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Sitecore Update: Eight Recent Developments

  • By 3chillies
3chillies

There’s always a lot going on Sitecore. That’s partly because Sitecore is a broad and complex product with a wide set of capabilities which make it a true digital experience platform. It’s also because Sitecore continues to invest heavily in its own platform with continual improvements, enhancements and new features, while also transforming its offerings to drive growth and defend its position as one of the market leaders. Sitecore’s commitment to innovation is one of the reasons we continue to enjoy working with the platform.

It has been a while since we last checked-in with Sitecore, describing some new product announcements back in October 2023. Since then, there have been a number of other developments, so it was high time for an update. Here are eight noteworthy recent Sitecore developments.

  1. There has been a change of CEO
  2. At the beginning of March Sitecore announced that CEO Steve Tzikakis had been replaced by Chief Product Officer Dave O’Flanagan as Interim CEO. Darren Roos is also a new Chair of the Board, replacing Jonas Persson

    O’Flanagan was the former CEO at Boxever which was acquired by Sitecore in 2021, so has leadership experience and as Chief Product Office knows the Sitecore platform well. He seems to be a safe and steady pair of hands to steer the ship while a new CEO is found, although it is perfectly possible O’Flanagan will step into the role permanently.

    There’s no reason for the change given. It could be for personal reasons, although there may be speculation for example building on previous rumours that Sitecore might be up for sale. The appointment of O’Flanagan and the fact that Tzikakis is staying on temporarily in an advisory capacity points to continuity and we don’t think this will immediately impact Sitecore customers or the current Sitecore strategy or product roadmap.

  3. Sitecore has confirmed its commitment to PaaS offerings
  4. In the past two years or so Sitecore has been on an intense journey to support composable architecture and headless scenarios, making the platform available on a SaaS basis. There’s perhaps been a question about Sitecore’s commitment to its existing customer base who are on Platform-as-a-Service products and whether at some stage they might need to make the switch. This speculation has tended to be down to Sitecore making a lot of strong marketing messages around SaaS and composability and not necessarily mentioning much about its existing PaaS platfom.

    However, in late October Dave O’Flanagan in his Chief Product Officer role made an unequivocal statement about Sitecore’s continuing support for PaaS confirming that when Sitecore 10.4 Is released it will be available until the end of 2027, supported to the end of 2030, and with optional extended support for even longer. He also confirmed there was parity in releases between PaaS and SaaS offerings. We think having this clarity is important and allows digital teams to make investment decisions with more confidence.

  5. Sitecore Accelerator is now up and running
  6. Although Sitecore is committed to PaaS, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t want more of its customers to move on to its SaaS offerings. This will undoubtedly be reflected in its marketing messages, as well as in the Sitecore Accelerator programme which is now up and running. We covered the announcement about Sitecore Acclerator in our last update; it is essentially designed to provide support and resources for organisations wanting to make the switch. Having resources, guidance and a structured path will help customers to understand if moving to SaaS makes sense for them, and also to make the transition. You can also get in touch with us to discuss your options too.

  7. Generative AI is starts to appear in the platform
  8. Sitecore have been making quite a lot of noise about generative AI and wanting to embed this right through the Sitecore platform. In October they announced some early examples such as the ability to generate text and images with Sitecore Content Hub One. We’ve also started to see additional announcements such as an “AI Writer” feature due to appear within Sitecore Send, designed to help marketers draft email campaigns. We can fully expect this to be a continuing theme over the year, with more generative AI capabilities appearing across the product suite.

  9. XM Cloud offerings continue to expand and evolve
  10. The expansion and evolution of Sitecore’s SaaS offerings has been a solid direction of travel for a while now, and this has continued. In our last round-up in the Autumn we covered Sitecore’s new XM Cloud Plus offering that was effectively an expansion of the existing XM Cloud product, building on the core CMS but with additional features.

    Since then Sitecore has added new capabilities to XM Cloud Plus including XM Cloud Forms, a new Project Creation wizard to kickstart a new site for example, improvements to the editing experience and a new website page creator. There is also a new XM to XM Cloud migration tool that helps customers migrate content from PaaS to SaaS – something which Sitecore are keen to encourage.

  11. A swathe of smaller improvements
  12. Sitecore also regularly delivers multiple improvements across each of its constituent offerings, and these are simply too numerous to mention here, but include:

    • The ability to add Sitecore Search, Sitecore Send, Sitecore OrderCloud and Sitecore Discover to the Sitecore Cloud Portal.
    • Improvements to the editing experience in Content Hub including inline editing and new image cropping options.
    • Additions to Sitecore Search, including improvements to data processing and analytics.
    • A redesign for Sitecore Personalize and the introduction of the MVP of Edge Personalization, bringing faster and more advanced personalistion capabilities.
    • Enhanced analytics for the Sitecore CDP.
    • Improvements to Sitecore Send.
    • And more!

  13. Sitecore Symposium is going to be running again
  14. Last year Sitecore didn’t run Sitecore Symposium, it’s flagship in-person conference that’s held in the States. It appears to have moved to a bi-annual cadence. So, for 2024 it is back, to be held in Nashville in October. It could be time to grab your Stetson and travel to the home of country music in order to immerse yourself in all things Sitecore for a few days.

  15. Sitecore 10.4 its on its way
  16. Sitecore 10.4 is coming soon with a targeted April release date with a number of projected features including:

    • More integration capabilities around Sitecore XP analytics across the platform and key enterprise platforms, enabled by Sitecore Connect.
    • A new low code no code interface to allow marketing teams and business users to customise visitor profiles.
    • Security and accessibility improvements to meet compliance and regulatory requirements.
    • Over 200 other updates right across the platform.

As usual, we’ll cover what the new release means for both developers and marketers here on the blog.

Keeping up with Sitecore

While not all of these changes will impact our clients, it’s always worth keeping up to date with the Sitecore platform. If you’d like to discuss any of these developments or your use of Sitecore in general, then get in touch.

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