Time for an upgrade?

If you’re already running your website on Sitecore, you’ve probably heard about the latest release, Sitecore 9? Perhaps you’re wondering if now is the right time to upgrade from the platform you’re on? It’s certainly worth considering as version 9 certainly offers plenty of new features and incorporates a raft of new technology, which make engaging with your customers increasingly more targeted. 

Since the release of version 6, back in 2008, Sitecore has built on its core strength in web content management to offer a platform that lets you manage the entire customer experience in an omnichannel, personalised manner. If you’re a marketer who wants to take advantage of the clean design and customer data that enables context marketing, then we’d certainly suggest you considered an upgrade to version 9.

The first question to ask, if you’re considering upgrading, is what version you’re running currently, as the ease of upgrading will depend on that. 

Sitecore 6 was released back in 2008 and it’s unlikely that you’re still running that version. It bears very little resemblance now to what’s come since and mainstream support for this version finished some time ago – meaning that advice, support and patches are hard to come by direct from Sitecore. It was state of the art ten years ago, but doesn’t feature the marketing and content capabilities that later versions boast. 

If you are on version 6, then the best way to get the current Sitecore XP release is to start with a clean install and mitigate your content.

Here are some of the benefits you can exploit by upgrading from 6:

Ease of use for content marketers.
Experience management, rather than just content management.
360-degree view of your customers with Sitecore Experience Database.
Multichannel marketing apps.
Greater visitor data accuracy.

The releases that followed – 7 and 8 – brought with them advanced cloud deployment and omnichannel digital experiences. Version 7 integrated multiple channels and enhanced search capabilities, while 8 brought more advanced features and realised a single customer view.

If you’re still on Sitecore 7.0 or 7.1, you can still upgrade to Sitecore SP 7.1, then 7.2, then 7.5.  We would work with you to work out if it is better to start with a clean install and migrating your content and performing a staged upgrade.

Here are some of the benefits you can exploit by upgrading from 7:

Consistent user interface across the entire platform.
New automated testing and optimisation capabilities for business users, along with engagement value analysis, without IT intervention.
Contextual intelligence on every customer.
Omnichannel automation.
Embedded device detection.
Improved email and dispatch performance and user experience.

If you’re currently running Sitecore XP 7.5 or higher, than upgrading to the sparkly new version 9 is much more straight forward exercise – particularly if you make use of the Sitecore Express Migration Tool. The latest migration tool supports migration of any version of Sitecore 6.6, 7.2, 7.5 or 8.0 to the Sitecore Experience Platform 9.0 initial release. 

Here are some of the benefits you can exploit by upgrading to version 9:

Complete experience management capabilities.
Lower cost of ownership.
Opportunity to integrate web content with commerce and product cataloguing functionality (using one of Sitecore’s commerce options).
New Sitecore Forms, xConnect, federated automation and marketing automation enhancements.

At Lake Solutions are experienced at conducting upgrades on the Sitecore Platform.  Our approach, as always, is collaborative with our clients, working with them and their current systems to achieve the most cost effective and pain free process to carry out an upgrade.

If you’re considering upgrading to Sitecore 9 or even upgrading from an earlier version to Sitecore 8, then get in touch with us.  

Article Details

Ian Jepp
06 March 2018