10 Steps to Migrate to Sitecore XM Cloud

24 April 2023

By: Kingsley Hibbert, Chief Technology Officer

Category: Blogs

The release of Sitecore Experience Manager Cloud, commonly referred to as XM Cloud, in 2022 represented Sitecore’s continued focus and investment into the cloud-based composable market and therefore allowing brands wider options and approaches to building a modern open composable DXP foundation with an emphasis on content.

XM Cloud is a headless cloud-based content management system and an evolution for brands and customers already operating the Sitecore XM or Sitecore XP platforms.

The benefits of XM Cloud are well articulated, but as a starting point, these include:

  • Platform updates and upgrades are seamlessly managed and maintained by Sitecore
  • Dynamic personalisation
  • Next generation visual authoring
  • Enhanced next level analytics 
  • JAMStack & Composable ready
  • A superior developer experience

Like you, many brands and organisations are asking us here at Sagittarius to help them in defining their Sitecore roadmaps for the next 2-5 years and their approaches to accelerate & enable a composable technology ecosystem as they assess their current Sitecore XP or Sitecore XM v9/10 (or earlier version) implementations.

We’re experts in this and are progressing a number of initiatives for clients that we are transitioning to Sitecore XM Cloud and ensuring the process is risk-free, accelerated, scalable, flexible and robust. 

To do this, we follow a Migrate-to-XM-Cloud framework that has ten key steps:

  • Step One: Discover – The jump-off point for the journey ahead, depending on whether you are XP or XM (not XM Cloud) already, the version, customisations, whether you have implemented headless, whether you are using modern Javascript frameworks and how far your current marketing experience features have been utilised or not
  • Step Two: Analyse – Review and analyse any of the Discover stage (Step One) items that are potentially problematic and formulate a modern architectural solution to resolve
  • Step Three: Remove – Decouple any XP dependencies – notably Experience Database (xDB) and associated XP and XM (not XM Cloud) features
  • Step Four: Re-architect – Review the architecture of existing integrations, extensions and customisations (at this point, a middleware type extraction architecture model is a consideration or the capabilities provided through Sitecore Connect)
  • Step Five: Upgrade – Upgrade to the latest version of the XP or XM (not XM Cloud) platform (this is also the point as to whether to rebuild vs upgrade – we advise heavily here based on long terms costs and do usually propose a hybrid approach)
  • Step Six: Refactor – Rewrite the required elements of the backend code to be headless and the front end to utilise modern front-end technologies (NextJS/ReactJS)
  • Step Seven: Front End Hosting – Deploy a frontend hosting service (for example, Vercel or Dataweavers Edge) to host the ‘head’
  • Step Eight: Personalize: For XP implementations, consider replicating/enhancing or refreshing your personalisation strategy into the Sitecore Personalize product.
  • Step Nine: Deploy – Configure and deploy a vanilla XM Cloud instance & add any custom extensions/configurations
  • Step Ten: Migrate-  Migrate XP/XM content and assets to the new XM Cloud instance utilising a solution such as a transitional architecture from our partners Dataweavers, which provides a transitional state (XP/XM with XM Cloud) running your new headless XM Cloud alongside your existing XP/XM (MVC) platform with the ability to add in other Sitecore composable products into the architecture and ecosystem as and when needed.

This summary provides a high-level overview of your journey to migrating to XM Cloud. Our first-hand expertise and advice in this area will put you in a pole position to make your project and marketing technology transformation successful.

Reach out to us at DX Europe – We’ll be delighted to have a detailed conversation to solve your specific XM Cloud migration challenges.

About Sagittarius

Sagittarius is an award-winning digital agency that helps brands create high-converting digital experiences. Established in the UK with over 40 years of experience, we’re a multinational team of innovators, visionaries, strategists, and problem solvers who will optimise your web experience and use data-led decisions to power up your CRO, content, and UX. We take a marketing-first approach to our development, baking in performance and measurement to deliver impressive ROI on your technology investment. We specialise in Sitecore as a complete or composable DXP platform and have our own Sitecore Optimisation Consultancy and training academy to empower your people.

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