If you're using Sitecore XP currently, you can't avoid being presented for a push to Sitecore XM Cloud. A highly relevant question often sounds like this:
It's just an upgrade right?
From a sales perspective it's often called a "Migration" instead of a rebuild, or "Lift and Shift". It obviously sounds like a smaller project and less risk full.
The correct answer is: It's a rebuild.
It's a whole new frontend that must be established, on a new technology. If you're currently using classic MVC or SXA - too bad - you must rebuild whatever you currently have put in place as a frontend. Low and behold! We can re-use html markup, potentially your CSS as well as some of your js. Then there's all the logic we had in your C# in controllers, services etc. - that has to be re-done, and most likely re-architected.
If you have been building a frontend based on ASP.NET Core, you don't have to do all the work, and you can choose to do a smother migration where you do not have to redo the frontend.
What can you actually bring over from your current Sitecore XP to XM Cloud? Your content! And you have the same Sitecore Editing options as now, you even have new editing features as well. But you can keep your content, your templates etc.
For most companies using Sitecore XP - this "rebuild" - is not a small project. The question often arises if you should look for alternatives to Sitecore, now you're doing a rebuild anyway?
A fair and healthy business question
Considering alternatives to your current setup seems like what all business must to do to manage their investment and future demands and opportunities the best possible way.
So before considering alternatives, let's look at some of the obvious Pros and Cons for a move to XM Cloud.
Your reading one post in a series of four posts on moving from Sitecore XP to Sitecore XM Cloud. This takes you through some considerations that we at Alpha Solutions believe is important to any business in this situation.
Pros and Cons of moving to XM Cloud
- Familiarity: You know your content, templates, structure, and the editing interface
There is for sure some value in having your content editors being familiar with the environment and being product right away.
- Improved performance and scalability. It's cloud-native, can easily scale and handle large volumes of traffic.
With the new frontend technology - you will experience performance boost. If not, you have to be composable with your developers and switch them out.
- Pay for what you use - and let Sitecore handle the infrastructure
- Ease of deploying new features
Performance and productivity boost in development will a game changer compared to your current Sitecore development.
- Global solutions with data centers around the world
- Headless architecture
- Rebuild frontend and logic. Say you've finally had your frontend and design implemented, and now you must do that over again?
The migration process/project can be a complex process, and the larger and more customized XP solutions you have - the more challenges you might run into. This can be both a time-consuming and expensive process.
- Loss of control: Now that it's a 100% cloud environment, you're not in control 100% over it. That means that you have no control over the infrastructure or security. For some businesses this might be an issue. But see no reason to worry, Sitecore will make sure that security is tight, as that's need for all relevant certifications. If your company has special requirements in this area, moving to anything cloud would requirement special handling.
- Cost: Sitecore XM Cloud is a subscription-based service. If your not used to a subscription-based service, this is basically the standard in the cloud these days. So as with any subscription service you will have to do some forecasting, calculations and evaluate the various scenarios to get options for the pricing.
Important note: Now remember that XM Cloud don't produce your presentation any longer. In addition to XM Cloud, you also need to host a "frontend" somewhere. If your frontend will be using popular frameworks like React and NextJs you can host that with multiple popular providers like Vercel, Netlify, Cloudflare Pages, Azure Static Web Apps, or you can host it yourselves if you must (not recommended, but there can be cases where it’s your only option). This is an additional cost that you must add to the TCO for the new solution based on XM Cloud.
- Loss of features: If you're using the rules engine in Sitecore XP, and maybe some custom rules you build - you will have to let those go - or purchase Sitecore Personalize. That's another cost on top. Sitecore XM Cloud provides several personalization rules, but you can't customize, and it's limited.
Where to go from here?
Moving from Sitecore XP is not another Sitecore XP upgrade, and can be a small or large project. Is it the right thing to do for your business? Can't say. But at Alpha Solutions we can help you provide the information you need to make that decision. We're dead honest in everything we do. We provide clear recommendations to our clients, not matter the outcome. If we don't see XM Cloud as the best option for your business and use-case - you can be certain that we will let you know. And likewise - if it's the best option.
Where there's too much uncertainty, we always recommend running small POC projects, to get full clarity. This is always time well spent, and for sure that has saved a lot of cost full projects that ended up unsuccessful.
At Alpha Solutions we believe that Sitecore XM Cloud is a very strong product, and that it will continue to take market share.
If you're in doubt if the move from your Sitecore XP to Sitecore XM Cloud is the right choice - give us a call.
This is part 1 of 4 in a series on Sitecore XM Cloud - please read on:
Part I: From Sitecore XP to Sitecore XM Cloud: Why should you migrate? And what's the alternatives? (This post)