4 Questions to Ask When Transitioning to Salesforce Lightning

August 29, 2017

As a Salesforce user, you’ve probably heard the buzz around the Lightning Experience(LEX)–Salesforce’s sleek, new interface for the platform. The Lightning Experience allows for a more efficient user experience and has the added benefit of bringing Augmented Intelligence to your CRM with Salesforce Einstein.  To fully understand the benefits of making the switch from Classic, we sat down with Bluewolf’s Head of Architecture in EMEA, Andrew Hart, to discuss what you should consider before transitioning to Lightning. 

Can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your background with Salesforce Lightning?

My name's Andrew Hart, and I lead the architects for Bluewolf in Europe. I'm a Salesforce Certified Technical Architect.
 
I have a background in CRM delivery, which I've been doing for about 19 years now. Nearly 5 years ago, I started working at Salesforce, where I learned about the ins-and-outs of Salesforce’s technology. I joined Bluewolf earlier this year and since coming onboard, I’ve worked with clients making the transitioning to Salesforce Lightning. Below are the four most common questions clients ask us about the transition. 
 
What are the benefits of Salesforce Lightning?
 
Fundamentally, the main benefit of Lightning is ease of use and development. This is delivered through Lightning’s modern user interface. The platform’s UI  provides a more natural way of working, more options for changing how screens look and increased productivity.

For example, think of the home screen of your Salesforce instance. The modern UI of Lightning’s home screen is more consistent than Classic across platforms–be it a computer, tablet, or mobile phone. This helps ease training and user adoption on Salesforce.

Development-wise, Lightning Components are more modular than Visualforce pages. This makes them more reusable and also more secure. When you’re building Apps and Communities too, they’re easier to develop than on Classic.
 
The benefits are all about being able to do things quickly and effectively both from a user and a development perspective.

If you’re looking for more resources on Lightning’s benefits, Salesforce does a great job at documenting the benefits and improvements that Lightning offers, as well as the features and functions that it doesn't support.

What would you say to companies looking to transition to the Lightning Experience?  

For most customers, it's not a question of "if" but "when" to transition to the Lightning Experience. Salesforce will continue to support Classic but Lightning is the future and the focus of their product development.
 
Companies looking at Lightning need to consider if their business is ready for this transition. If you introduce Lightning, will it cause limitations to any users, processes, or systems in the business?
 
Introducing Lightning isn't trivial–it needs to align with your existing roadmap. It requires both a different mindset and a slightly different set of technical skills than writing Apex and Visualforce. For companies considering the switch, I ask: do you have the Change Management and Learning capacity? Do you have the skills to develop Lightning Components?
 
Finally, I'd caution you not to think of Lightning as a 'big bang'. Your transition doesn’t have to happen all at once. During Bluewolf’s own transition to Lightning, we started with a small set of users. This allowed us to make improvements before we rolled it out to the entire team. 

What are some of the biggest challenges of transitioning to LEX?
 
Two of the biggest challenges are Change Management and Learning.
 
Lightning and Classic are fundamentally different, but for most users, the change in the UI is the most significant. This isn’t like Facebook updating its layout, but rather a complete overhaul of an outdated layout to a very modern UI.
 
Users will feel de-skilled and will have to learn a whole new way of working. They need to be supported and enabled to do that in the same way that you would for an initial rollout of Salesforce. They'll get there, and probably quickly, but it's a journey that you’ll have to incorporate into your rollout.

For me personally, I adapted to Lightning quite easily; I found it very refreshing. But when performing admin tasks, I noticed that I was switching back to Classic because it was more familiar and quicker with the old platform. It took time to get used to but, I got there and I rarely use Classic at all now.

Are customers new to Salesforce transitioning to Lightning?
 
All our new customers are going with Lightning, but we don’t follow that path blindly. We work with them to evaluate whether Classic or Lightning is better for their specific Salesforce instance. We look at their requirements against the functionality, to see if there are gaps–including in their Managed Packages and partner apps as well as native functionality.
 
It's worth pointing out that just 12 months ago most of our customers were still going with Classic. Salesforce’s development of Lightning has helped close the feature gap and allowed them to bring new functions that aren't available in Classic. Because of this, we've seen an increase in the number of clients moving to Lightning within the last year.

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Making the transition from Salesforce Classic to the new Lightning Experience can feel like a huge risk. It’s not an obvious upgrade for everyone, which is why we offer a personalized readiness assessment, Bluewolf Begin for Lightning, to evaluate the specific features and customizations that your company will gain and lose by making the switch. 

Connect with a Bluewolf Lightning Experience expert, to get started.

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