Ask the Expert: Peter Presnell

In our new series Ask the Expert, we are speaking with prominent IBM collaboration solutions experts and experienced IBM Notes Domino professionals to share their opinions and predictions about collaborative software.

According to KPMG, almost 70% of all organizations are focusing on consolidating or rationalizing their application portfolios. Can you please share your experiences, recommendations, or best practices for such initiatives?

PP: When I first started working in IT in the early 1980s, the company I worked for had a project called “Big Bang”. The goal was to migrate all their business systems to a single platform. At the time this was to SQL databases using an IBM product called IMS. Since then, I have seen almost every IT department have some sort of similar plan, apparently based on the belief that all the company’s technology woes could be resolved if we can migrate all our applications to a common platform. It never happens, because technology has always moved faster than modernization projects.

Companies should be approaching applications in a way that assumes there will be a mix of application platforms, with new capabilities and platforms entering the equation on a regular basis. We should focus on building applications that communicate with each other in ways where it doesn’t matter what platform the target application was developed on. We are starting to see a new model for connectivity developed with IoT and MicroServices.

“IBM Domino will return to its roots as a citizen developer platform for the rapid development and deployment of custom small–medium business applications.”

– Peter Presnell

Rather than spending a small fortune completely replacing a Domino application, we can often refactor it so that it can be integrated with and from other applications for a much lower price, and with greater effect.

Where do you see IBM Notes and Domino in 5 years?

PP: Domino will return to its roots as a citizen developer platform for the rapid development and deployment of custom small–medium business applications. It will offer a much leaner client (possibly based on Electron) in addition to mobile and browser clients allowing the applications much greater reach than today.

We will see a return to LotusScript as a key programming language in addition to JavaScript (ECMAScript and Node.js) as modern alternatives for professional developers and recent college graduates.

A new version of the NSF, known as NSF2, will re-establish Domino as a premium NoSQL database supporting JSON data storage and graph databases. Domino will be an open platform, allowing easy connectivity to other database platforms such as SQL and MongoDB, as well as having tighter integration with Force and Office 365.

We will also see an extensive set of templates being made available (“business in a box”) that are designed to allow a small business to get started. Domino will recognize the presence of other software platforms and play a key role in synchronizing key data, such as messages, calendar entries, contacts, and to-dos between those platforms.

What do you think about IBM DAC (IBM Domino Applications on Cloud)? What will be the primary driver for companies to move their Domino apps to IBM Cloud?

PP: Cloud hosting of applications is going to be important for a number of organizations that want to streamline their infrastructure teams to focus on key areas of strategic importance for their company. Companies are going to want options to host not just on IBM Cloud but also on other cloud services such as Amazon Web Services and Azure.

To make Domino cloud hosting a success, we need to make the on-boarding experience a simple one, and we need software licensing models that reflect a range of scenarios for cloud usage. This includes targeting SMBs who are starting to grow/expand their IT footprint and need a low-cost entry point for application hosting that will allow them to focus important resources (including money) into growing the company and securing the funds needed to make bigger investments in their IT infrastructure.

Peter Presnell, Red Pill Now Partner and CEO

IBM Champion, former director of the Atlanta User Group for IBM Collaboration, and architect of the .Domino framework on OpenNTF, Peter is a globally recognized lecturer, trainer and thought-leader within the IBM Notes community. As Red Pill Now’s CEO, Peter leads the company’s market strategy and program management practice.

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