Sitecore 9 is here! It is an incredibly slick and friendly to use marketing software with a drag-and-drop user interface. You can upgrade to Sitecore 9 and set up triggers to contact and track a user based on his activities and throughout his journey. This blog will highlight some of the important features of this version that creates opportunities for businesses.
Sitecore is the leading technology in “Ability to Execute” for a third consecutive year in 2017, for Web Content Management.
– Gartner Magic Quadrant Report 2017
Here’s why you need to upgrade to Sitecore 9
At the heart of Sitecore is data. Version 9 is the newest platform that lets businesses to carry out marketing automation with their data. It has brought significant advancements in marketing data, automation and customer experience management. The Sitecore Experience Platform (XP) introduced in version 9 is built with the capability to combine customer data and interactions with other data resources into a single database platform. The aim is to allow marketers to leverage real-time view of any customer.
Sitecore XP 9 has definitely opened the door for new opportunities for marketers by allowing them to make efficient use of data at their fingertips. Moreover, version 9 also includes the major update to xDB, so you can choose to deploy data on Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft SQL Azure in addition to Mongo DB. Being a marketer you have nothing to lose but a lot to gain by simply upgrading your existing version of Sitecore.
What you’ll need to upgrade to Sitecore 9
Upgrading to Sitecore XP 9 will require you to go through a series of step-by-step upgrades, database updates and existing module upgrades. Here are the steps of what is required for major upgrades:
1. Decide whether you want to access Sitecore 9’s new infrastructure using cloud or on-premises.
2. You will also need to carry out an assessment and implementation of any necessary fixes that will support Sitecore 9 such as:
- Adjusting API changes and breaking changes with existing system integrations
- Understanding the impact on business process flows
3. Perform quality assurance
4. Schedule the necessary downtime and content freezes
5. Application of upgrades on client’s environment Sitecore instances
6. Optional migration of any previously collected xDB data
Let’s see how you can upgrade to Sitecore 9
An upgrade is just a stepping stone; it is done best if it is done right without any errors. Planning for an upgrade to Sitecore 9 will require you a three-phased approach understanding that is widely preferred – planning and risk assessment (ii) upgrade execution and testing (iii) ecosystem upgrade and growth plan.
Consider the below-mentioned risk areas to try to minimize errors when you are upgrading to Sitecore 9:
- Deprecated assemblies/Custom pipelines
- Third-party integrations
- Content-freeze availability
- Difference between CM and CD instance
- Modules (WFFm, EXM, Commerce, xDB, etc)
You can achieve a safe upgrade to Sitecore 9 with these simple steps:
STEP 1 – Step up and install the required components
STEP 2 – Install the Sitecore version 9.1 Update 1
STEP 3 – Post Installation (Configuration for xDB)
These steps can be performed over a period of several weeks, depending on the complexities you may face within the process of upgrade and number of client instances while meeting the requirement of new infrastructure.
When is the best time to upgrade to Sitecore 9
Sitecore XP 9 is focused on providing data-driven contextual marketing. When your customers demand more and more every day, your client’s demand will increase as well. Enterprises, who are currently working with disconnected Martech, unfortunately, will not be able to leverage the new contextual marketing and might fail to meet the demands of their clients.
If your customer data is spread across numerous applications and various data sources, you probably will not be able to see a complete 360-degree view of the customers. You won’t be able to map the digital journey of your customer that they expect.
If you are facing these challenges, this is the right time for you to adopt Sitecore XP. This marketing platform will provide marketers with a new strong foundation and a powerful integrated UX that will help you create real-time contextual marketing with a single touchpoint. As a good marketer, this decision is about when you should upgrade and we recommend – present is the best time.
For many companies, the decision to properly architect the forward-facing build is challenging. Sitecore XP 9 is a highly flexible platform, although it is suggested that you take time and understand the benefits and considerations and later draw Sitecore’s product roadmap taking incremental training steps. If you need Sitecore CMS consulting on how to migrate or upgrade to Sitecore XP 9, speak to our Sitecore consultants.