Sitecore DX 2023: What We Heard on the Tradeshow Floor
I recently attended Sitecore DX in Boston. I’ve been to more than five Sitecore Symposiums, and as SVP of Client Services at Velir, I’ve spent a lot of time at our booth talking to clients and prospective clients as they visit between sessions. But Sitecore DX was my first regional Sitecore event, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
While Sitecore DX was much smaller than the grand Symposium-level conferences, it followed a similar schedule, just packed into one day. There was a kickoff from Sitecore, updates around the composable ecosystem, client spotlights, some smaller breakouts, a panel discussion, and a keynote. Of course, all of this was followed by an open bar cocktail hour, and then a Velir afterparty. And then an after afterparty hopping around Boston. (I guess some things never change).
Although the event was on the smaller side, it was great seeing many familiar faces from the Sitecore world, like current clients and former co-workers. It was also nice getting a chance to make new connections. There were two major themes that I picked up on at our booth this year.
- When to migrate to XM Cloud.
- How Data drives composable tools such Sitecore Personalize
XM Cloud – Sitecore's Cloud-First CMS
XM Cloud was certainly a hot topic. If you’ve been thinking about moving to XM Cloud, you’re probably asking yourself when you should migrate to it. It’s new, and not many clients have gone there yet. But XM Cloud is the direction everything is heading in. I was talking with a prospective client at our booth with our Chief Technology Officer and the question of when to migrate came up. Our CTO’s recommendation was if you’re planning a large redesign, re-platform, or a complete rebuild, then the time to go to XM Cloud is now. However, he said if you recently upgraded to v10 and are happy with your website, you can likely afford a couple of years to get a return on all the investments you made in it before making the switch. It may not sound like rocket science, but it was refreshing to hear such a straightforward response to a tricky question.
Sitecore’s Move to Composable MarTech
The second theme I heard questions about was around Data and Composable Architecture — what tools to use, and how to get everything talking to each other. Many clients have already started using composable architecture. In fact, if you think about it on a more personal level, we’ve all been composing our own digital profiles this whole time. Platforms for social, platforms for where you get your news, platforms for email, banking, etc. I know it’s high-level, but the concept of composing a digital ecosystem has always been a part of our DNA. What has changed is that now clients are composing systems for running their businesses. And the challenge of getting all the systems talking to each other is real.
Velir recently acquired Brooklyn Data Co. (BDC) a leading modern data stack, and data activation company, so this has been top of mind for us. There is a lot of buzz around Sitecore Personalize, both in how to collect data on the server side, as well as the client side. Take that a bit further, and clients are talking about how they’re collecting data in their CRM, marketing tools, social, analytics tools, their CMSs, and other digital platforms. What I learned recently from our friends at BDC is that it takes planning and infrastructure to bring the data together. Like Velir’s approach to personalization, I’m seeing an opportunity for a “crawl, walk, run” approach to data as well. To be successful you don’t need to launch with every system being scraped and formatted into the data warehouse or CDP. You can prioritize systems and expand from there. You can roll out Sitecore Personalize on its own, and then bring in insights from other sources — whether it’s Sitecore CDP or another modern data tool of your choice. It doesn’t need to be as big or scary as it may sound. BDC has several “jumpstart” programs to help you get moving, or our own Velir staff can help you bring Personalize online.
All in all, Sitecore DX was a great conference! It was exciting to be working the booth again, out there talking to people and getting pumped up for what looks like another exciting year in the DXP and modern MarTech space.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us and set up a call if you’d like to talk about data, personalization, digital experience platforms (DXPs), composable architecture, or just want to trade conference stories!