How many legacy Lotus Notes applications are scattered throughout your organization? Like many CIOs and IT managers, you may not be able accurately answer that question. If you can, you are likely painfully aware of the growing cost and complexity of maintaining Lotus Notes applications, the lack of IT control, and the overall impact on your organization’s application landscape.
During its heyday, Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino were widely used not only for messaging and collaboration, but development of departmental apps. While the notion of non-IT staff building apps is very much alive today, Lotus Notes entirely predates technological advancements like cloud, mobile and social. and is therefore obsolete as an app development platform. For businesses looking to deliver applications that support unique business processes, differentiate their company or disrupt their industry, Lotus Notes is an obstacle, not the path forward.
Specifically, there are four key challenges with regards to Lotus Notes applications in light of changing business and user needs:
- Poor Usability – Expectations for enterprise software have fundamentally changed, influenced by the massive adoption of smartphones and social media platforms. Business users today demand the same kinds of simple, intuitive apps they use every day. However, Lotus Notes applications—a product of the client-server era—lack the engaging user experience and multi-channel access required by the rapidly growing millennial workforce.
- Ungoverned “App Jungle” – Within many organizations, the proliferation of locally installed Lotus Notes servers has created an App Jungle that is impossible to manage, while lacking the governance and control required by IT. Moreover, Lotus does not provide visibility into what applications are available, so many enterprises are struggling to rationalize their application portfolio.
- Lack of Openness – Modern business applications must seamlessly leverage information from multiple systems and data sources, both on premise and the cloud. However, Lotus Notes lacks the required openness and connectivity; hence these apps lose their relevance in an application landscape increasingly characterized by a mix of interconnected on premise and cloud applications and services.
- High TCO – The total of cost of ownership for Lotus Notes applications, taking the App Jungle and proliferation of local servers into consideration, is not in balance with the value delivered—especially considering the lack of user adoption and challenges to integrate Lotus Notes applications with other systems.
Organizations Embrace Cloud Platforms to Migrate Lotus Notes Applications
In light of these challenges, organizations are turning to cloud platforms like Mendix to migrate legacy Lotus Notes applications. They can build modern multi-channel apps radically faster, easier and at lower cost thanks to capabilities like visual, model-driven development, one-click cloud deployment and seamless integration with existing systems. And using these platforms, they can also more directly involve the business in the development process while allowing IT to centrally manage the application portfolio.
One company that is leveraging this approach is The Boston Globe, which turned to Mendix to migrate a dozen Lotus apps, including its newsroom corrections database. That project, which took over a month to code in Lotus, was rebuilt in just five days with Mendix. In addition to migrating its Lotus Notes applications, the Globe is using Mendix to rapidly deliver new apps that move the business forward—a key initiative since the newspaper’s sale to businessman John Henry.
Want to learn more about bringing your legacy Lotus Notes applications into the 21st century? Download our new white paper, “4 Key Reasons to Bring Lotus Notes Apps to the Cloud.”