lightning?

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By: Rob Jordan | 7.19.16

It’s been 10 months since the Salesforce Lightning Experience was announced, and there’s still a lot of confusion surrounding what it is and how to make the most of it. We expect to hear much more at this year’s Dreamforce, but until then, here’s our take on where it’s at and what that means for you, the user!

What’s the status?

First, a quick refresh: Salesforce describes Lightning as a set of development tools that include:

  • Lightning App Builder: visual user interface designer
  • Lightning Components and Design System: reusable user interface building blocks
  • Lightning Process Builder: visual business process designer
  • Lightning Connect: real-time integration with external data source systems

What most Salesforce users are excited about is that it gives Salesforce a new “skin” that improves user experience. Lightning is presently at an ‘early adoption’ phase. What does that mean? Right now, individuals and organizations that are super excited about tech and eager to try new things have probably upgraded to Lightning. These ‘early adopters’ are an essential element in rolling out a new system. They get to see it all first, but they’re also the guinea pigs. You get first dibs at the new software, but bugs are being worked out and there are still components that have not yet been built out on Lightning and still need to be addressed (particularly, reports and applications).

Aside from the end-user, many solutions and applications have yet to convert to Lightning as well, which can leave the user-experience looking and feeling clunky. What do we mean by that? Well, look at the part of your lead or contact record that’s populated by a solution app. If they haven’t upgraded (most haven’t), it will still look like the ‘old’ version while the rest of your instance will look new. Most of the NPSP functionality is covered now, although we’re still waiting on reports.

Where does that leave you?

If you’re considering the Lightning Experience, the choice is ultimately yours. It’s not up to us, your AE, or your solution partners to tell you whether or not it’s time for the upgrade. When that time eventually comes, your Salesforce instance won’t implode, but it also won’t be perfect. We recommend reviewing the release notes, chatting with your Salesforce AE, and checking out the Lightning Experience group on the HUB or this forum on migrating to Lightning in the Success Community. If you would like help upgrading, please reach out to us for support.

Lightning is an inevitability. We’re guessing you can expect a much deeper commitment to support and user adoption after Dreamforce ‘16. So even the late adopters might want to look ahead and ready themselves for a change.

Need a refresher course on how to deal with a technology change? We wrote a whitepaper just for you; check it out now to get strategies that will help you prepare.

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