Some clients have expressed interest to upgrade to Magento 2, the greatest and latest version of the popular eCommerce platform. It seems tempting, but considering the costs, and mostly intangleble benefits from an end-user point of view, it's hard to find a business case for it at this moment.
But don't you have to upgrade anyway in the future?
True - that is, if you're staying on Magento. However, you take the state of the Magento 2 ecosystem into account, it might still be worth it to maintain your Magento 1 codebase, and migrate later before M1 becomes end-of-life in late 2018.
Why? Wouldn't you save costs on double development?
Yes and no. While you would prevent double development, it is significantly more time-consuming to develop on Magento 2 than for Magento 1. It's still riddled with (somtimes major) bugs and inconsistencies that drag out development time. It's also heavy and slow on most development environments, with a messy front-end. On top of that the deployment process is more complicated (which not necessarily a bad thing), and many hosting providers don't offer Varnish. Agencies are reporting up to more development for their M2 builds (source, and source).
Hold on - does that mean Magento 2 is more upmarket/Enterprise?
As ImagineMedia points out, when Magento 1 launched, it was in the same boat. However, eventually an ecosystem formed around the platform: an active and dedicated community, extensions, themes, developers got more experienced, hosting providers, developer tools and environment, and so on. Also important is that hardware became faster and inexpensive (both for developers customizing a Magento installation locally, and hosting fees). All of this significantly lowered the barriers to entry for M1, and no doubt that the same thing will happen with Magento 2.
Back to the case to upgrade to Magento 2
Now we've determined that development costs of M2 will go down in the near future, and that there's plenty of time left for M1, it's very likley that smaller businesses are better off spending their money on marketing and product, rather than a M1 to M2 upgrade.
Any thoughts, please let me know in the comments!