If you ended up at this page, it's hopefully because you decided to move on and try to convince your organization that migrating to Sitecore XM Cloud is the right thing to do.
In the following we have added a number of arguments we see as the most important input for building such a business case.
You are reading post number two, in a series of four, about moving from Sitecore XP to Sitecore XM Cloud. This takes you through considerations Alpha Solutions believe are important to any business in this situation.
Current state assessment
You're currently using Sitecore XP. You have a fully functional website and feel you're in a good spot. There are constantly new feature requests from the business as well as work on personalization, A/B Testing and some bug fixes and page-load performance optimizations. Some things could be better though - examples could be:
- Feature development is slow and costly.
- Your Google Lighthouse score sucks! You have spent a lot of time and money to get a good score, but it's not possible to hit 100 or close to that (you might be using SXA with your XP!).
- Deployment often requires downtime, which is costly and gives your site and brand a bad reputation.
- On important days, where traffic is extremely high, maybe due to email campaigns, you have problems keeping the site up and performing well. You get complaints from the business and bad reviews and comments on social media.
- You're missing deadlines and goals, and falling behind on smaller changes that have to happen "right now".
Get your current state assessment written down and get input from the business. Talk openly about good and bad tings about the current state. Also - be fair to the current state and keep focus on the business.
Use your business insight to list up what you know will come next. Maybe you know that you need to be able to quickly spin up campaign sites/pages, that must handle an enormous amount of traffic. Interview or discuss with colleagues, decision makers and stakeholders, what they see as most important to reach their and the business' goal. What are expectations for new features, changes etc. ?
Maybe you see the business requesting features and UI components in a cadence that you can't deliver on currently?
Let's look at some central elements you can use for your business plan:
- List benefits of Sitecore XM Cloud
Include the specific benefits that Sitecore XM Cloud can offer your business, such as improved performance and scalability, potential reduced costs, and increased agility, no need to host Sitecore on-premise, on Azure etc. (if that's the case).
- Migration costs and timeline
Would be nice to avoid, but include an estimate of the costs and timeline associated with migrating to Sitecore XM Cloud (Please check out next post in this series of post for more about this topic).
- Return on investment
This is the hard task - but a key element in any business case. Include a calculation of the ROI you expect to achieve by migrating to Sitecore XM Cloud. Our recommendation is to focus on the following areas:
Get numbers for your current hosting, internally, externally or maybe you are using Sitecore to host our current solution.
Get numbers from your Sitecore representative on how that would look with XM Cloud. Remember also to get cost for hosting the frontend, which Sitecore is not handling. So Netlify, Vercel, Cloudflare pages, Microsoft Azure Static Web Apps - all depending on the features you need (We can help you on that journey)
- New Feature Development
Do some math on the cost for features, and compare that to what it would be on the new platform. Development on React/NextJs is impressively fast compared to pure .NET development. Get some factors, or some estimates to base your calculations on.
If you're using Netlify or Vercel to host your frontend. It's really easy to deploy new features. We're talking a few minutes, and basically no downtime. To use that information in a business case, you need to bring in some numbers. If it’s a commerce business, you can translate deployment down time to "lost sales". If it's a non-ecommerce site, you have to find some factor anyway, some value.
At the end, the goal is that you get a clean calculation that shows that over X years, the cost of the migration project is paid back, and that you at the same time gained all of the above benefits at the same time.
Yes - it is pretty hard to put a value to all elements of a business plan. But at the same time, that in itself is a good exercise. Similarly, when presenting your business case, these "valuations" will often lead to fruitful discussions. It's obviously easier to do the math on current hosting cost and future hosting costs, than to put a value on how fast you can create a new campaign site, or landing page. But that's part of the business case - as it does add value to your business. Think about development time, testing QA, quicker deployment (and potentially no downtime), fewer resources involved etc.
To round up your business case, you could add in a list of pure obvious benefits that don't have any specific cost associated to them - these could be:
- Improved performance and scalability: Sitecore XM Cloud is a cloud-native SaaS solution, which means that it is designed to be scalable and high-performing. It can handle large volumes of traffic and content without any problems.
- Reduced costs: Sitecore XM Cloud can help you reduce your IT costs by eliminating the need to manage and maintain your own infrastructure. It also offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model, so you only pay for the resources you use.
- Increased agility: Sitecore XM Cloud is a cloud-based solution, which means that you can deploy new features and updates quickly and easily. It also makes it easy to scale your environment up or down as needed.
Finally, be sure to tailor your business case to your specific audience. For example, if you are presenting to your CEO, you will want to focus on the financial benefits of migrating to Sitecore XM Cloud. If you are presenting to your IT team, you will want to focus on the technical benefits.
Before you move your business case forward, you may want to get some ideas on estimation of the project ahead - look out for part III of this series.
This is part 2 of 4 in a series on Sitecore XM Cloud:
Part II: From Sitecore XP to Sitecore XM Cloud: Build the business case (this post)