A few months ago I linked to an article in a local paper which mentioned that one of Australia's largest e-tailers was still running on Microsoft ASP and SQL 7. Nothing at all wrong with that, as far as I'm concerned - plenty of businesses out there are happily running on even 20 year-old technology. The challenge for vendors, though, is to make the new technology compelling enough to create a business justification for organisations to upgrade their infrastructure.

Today one of the developers at this e-tailer, Paul, posted a comment making the point that “any form of radical technology shift is going to require a pretty compelling business case to justify the expense (and, in the case of the SQL 7 -> SQL 2000 migration, it's a fairly enormous expense)“ and letting me know that they are “doing pretty amazing things with the old technology“ and I'm sure he's right on this last point. The folks at Wishlist are a very smart bunch who have a great site and an even better business model. Let's face it - any “dot com“ who survived the crunch are smarter than your average bear.

So anyway, I was wondering - what business justification have other organisations have used to migrate from ASP to ASP.NET or from SQL7 to SQL 2000? Is it compelling enough? Do we need to do more to either make the new technology compelling or to communicate the more compelling features of the new technologies? Is it really to do with price? Or with the cost and complexity of the migration?