All of the buzz in the Sitecore community lately is around the composable DXP and headless offerings. Rightfully so – I believe that this plug-and-play model is much more customer-centric and easier to digest. And while there are many businesses who have already made the switch to composable, others are choosing to stay on the XP platform for a bit longer. It takes time to understand the new SaaS offerings, get internal stakeholders on board, and form an implementation plan. Seeing the onslaught of fresh content about the latest from Sitecore can make the XP users feel like they’ve been left in the dust. So, what’s next?
Discuss Your Roadmap
The first thing you should do (and should be doing regularly!) is discuss your short-term and long-term roadmap for Sitecore. How long will you stay on XP? There is no denying that the future of Sitecore is composable and headless, so your roadmap should include a plan to incorporate the new products and technologies at some point. If you will be building new functionality or tackling new projects in the near term, consider building it headless to start down that road and avoid rework.
However, if you like XP and want to stay there for a little while longer, Sitecore did announce that they would release a 10.4 version. Upgrading to XP 10.3 or 10.4 will buy you 2-3 more years of XP bliss before reaching the end of mainstream support. There are many benefits to moving to the composable DXP, but if XP is serving your business and you aren’t ready to switch, you can do what will likely be your final upgrade project (no need for upgrades with XM Cloud) and get a few more years of support.
Utilize Those XP Features!
Personalization. Content Testing. Campaigns. Goals. They are all available to you in XP and can help you better reach your customers! It’s no secret that modern users are expecting a web experience that is tailored to them, and Sitecore can help you achieve that.
Goals are one of the simplest things you can implement in Sitecore’s Marketing Control Panel. If you haven’t already, identify 3-5 goals (high, medium, and low value) and place those on actions around the site to start building up Engagement Value Scores for your users. This is a really simple way to see how users engage with your site and who is engaging the most.
As a next step, create a business case and a tactical plan for implementing features like A/B testing and content personalization. Start with your business KPIs or site content that is underperforming. One of my favorite Perficient strategy offerings is our Art of the Possible sessions that give a how-to overview of these features and get the ideas flowing. The Perficient digital strategy teams **** partnering with clients to come up with use cases and alternative content that enable marketing teams to start using these features.
Attend Sitecore Events
Sitecore Symposium will not return until 2024. In the meantime, attend Sitecore events such as the regional DX series, SUGCON, and local user groups. Network with the Sitecore community and learn about the latest product stack and how it can serve your business down the road. The DX event in London just wrapped, the next one is in Boston on May 9, and future events are planned for Chicago, Dubai, and Sydney. Search for “sitecore user group” on LinkedIn to find results for user groups all around the world. Recent LA Sitecore user groups have been virtual, so you don’t necessarily have to attend in person!
Most, if not all, of the presentations at these events will be focused on the newest Sitecore products. It may not feel relevant or useful to attend these, but the information in these presentations can help in road mapping sessions, implementation planning, or building a business case for moving to headless or composable. Not to mention, as a later adopter of these newer technologies, you can benefit from networking and from hearing the experiences of partners and clients who have implemented each of these products.
XP is not dead! Despite the attention shifting to the latest and greatest of Sitecore, there are Sitecore clients who are staying on XP for now. You should definitely be starting the conversations for moving over to headless and/or to the composable platform, since that is the direction that Sitecore is moving. Perficient would **** to help with roadmap and implementation planning – just reach out to us!