Every version of а software product has its lifecycle, which inevitably finishes with discontinued support. It happens when a newer version is ready to replace the older one.
December 31, 2019 is the mainstream support end date for Sitecore 8.2. In this regard, current Sitecore customers should not panic, but rather read our article and decide whether they have to move their existing solutions to the latest versions of Sitecore 9.
The End of Life for Sitecore 8.2: What Is It About?
“Will my site stop working?” This is probably the most common question that customers who are still using Sitecore 8.2 or older ask when they learn that mainstream support will be unavailable soon. The answer is “No.”
Solutions powered by versions before 9.0 will still be functioning, but the essence is that they will no longer have access to the standard maintenance provided by Sitecore and included in the annual fee. Thus, the provider will not fix bugs, security or compatibility issues, and other problems that may happen with your platform. Should you need help, you will have to pay extra to the provider’s services team or to your Sitecore partner.
This rule concerns those users with mainstream support; in case you have bought extended support, you will have some technical assistance for two more years, until 2022.
The table below shows the current state of Sitecore products starting from version 7.
|Product||Initial Release Date||Mainstream Support End Date||Extended Support End Date||Sustaining Support End Date|
As you can see, support has already ended for 8.1 and older, and we strongly encourage customers still using these versions to consider an upgrade.
|Read also: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to Sitecore 9.2|
Possible Risks of Sticking with Sitecore 8.2
A new release of a software product is the most efficient method for the development team to address deficiencies, improve functionality, add new features and, in general, push solutions to a more advanced level. If you decide to hold off on the upgrade and stick with an older version, you risk encountering a number of drawbacks for your business. Here are some of them:
- Lost time — without access to the standard technical support, you will spend much more time fixing issues
- Increased expenses — the help of the tech support team will be subject to additional charges
- Lagging behind the competition — you will not have the opportunity to use the advanced features available in the new version, unlike your rivals who implemented them
- Integration issues — possible problems may arise while integrating your outdated solution with third-party systems
- Bad CX — poor functionality without advanced features inevitably results in the deterioration of customer experience
- Reduced customer loyalty — the consequence of the bad customer experience that may lead to a decline in the number of clients
- Lower revenues — lack of competitiveness and customer outflow will eventually result in declining revenue, which is the worst-case scenario for any company
The bottom line: not upgrading means increasing business susceptibility to a wide range of problems.
Benefits of Upgrading to Sitecore 9
First of all, upgrading is the guarantee of continued support. Second, bugs that are discovered in the previous versions are resolved in the new release. Third, the new advanced features available in the latest release can greatly expand business opportunities.
Now, take a look at the features that can help you decide in favor of migrating to Sitecore 9.
With the introduction of the Experience Cloud in Version 9, Sitecore completed its migration to the cloud. Users have been provided with an option to deploy their solutions on Azure PaaS, benefiting from the environment scalability and improved security.
The drag-and-drop functionality of this tool allows for creating marketing scenarios with your personal settings, making communication with your clients more efficient.
Previously, Sitecore used a Rainbow library for data serialization. In 9.2, it has been replaced by a YAML format, so the process has become easier.
For better processing of huge amounts of customer data, Sitecore 9 introduced Cortex — a powerful platform based on artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. They are able to track customer engagement with your brand, analyze user behavior, create profiles, make reports and, on their basis, deliver personalized content. As a result, marketing performance can be significantly improved.
A new API introduced in 9.2 purges data from the Sitecore Experience Database (xDB), making it compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) standard. This also helps reduce the size of the database and improve its performance. The feature is available out of the box.
Are Your Ready to Upgrade?
Migration is a challenging decision for businesses, and it should be thoroughly evaluated.
If your current Sitecore website performs well, and your customers are fully satisfied with its functionality, there may be no reason to update the system to the latest version. It may be enough to get maintenance support for an additional fee.
But if you feel that you can get more out of Sitecore 9, it’s the right time for a change. SaM Solutions team has extensive experience in support and redesign of the existing Sitecore-based websites.
Feel free to schedule a consultation with our experts to discuss your needs and ideas.