October 31, 2023

Crossroads: Animal House or Sit Tight: Key Considerations Before Migrating to Sitecore XM Cloud

By: Craig Taylor
October 31, 2023

Crossroads: Animal House or Sit Tight: Key Considerations Before Migrating to Sitecore XM Cloud


As Sitecore XM Cloud gains more traction in the market, businesses often find themselves at a crossroads, contemplating a shift from established solutions like Sitecore XP to more modern platforms like Sitecore XM Cloud. While the promise of enhanced scalability, flexibility, and performance is alluring and you may want to charge in like Bluto from Animal House, but it's crucial to tread carefully and consider various factors before making such a significant transition. 

Do you go ahead and go all-in on Saas and XM Cloud, or do you continue down your path of upgrades and traditional Sitecore XP? Let's explore some key considerations that can impact the success of your move to Sitecore XM Cloud.

Cost Analysis: Licensing and Hardware

Shifting to Sitecore XM Cloud involves not only licensing changes but also considerations regarding the underlying hardware infrastructure. Assess the financial implications of this transition by comparing licensing costs and evaluating whether your existing hardware is compatible with the cloud-based architecture. A key selling point of any SaaS platform is the savings on infrastructure, but your (or your client's) organization may have infrastructure that will continue to live on in the future platform. It's vital to have a clear understanding of the long-term cost implications and potential return on investment.

Skillset Evaluation: Backend vs. Front-end Development

We already discussed cheese, I mean, the rise of the Sitecore frontend developers, in my last post, but Sitecore XM Cloud embraces a more modern approach, often requiring expertise in front-end technologies such as React and Next.js. Assess the skillset of the existing team; if the developers are predominantly C# backend experts, you may need to invest in upskilling or hiring front-end developers to ensure a smooth transition. Frontend tech is no joke; some might say it never was, but it's not 'just' HTML and CSS. Bridging this skills gap is critical for the successful implementation of a headless site based on Sitecore XM Cloud.

Site Redesign Considerations

Shifting to Sitecore XM Cloud will necessitate a reimagining of your website's architecture. The move towards a headless architecture means that every component must be re-developed to align with the new paradigm. There are ways to make this migration to headless in more of a piecemeal manner, but there are defintely cost implications. 

While you're at it: How's that design holding up?  If you're re-developing every component, perhaps it's a chance to redesign as well. It's a chance to not only adopt a new platform but also to enhance the overall user experience with a fresh design.

Evaluate whether your organization is prepared for a full site re-architecture and potential site redesign, taking into account the time, resources, and potential disruption to ongoing operations. 

Content Strategy and Migration

Consider how your current content strategy aligns with the capabilities of Sitecore XM Cloud. The shift might require a comprehensive content migration plan, ensuring that your existing assets seamlessly integrate with the new platform. If you've made the decision to re-develop and re-design, does your content need some attention too?  Plan on a comprehensive content audit to determine what content you keep, what content you update, what content you kill. Evaluate the tools and processes available for content migration and factor in the time and effort required for this crucial aspect of the transition.


Transitioning from Sitecore XP to Sitecore XM Cloud holds the promise of a more scalable, flexible, and modern digital experience platform. However, success in this journey requires careful consideration of costs, skillset gaps, the need for a site redevelopment (and optionally, redesign), and content audit/content migration. 

In the end, you may decide that your organization or client is not yet prepared for the investment to move to XM Cloud and you need to sit tight.  You may need more time to gain stakeholder support or budget or maybe you're considering dipping your toes into the water instead of jumping in, à la Animal House. I suspect that all organizations will eventually be forced into the SaaS platform model to retain full support, but but by understanding and addressing these considerations thoughtfully, you can make plans for a successful quick or measured transformation that maximizes the benefits of Sitecore XM Cloud while minimizing potential challenges.


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