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July 29, 2016

Magento 2 – when is the right time to move?

With Magento 2 being talked about since 2010 and finally launching in November 2015, many retailers are asking the question ‘When is the right time to migrate?’. As I am sure you are aware by now, there is no big red upgrade button and as this is a completely new code base, this will require more of a re-build than an upgrade. Be under no illusion that this will be a significant piece of work and we feel it is our responsibility to help guide customers in this process.

The two main concerns which we hear from people are:

1. Is the platform stable?
2. Will the third party technologies on which we rely be available in Magento 2?

The truth of the matter is that any new platform has the potential to have bugs. We have been fortunate enough to have been working with Magento from Beta stages and we were certainly impressed with how quickly they ironed out issues prior to launch. Once live, the team at Magento have been dedicated to resolving any issues which arise and have been working in fortnightly sprints to create fixes. I think that it would be unrealistic to claim that even the most established of platforms do not require fixes from time to time, and the latest release of 2.1 encompasses all fixes that were created following the go live of 2.0. With this in mind, we feel that the platform is stable and we would not advise any customers to hold off on this count.

Regarding third parties, Magento has always been able to boast they have a huge number of third party solutions available. That said, this has often presented a problem as there are many modules available which are sub-standard. Magento have considered this and launched a new marketplace for Magento 2 where they are vetting all of the solutions; ensuring they are happy with the quality of development, that there has been no plagiarism and ultimately ensuring the marketplace offers a much higher standard. There will never be the same number of third party solutions available on the marketplace for Magento 2, and it will take longer for technology providers to feature in the marketplace, however the majority of the biggest and best solutions were ahead of the curve and already feature. There are 362 extensions available as of today and whilst there is a backlog, Magento are working quickly to get these approved.

Will the returns justify the investment?

In summary, I do not consider either of these to be reasons not to make the move so it really comes down to your business case and taking a long term view on platform selection.

As this is a new code base, any development work done on Magento 1 will not easily migrate to Magento 2. There are data migration tools available but any custom functionalities or third party integrations will not be transferable. Therefore, if you are looking at a new ERP, a major re-design or other significant piece of work, it’s worth questioning if now is the time to move. It may be that you will see the return on this work in a relatively short period, in which case it will make sense to continue on your existing install but with support for Magento 1 (ceasing in November 2018) and support levels reducing from November 2017, we need to ensure that the returns justify the investment. Many of our clients are now scaling down major tasks whilst we begin to schedule in their Magento 2 migration. With the vastly improved checkout, considerably enhanced performance and much more scalable nature of Magento 2 (along with the option to move to the new cloud edition), many are making the decision to move sooner rather than later and capitalise on this. That said, some are looking to move major systems in circa 12 months and in these cases, it often makes sense for us to phase the migration alongside this. Either way, the migration should certainly be on your road map for the next 12 – 24 months and in the event that you are new to Magento, you should certainly not be considering building on Magento 1.

All in all, it will come down to the unique needs of your business and your objectives. If you would like any advice or to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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