PaaS: the enterprise solution for Sitecore.

Paas_Blog

With security and scalability high on the priority list for enterprise brands, it’s time businesses start investing in hosting and software solutions that support growth, free up over-stretched resources and relinquish budgets, without the IT headache. 


Platform-as-a-service, otherwise known as PaaS, is the complete enterprise solution for Sitecore customers; with environments in the cloud and resources that allow the delivery of both cloud-based and cloud-enabled enterprise applications - PaaS enables businesses to focus on the most important part: the application itself. 


PaaS for the enterprise


Unlike those running on traditional IaaS, businesses that invest in PaaS are able to focus on what really matters: developing great code, as opposed to worrying about low-level commodities such as infrastructure, server configurations, and operating systems.


With PaaS, enterprise companies can produce high-quality applications faster and more cost-effectively. Development teams are able to re-prioritise their time wasted managing servers and infrastructure reducing the cost-drain of time spent ineffectively and giving leaders the opportunity to re-invest savings into upskilling their tech-talent. 


Scalability and redundancy are no longer an issue, with PaaS users can scale-up or scale-out with instances in various locations - adding an additional layer of reliability enterprise brands need.


Benefits of Azure PaaS


With Azure PaaS, businesses can rest easy knowing that their site will never suffer from unplanned or prolonged outages. Not only does PaaS have the ability to offer enhanced security and stability but it also gives users access to: 


  • Pre-coded components - cutting out the time it takes to develop applications

  • Multi-disciplinary components - allowing developers to build complex designs without the need for training 

  • A cloud-based environment - bringing together geographically distributed teams

  • Pay-as-you-go access to Azure tools - giving businesses access to advanced software, intelligence and analytical tools

  • Auto-scaling - supporting websites even when they get surprising increases in load without all the expense

  • Built-in application cycles - building, testing, deploying, managing and updating your products

  • Multi-device development - developing applications for any platform computers, mobile devices and browsers

  • Commodity building model - yielding cost savings against traditional IaaS infrastructure 

  • Built-in redundancy - keeping services and websites running even when servers fail

  • Always updated - PaaS automatically installs server updates and security patches

  • 100% uptime - depending on which products you purchase your application has the potential to run at 100% uptime as it’s spread across multiple servers and device centres 

  • Avoid costly expense and complexity of managing licenses - with PaaS you manage the applications and the cloud service provider takes care of everything else!

  • Utility building model, yielding cost savings against traditional IaaS infrastructure


Ultimately PaaS is designed to support the complete web application lifecycle - building, testing, deploying, managing and updating.

IaaS_PaaS

Revealed at this years Sitecore Symposium, it was announced that Sitecore now has a ‘Vision for SaaS’ and a natural next iteration of the platform and how it is delivered to customers. Hence the progression from PaaS to also offer a SaaS solution will be an interesting debate for 2020 when the first iteration will be seen…

Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.

A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.

So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance. 

What is a Content Strategy?

It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.

But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business. 

Who are my Audience?

You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.

So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context. 

Do I need to tailor content?

As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.

 

Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:

  • What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?

  • Who are they most influenced by?

  • What voices influence their behaviour?

  • What type of content do they consume?

  • Where do they consume content and engage with brands?

Different Content, Different Objectives

 All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.

There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.

Hero Content

Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale. 

Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels. 

Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.

Hub Content

Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.

Hygiene Content

Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.

How do I manage all this?

Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.

Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.

Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.

If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.

want to speak to one of our experts?

 
Kingsley Hibbert
Kingsley Hibbert
Chief Technology Officer
Kingsley is the agencies CTO and as part of the c-suite is leading the charge to support our rapid growth as we break into new and emerging markets! He has a wealth of technical experience and expertise having previously worked in Senior Sitecore roles at brands such as PRS for Music and Epsilon.
Kingsley Hibbert

Kingsley Hibbert

29 Jan 2020 - 5 minute read
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