Genii Weblog

How important is Notes/Domino version adoption?

Fri 28 Dec 2018, 10:25 AM

by Ben Langhinrichs
In the technology world, we tend to look at levels of adoption of new versions as some sort of important indicator of success. If a company releases a new version and customers are slow to adopt it, that is seen as bad. But depending on how the licensing works, it may or may not matter a lot to the software company. Aside from the extremes of 100% adoption (which means you can retire support for the old versiopn) or 0% adoption (which means you have stumbled badly somehow and may not keep customers for long), some number in the middle is almost as good as another.
Chart showing Android version adoption rates, stripped of all context because... does it matter?
So, what about Notes/Domino? I know customers who are on 7.x, 8.5x, 9.x, and a very few who have started using 10.x. Even leaving aside the revenue from licensing, I know that the release of Notes/Domino 10 will enable some to stay on Notes/Domino 9 longer, as they know IBM/HCL (and soon HCL alone) will continue support. They may not move to ND 10 for a couple of years, or may skip it and move to ND 11 when that is released. (I know one customer that is moving from ND 7 to ND 10 in the next few months.) 
So, how much does the rate of adoption matter? Obviously, companies can't take advantage of new features and technologies, but businesses move slowly anyway. With luck (and good marketing), new companies may start using Notes. But does it matter if existing users move forward quickly? What is your opinion?

Copyright 2018 Genii Software Ltd.

What has been said:

1102.1. Doug Finner
(12/28/2018 10:40 AM)

The companies I worked for were medical device design/build firms. Switching versions was a royal pain because of the validation and training effort we had to complete. We couldn't just run a couple of quick tests and call it a day. We had to generate a ton of documentation. Since our apps worked on version and version rarely has anything that was so shiny we just had to move we tended to stay at least 2 versions behind. We did at least one update because IBM was ending support and another because an upgrade to the OS left us with an unsupported version. I'm not sure what my old company is going to do now. They are sloooowly migrating to but doubt that exercise will be complete before version 8.5 exits support. If it ain't broke and there's nothing in the new version that provides some massive gain in design/ui/use, why switch?

1102.2. Andrew
(12/28/2018 10:55 AM)

Our location we have moved off to cloud however Domino with SSJS/xpage as REST remains running for legacy applications hooked to a Angular or React front end.

Our devs are eager to leverage the node module but patiently waiting for IBM to release:

* Container developer edition of Domino / node to work with locally

* The node module to be delivered for real not beta.

1102.3. John Head
(12/28/2018 11:06 AM)

Companies who don’t upgrade are the ones who have probably left for mail and kept a locked domino server to maintain apps they haven’t moved to a different platform or archived.

Adoption matters. It tells who how the company views the product and platform.

1102.4. Ben Langhinrichs
(12/28/2018 11:54 AM)

All interesting points. I do think there is a difference between the companies who use Notes apps extensively and those who have mostly moved to a Domino web presence. In the former case, stability and "if it ain't broke" thinking may slow upgrades as Doug suggests. In the latter case, interaction with modern web technologies may drive upgrades as Andrew suggests. As for John Head's point, I think that is true for some companies, but not all. We have companies who use Notes very extensively for applications, and migrating to a new Notes version doesn't buy them as much as a new Domino version might. A few of these are wavering with the possibility of using the iPad for true Notes apps, which might be a big enough reason to upgrade.

1102.5. Dave Navarre
(12/28/2018 12:39 PM)

I worked with a guy who refused to update because each new version had new bugs. The fact that it eliminated bugs in the current version and included enhancements went right over his head. That was an odd place to work.

It's doubtful that we'll ever upgrade to 10, as we're exiting Domino.

1102.6. Richard Schwartz
(12/28/2018 10:31 PM)

Some new version adoption is actually a pretty meaningless thing with respect to the product itself. They don't need it, don't want to bother with it, but their hand is forced. Security auditors are the strongest counter to the inertial forces that Doug described. If you need to have a squeaky-clean audit to satisfy customers/regulators then it doesn't matter that you know the unpatched bugs in your EOL'ed version don't affect you. It's a red flag, period. If you don't do the upgrade, you're going to be dragged into one meeting after another to give your excuses and try to convince skeptical and/or clueless people to make an exception for you. And you're not going to get an excuse for that EOL'ed operating system you're running on because your EOL'ed ND8.x isn't certified on a current OS.