Sitecore 9: the most exciting update yet

Sitecore Experience Platform 9 has just been released under the new Sitecore Experience Cloud umbrella, it's one of the biggest releases to date and is packed with some significant updates and new features.

As you would expect, there have been many security updates implemented within this release, including the ability to encrypt data both in-transit and at-rest and federated authentication to control access from a central location (e.g. Active Directory) or social logins. These updates are especially important with the implementation date for GPDR coming ever closer in May 2018.

Updates have been made to the user interfaces of the Sitecore Forms, Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) and marketing automation toolsets with more out of the box elements and intuitive drag and drop functionality that aims to speed up the composition, sharing and delivery of content across channels.

The ability to more effectively and rapidly deliver cross-platform applications has also been addressed with the option for “headless” content delivery. This decouples the presentational layer from the administrative tasks in the content management back office, exposing the content through a collection of RESTful APIs.

Content can still be managed centrally, but you are not tied down to developing the user interface(s) on a specific technology stack, this has huge benefits from integrating content more effectively into everything from old legacy applications to the ever-increasing number of new technologies and channels (e.g. Chatbots, VR, Voice Assistants). However, Sitecore Cortex is the most significant new feature and arguably the most powerful and exciting innovations that has been ever been released.

It utilises machine learning technology, which works in conjunction with Experience Database (xDB) and XConnect, a new cloud enabled service layer that can consume data via a RESTful API framework from any third-party data source (e.g. commerce, CRM, wearables, IoT), providing a more complete and holistic view of the user interactions with the brand across every touch point.

In a keynote at this year’s Symposium event held by Sitecore in Las Vegas, Sitecore’s CMO Scott Anderson described Cortex as: “your own personal Data Scientist, available to you 24/7/365”.

It will be interwoven throughout the fabric of the content, commerce and digital marketing tools. It will build enriched profiles of individual users and detect new user segments to target by automatically analysing all user data, providing deep insights and identifying trends. Which in turn automatically personalising the experience for customers by delivering the most relevant content.

These new features will allow you to deliver highly optimised content and experiences faster than ever and it will be exciting to see how their capabilities evolve going forward, watch this space.

If you are thinking of upgrading latest version of Sitecore or would like to know more about the benefits Sitecore can bring to help you solve your business challenges, then please contact Miranda Glover.