How to implement a profitable Sitecore project
In many cases, companies that embark on a new adventure with the Sitecore platform struggle to realise its full potential, often writing off this technology in the long run. There could be many reasons for this, but most often it is due to exhaustion of budget and resources and a lack of alignment from the initial objectives set by the organisation. However, this doesn’t always have to be the case.
In this article, we will focus on why companies often fail to realise the full potential of the Sitecore platform, and what can be done to avoid this situation altogether and receive the most from the Sitecore experience.
First, what is Sitecore and why is it such an important business tool?
Sitecore is the leading digital experience software used to create seamless, personalised digital user experiences. This means that it has a much broader scope than most content management systems (CMS) or web content management systems (WCM).
The Sitecore Digital Experience Platform (DXP) is designed to maximise an organisation’s business performance across all digital channels by analysing visitor engagement, behaviour and interest to offer personalised user experiences. These experiences are tailored specifically to the needs and desires of users, working to drive them toward the point of purchase.
To get the most out of the Sitecore platform, organisations must invest sufficient budget, resources, specific knowledge and management time. Once the adequate investment has been made, you can guarantee great ROI from the Sitecore platform.
Common mistakes: the development project detracts from a digital strategy
Many organisations, after choosing Sitecore as their tech solution, begin with what seems to be the most logical first step: renewing their website from scratch, with new design, functionalities and conducting vast data migration.
The problem falls on the focus change which occurs by prioritising this stage; the organisation’s DXP implementation process becomes a web migration and renewal project that detracts from the digital strategy and marketing project whilst waiting for the new website’s release.
From here, the first mistakes of Sitecore implementation begin to appear. Sitecore developments are not simple and require major time, resources and money investment. Even more is estimated on a migration case, which is expected to take around six months to one year, depending on the scope of content and integrations.
What this means is that, whilst in the developmental stage, business objectives and marketing/sales actions should not come to a halt. If this occurs, Sitecore can easily become a wasteful expense during the development cycle; marketing and sales teams move away from it, clinging to other more familiar tools and platforms to drive their actions and goals. When the day arrives for these teams to use the Sitecore platform, they find themselves overwhelmed by the scale of the task and struggling without any previous experience or practical knowledge about the platform.
Even worse, companies often prioritise technological implementation designed and tested exclusively as a simple content manager instead of an experience management platform, naive to its personalisation features.
Not all make mistakes, there are ways to succeed!
For some companies, however, Sitecore implementation is extremely successful. These companies will confirm that, when built and utilised well, the Sitecore platform brings organisations’ digital strategies to the top.
So, how can you minimise these risks and ensure profitable Sitecore investment?
Focus is key
Nowadays, the tech evolution time cycle is extremely fast. Waiting six months to one year before taking full advantage of a digital platform is too much time to wait, especially in the age of Software as a Service (SAAS) in which benefits can be reaped almost immediately.
Hence, there is a need to keep the focus on exactly what your organisation needs from the Sitecore platform, at all stages of the project, to avoid any potential barriers to marketing strategy implementation.
The most important thing to remember is that the company’s objectives and digital strategy must drive the product development cycle and conditions its MVP, delivery and validation processes. Adopting agile development methodologies will play a crucial role in this process since they are focused on delivering value in a fast, flexible and scalable way.
Following this direction will allow marketing and sales teams to become familiar with the platform sooner rather than later.
Departmental objectives must align
As mentioned previously, the connection between all departments involved in Sitecore implementation is a critical factor for success. All teams including sales, marketing, data analysis, content and technology development must be aligned on common objectives and motivations during Sitecore implementation.
One of the most critical relationships, and arguably the most difficult one, will be between the technical and marketing strategy teams. Successfully executing marketing actions using Sitecore will often depend on both of these teams collaborating effectively, so it is essential to have good synergy and communication between both parties.
Internal cooperation is required
The amount of internal involvement required for the Sitecore platform is vast and knowledge is needed from all levels of the organisation. It does not make sense to implement a Digital Experience Platform like Sitecore if the organisation does not have the resources to support the software.
In other words, the platform will not work on its own. Organisations must prepare, train and fully involve themselves with the platform, ensuring that everyone gets the most out of the platform as quickly as possible.
The organisation must be innovative and think ahead
From a technical and architectural perspective, there are several approaches that should be taken when implementing a Sitecore solution.
The monolithic software area has been left behind, giving way to decoupled architecture, based on dedicated and cloud services, for better performance, scalability, and portability. Sitecore is also sticking with this trend, increasingly separating its elements into separated, isolated, and scalable elements onto cloud infrastructures.
Organizations must also take this direction to be able to move faster, more lightly, reducing dependencies and blockages, and guaranteeing easier and more agile future renovations.
Considering, for instance, a decoupled headless architecture, will allow the separation between the backend part of Sitecore, content and marketing management and any business rules, from the presentation side exposed to our visitors, this approach, in addition, to improve considerably the performance, allows working without any dependencies between teams, on a more granular way.
Backend or frontend could be improved, changed, or including moved to other techs without altered the other part.
In order to generate maximum profitability from the Sitecore Digital Experience Platform, organisations must consider a strong strategy for implementation to avoid exhaustion of budget and resources.
The best approach is to see the implementation process as an evolution, rather than a revolution. This means envisioning implementation as a gradual process in which effectiveness increases over time. Also, it is essential to maintain good synergy between all teams involved in Sitecore tasks, providing them with a common direction to drive company objectives. The technical architecture also plays a key role in the success of implementation, allowing for a long-term flexible, decoupled and granular solution.
Above all else, companies investing in the Sitecore platform must ensure that they have all the necessary resources needed to accomplish their goals and harness all the value that Sitecore could bring.
Need help to assess if you are getting the full value from your Sitecore platform?
Here at Novicell, we are a certified Sitecore partner agency that supports companies to reach their full potential with the Sitecore platform.
It is important for us to present a complete and honest description of the features and capabilities of the platform, tailoring our recommendations to your specific needs.
We provide technical and strategic services in everything from the construction of a new project to the audit of a completed or ongoing project.
If you are looking for a Sitecore agency, please contact one of our Sitecore specialists who will be more than happy to help you!