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How Sitecore Cloud Support is Driving Digital Ex

Published on Friday, 27th October 2017, contributed by e3

Gary Trimnell, e3 Technical Director

The utilisation of cloud services is fast becoming common place in every business, supporting everything from email delivery to IoT and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Its ability to scale and adapt quickly drives more effective collaboration and communication, innovation and delivery of products and services quickly to market and facilitates much of today’s digital disruption.

Sitecore recognise that use of cloud services are vital to keeping up with this velocity of change, as a result, customers of the Sitecore Experience Platform benefit from a scalable, robust and sophisticated enterprise platform, coupled with the agility to adapt quickly to business change.

Whilst there are many ways to deploy Sitecore to the Cloud, the most recent releases have seen significant updates to the Sitecore Experience Platform for support on Microsoft Azure as Platform as a Service (PaaS).

PaaS not only delivers the underlying servers, networking, business intelligence and database management tools, but also wider application lifecycle supporting the rapid development, deployment and distribution of services.

The core benefits that cloud provide is the scalability and flexibility of the underlying infrastructure, networking and resources.

Whilst a more traditional on-premise dedicated solution can still be the right approach for many use cases. Having to design a solution based on a prediction of future requirements can lead to expensive hardware either being underutilised or not able to keep up with demand which can lead to the operational impact to services.

Therefore, the ability to adjust a solution quickly to align with demand in most scenarios is extremely useful, whether you need to spin up infrastructure quickly for short term, rapid prototyping, ensure availability for high volume campaigns or optimise the performance of a global multi-region architecture.

Cloud services are provided on a ‘pay for what you use’, subscription model. This can provide benefits to some by moving infrastructure costs to an operational expenditure, but more crucially you control spend for only paying for what you need at that point in time and no more.

To align with this Sitecore recognise the need for a flexible licensing option and offer a consumption model alongside it more traditional per server model, this is based around the number of sessions that your product or service gets and allows you to utilise as many servers as you need to adjust the solution to meet demand.

Brands continue to compete to provide the best experience to their customers possible to keep up with their everchanging expectations. Sitecore provides a mature and comprehensive suite of personalisation and marketing automation features out of the box to support this. However, to tailor and optimise an experience for an individual you of course first need to build up a detailed profile of their behaviour.

To achieve this, you need to collect as much information as possible from their implicit and explicit interactions across every touch point to understand how they interact with products and services.

Assuming you have the necessary consent, you want to collect as much data as possible about someone and not have to pick and choose. The more data that can be collected the more the experience can be refined, optimised and focused, tailoring the experience not only on past behaviour and pre-defined rules but also predicting what that user might do in the future by analysing, detecting and harvesting valuable insights, trends and patterns from it.

Inherently the more data that is collected the greater the overhead of managing and maintaining the data becomes for the IT department.

Sitecore removes this burden by providing its Experience Database (xDB) in the cloud. It provides a scalable solution, allowing you to collect as much data as you need and a highly available and performant service to allow you to access customer data and deliver content in real-time.

It is almost inevitable that all organisations will at some point for advantage of the cloud in some way whether they utlise public cloud services, private, hybrid, multi-cloud, with some organisations even moving to cloud-first or even cloud-only IT strategy, so it is essential to select technologies and platforms that have these capabilities like Sitecore, built in so that even if you are not deploying to the cloud immediately you have the options to migrate when you are ready to.

If you are interested understanding more about Sitecore’s capabilities or are thinking of migrating an existing implementation to the cloud, then please contact us