Sitecore 9 – why upgrade to Sitecore 9?

With Sitecore 9 now released, why should you upgrade to the latest version of the platform?

Sitecore 9 is here. More powerful, more integrated and smarter, Sitecore 9 plays to the platform’s known strengths.

Some of the new features for Sitecore 9 include: data centralisation, backwards compatibility and the simplifying of processes for marketers and non-Sitecore developers. With this in mind, it’s clear that Sitecore want to make the platform as easy-to-use, accessible and scalable as possible as it grows and develops further.

Web forms just got even slicker

Web Forms for Marketers has helped countless organisations’ marketing teams drive conversion month-in-month-out. In Sitecore 9, a new forms feature will be replacing Web Forms for Marketers, simplifying and speeding up the process.

Featuring a drag-and-drop layout, the new forms function makes it extremely easy for marketers to very quickly create, replicate and publish new web forms. All forms are reusable and reskinnable, meaning you’ll spend less time building forms and more time collecting valuable customer data.

Sitecore’s new forms feature also allows more complex multi-step forms, which can sit across more than one page. These can be used for surveys, questionnaires and membership sign up.

The good news for Web Forms for Marketers loyalists is that the existing feature isn’t going anywhere. WFFM will be fully supported in Sitecore 9, allowing you to upgrade and still keep your existing forms fully functional.

Cut project time by migrating content from legacy versions of Sitecore

Sitecore 9 offers easy migration of content from legacy versions of Sitecore. This allows you to move projects forward quicker and spend less time on repetitive tasks.

With your content migrated and taken care of, you can work smarter, not harder. You’ll have more time and budget to deliver business-specific value to your clients.

Sitecore 9 supports content migration from versions 6.6, 7.2, 7.5, and 8.0. Those using version 8.1 and 8.2 can simply upgrade to 9 in what Sitecore is calling their easiest upgrade process yet.

SXA is here to stay

In our recent article on Sitecore Experience Accelerator, we highlighted how its circular processes involve developers, designers and content editors in projects from the very start.

With a focus on unified development and design, Sitecore SXA removes haphazard project changes and moving deadline dates, increasing productivity and keeping your production teams happy.

This feature will come into its own in Sitecore 9, changing the way projects are planned for the better.

Unify and centralise data with xConnect

XConnect is a single, unified API that centralises data and supports the Internet of Things.

In a bid to bring separate elements together and simplify the customer retention process, xConnect enables full data integration between Sitecore and other third-party systems.

It’s most impressive feature is its ability to record customer interactions and communicate them back to the CRM. Marketers will want to take full-advantage of this feature in Sitecore 9.

Utilise your front end developers on Sitecore projects with minimal onboarding

Thanks to some very smart features in Sitecore 9, front end developers now no longer have to be Sitecore experts to build in Sitecore. if this sounds strange, then we’ll explain why.

Using their new Sitecore JavaScript Services, Sitecore have integrated some JavaScript elements within their platform. This now allows developers with minimal previous Sitecore experience to work on Sitecore projects.

Take content outside of the box with Sitecore’s Headless feature

With Sitecore’s new headless feature, you can create content within Sitecore, but publish it elsewhere.

Linking with apps, fitness devices and the Internet of Things, Sitecore 9 acts as a content creation tool for these external platforms. This is a great tool for amplifying content and getting it in front of more people. Marketers: time to get your content out there.

Omni-channel marketing automation

Centralisation, integration and unifying. You might have noticed these words being used a lot in Sitecore 9 conversation. Sitecore are simply making everything, well, simpler.

Marketing is no exception to this rule, and with Sitecore 9’s Omni-channel marketing, it brings together email marketing, web forms and CRM as part of a drive towards marketing automation.

Sitecore Cortex showcases enhanced machine learning

Sitecore’s machine learning feature, Cortex, is a big part of this process, and you can expect to hear it being talked about a lot in the coming months. With Sitecore Cortex, you can teach Sitecore to deliver better-targeted experiences for your audiences.

Mastering this tool will take away extra hassle and cut down on time, delivering a more complete marketing experience across the board.

Think Sitecore 9 is for you? Get in touch with us for information on how to upgrade

Our team of Sitecore experts and Most Valuable Professionals will be happy to chat with you about how these Sitecore 9 features and more will improve your digital processes and provide a positive return on investment.

Get in touch here.