Sitecore and Composable Architecture

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Hannah Grap

Good afternoon, it is great to be here. I'm excited to have this time to share a little bit more about Sitecore's journey to composable. For us, it's not just about how the marketing tech stack is moving towards composable; it started much earlier with our entire product strategy shifting from the monolithic version. The two interplay together, and we believe it's an important story with valuable lessons and synergies with some of the conversations I've heard today.

But first, let's talk about candy; it's almost Halloween. I'm sure there have been many discussions in homes about how many bags of candy to buy to avoid having too much. When it comes to candy, some of it's composable, and some isn't, and that's okay. Different people have different preferences and needs. Composability also comes with optionality, allowing us to create different solutions to address various business needs and outcomes.

For Sitecore, this shift to composability and optionality is seen in 2 ways: our product strategy and how our marketing tech stack has evolved. To help broader teams understand composable, think of the analogy of Jelly Bellies' composability and optionality compared to a candy bar.

Sitecore, as you may know, has been in the web world for over 20 years, starting in the traditional content management space. Through acquisitions and development, we grew into a best-in-class digital experience platform, the ultimate candy bar, if you will. However, 3 years ago, we realized that this web-centric space was falling behind in the cloud compared to other industries and technologies. So, we made the decision to completely re-architect our platform.

We wanted to ensure that our customers wouldn't have to sacrifice features while evolving their businesses in a different direction. This was a significant commitment, opening up exciting opportunities for our marketing organization and our marketing team. As a marketing vendor, we also like to "drink our own champagne."

We began by mapping our architecture based on the capabilities we needed, shifting our mindset away from the monolithic solution and focusing on specific capabilities for ABM, CMS, email, automation, and webinars. The architecture we're working towards for Sitecore is fully integrated and composable, featuring our own solutions and solutions from other vendors, creating a best-in-class B2B tech stack.

The composable approach eliminated the pressure to do everything at once, allowing us to proceed module by module, solution by solution, capability by capability. We deployed different solutions, gained early learnings, and achieved immediate ROI, then moved on to the next step.

Now, let's discuss a few examples. For our digital modernization, we began by implementing Content Hub DAM (digital asset management), which streamlined collaboration across teams and saved countless hours. It became our central image library, allowing us to build on enterprise capabilities. Next, we updated our search solution, adding a range of new capabilities, improving search results and click-through rates. By focusing on one component at a time, we saw continuous improvement and return on investment (ROI).

Customer Data Platform (CDP) and personalization were also part of our composable journey. These solutions provided new capabilities for personalization on any page of our website, and we continue to expand our CDP implementation.

Now, we're tackling the core CMS for Sitecore, moving from a monolithic solution to the hybrid, headless CMS — XM Cloud. This journey is shared with a hundred customers. Our partnership with Netlify is exciting for companies transitioning from traditional monolithic architecture to a composable world.

Sitecore's product portfolio, in particular our CMS — XM Cloud, has pivoted to a composable architecture with headless SaaS products, allowing frontends to be built in any programming language. This flexibility and agility offer great opportunities for Sitecore and Netlify to deliver improved performance, security, scalability, and developer productivity.

In our journey to embrace the composable mindset, we've seen three key gains:

  1. Agility: We can swap out elements of our tech stack that aren't working one at a time, avoiding massive changes.
  2. Speed to Market: We spend less time on upgrades and can deploy new features as soon as they're released.
  3. Momentum: We're changing the game in marketing, reinvigorating the conversation and driving forward momentum within our teams.

I'll be here for the rest of the afternoon, happy to have follow-up conversations. We're committed to transparency in our journey to composable and believe there are interesting angles and learnings to share. Thank you for your time.