1. Predictive Analytics
With the introduction of Sitecore 8 the focus shifts to the Sitecore Experience Platform. Paired with the new xDB running on MongoDB the new platform tracks and reports on customer interactions so you can make better informed marketing decisions.
Testing can now be accessed through the new Experience Optimization feature within the Sitecore Experience Platform launch pad. This enables content editors to establish tests and set goals to better understand the accuracy and relevance of published content.
Testing is more accessible than in previous versions of Sitecore, encouraging more A/B testing for Experience Optimization. New gamification concepts will entice editors and marketers to run more tests and compare against goals and performance reports.
2. Federated Experience Manager
Sitecore Federated Experience Manager (FXM) is now on version 1.2, available for Sitecore 7.5. Previously, this module was available to both Sitecore 7.1 and 7.2. Since FXM is fairly new to Sitecore, a presentation of its capabilities was one of the highlights of Sitecore Symposium 2014.
The demand to support legacy web applications and sites running alongside Sitecore is high. Organizations running legacy sites are not candidates to be immediately ported over to a Sitecore platform, but the need to consolidate tracking and personalization is highly desired. FXM solves this problem by leveraging an existing Sitecore solution, injecting content, tracking and personalization rules into the legacy site.
I see this module growing significantly in 2015. We’ll begin to see best practice documentation for adding dependencies from legacy systems to Sitecore, as well as additional case studies and implementation guides. Look for continues growth with regard to Predictive Analytics within FXM.
3. Sitecore Azure
Sitecore Azure has gained significant momentum in the last year, as companies consider moving to the cloud to reduce costs as well as quickly adapt and scale to meet demand. Sitecore Azure will continue to grow in 2015 with new support for enhanced deployment options. We’re already seeing posts related to Sitecore Azure and Sitecore-supported deployment through Visual Studio outside of the Azure module.
4. Sitecore MVC
Sitecore MVC has been supported since 6.5.1. Finally, we have Sitecore MVC support for Web Forms for Marketers (WFFM). For some, the lack of MVC support for WFFM prevented Sitecore MVC from being recommended over Web Forms. In 2015 we’ll continue to see Sitecore MVC growth.
5. xDB shared session state modules
With Sitecore 7.5 the Experience Database (xDB) stores most of the data related to customer activity. Since data is collected when the session end event is triggered a shared session state provider is recommended to ensure proper collection of activity.
As more sites adopt shared session state providers we’ll see enhanced customer experiences enabled by sharing common data across multiple devices. Consider a scenario where you’re adding items to a shopping cart on your PC and switch to your phone, all while maintaining your shopping cart session, picking up exactly where you left off. There’s a great opportunity for Sitecore Marketplace development and customization. Look for some interesting new shared session state modules to be added to the Sitecore Marketplace in 2015. And we’ll cover approaches for customizing these new modules in future blog posts.
6. Expanding Sitecore community
It should come as no surprise that as the Sitecore product grows, so does the community. We’re seeing more Sitecore MVPs than in previous years. And contributions to open source modules are rapidly increasing as well as chatter on social media and blog posts. With an increasing number of new blogs and information Sitecore has also stepped up its efforts to create a place where customers can find documentation and search through knowledge base articles.
We’ll continue to see the community grow in 2015. The quality of solutions, product customization, and contributions will further solidify Sitecore’s position as a leader in the CMS space.
7. Programming disciplines
As the product expands to meet customer needs the landscape of technical expertise is also expanding. Although it’s increasingly challenging for developers to keep up with the pace of Sitecore’s new feature releases, we’ll start to see developers adopt concentrated expertise in specific areas of the CMS, such as SPEAK applications for customer experience, core product customizations, localization, and reporting. Look for a breakdown into programming and customization disciplines within development teams.
8. Growth of the App Center
New to Sitecore 8 is the Sitecore App Center, where administrators can subscribe to official Sitecore-supported services and modules. With the convenience of this service we will start to see more modules built for the App Center. Pay special attention to the MongoDB hosted solution, which will be available by subscription through the App Center in future releases of Sitecore 8 starting in 2015.
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