What’s New In Sitecore 10.4 & The Future of Sitecore

A look at upgrading to Sitecore 10.4 and evolving Sitecore landscape.

Upgrading To Sitecore 10.4 And The Future Of Sitecore

With Sitecore telling us that version 10.4 is pending and re-affirming their commitment to the XP and XM platforms, I thought I’d dig into to what we know and what we can expect to see.

When is Sitecore 10.4 available?

According to Sitecore, it is expected to be released in April 2024.

Are there new version of Sitecore XM and XP?

Yes. New version of both. I would expect new releases of SXA and Sitecore Headless to be tied to the 10.4 release as well.

While there is a lot of value in Sitecore XP, many of our customers are upgrading to Sitecore XM and bringing new tools like Sitecore Personalize & CDP to take advantage of more advanced capabilities than they had on XP alone.

What’s new in Sitecore 10.4?

We’re a little early on this post as its not officially released as of this writing but Sitecore has shared some pretty interesting details.

  • Improved Marketing Stack Integration: Sitecore has relative new-comer on the block called Sitecore Connect. It’s an (iPaaS) integration-platform-as-a-service and allows you to connect and integrate systems with low-code to no-code. It’s a standalone SaaS product, but it’s being elevated with a connector directly into Sitecore’s analytics. This will push our data to the next level, allowing us sync our information into a wide range of marketing system like Sitecore CDP, Sitecore Personalize Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Eloqua, HubSpot & Segment.
  • Accessibility & Security Updates: Accessibility has definitely come to the forefront with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) in the US, European Accessibility Act (EAA) in the EU, Accessible Canada Act (ACA) in Canada and the Equality Act in the UK - to name a few. It is a challenge making sophisticated interfaces like Sitecore’s accessible, but it is an increasing need with real-world consequence. So it’s great to hear that Sitecore is embracing the challenge. Partners can address accessibility on the public facing websites but need Sitecore to address the platform itself.
  • Enhanced Visitor Profiles: Sitecore is introducing a new “no-code interface” that allows marketers to extend what we’re learning about site visitors (i.e. visitor schemas). More tooling, less code, is always better.
  • 200 Updates: I’m sure there are a few major updates and many minor updates that come directly from customer input and feedback with the product.

What is Sitecore Connect?

Indeed. Sitecore Connect is relatively new offering that I first heard of around the end of 2022. Instead of a building a new platform from scratch, Sitecore Connect actually leverages Workato which is the industry leader in iPaaS platforms. It allows low-code / no-code automation of data between enterprise systems and comes pre-built connectors for the most popular systems available. Learn more here by reading our article What Is Sitecore Connect? ← Update this with a link to Hunters blog

What is the support window for Sitecore 10.4?

Mainstream support will be available until December 31, 2027. Extended support concludes December 31, 2030.

Is Sitecore 10.4 available in XM Cloud?

Sitecore 10.4 and XM Cloud should be thought of as two distinct products.

Sitecore XM Cloud receives rapid updates, sometimes getting updates multiple times per week. Because it’s a SaaS offering there isn’t the need for manually upgrades, nor is it versioned in the way of traditional Sitecore. By the time Sitecore 10.4 is released XM Cloud will likely already have the same base feature set and many more XM Cloud exclusive features.

Whether you should upgrade to XM Cloud instead of going to Sitecore 10.4 is more strategic question unique to each organization.

With XM Cloud, will Sitecore will continue to support Sitecore XP and XM?

Yes. Sitecore has stated in this strategy update as well as at the Sitecore Symposium and other presentations that they will remain committed to the Sitecore XP and XM platforms, knowing the investments customers have made. Sitecore has always proven to be a stable long-term CMS option for organizations. In their announcement for Sitecore 10.4 they’ve already referenced Sitecore 10.5 and future upcoming versions.

What can we expect in future versions of Sitecore?

Sitecore has specifically called out native support for generative AI in their platform. What could that look like? Image generation or modifications? Help writing and editing content? Suggestions or alternatives of existing page layouts? Who knows, but its exciting. Sitecore has also focused on increased out-of-the-box connectivity with your composable stack and improved authoring and publishing experiences.

Should I upgrade to Sitecore 10.4?

Maybe. 🙂 The answer is never black and white. If you’re on a Sitecore version that’s falling out of support, an upgrade is of course sensible. With 10.4, is there a business case with the new features? Should forget about Sitecore 10.4 and upgrade directly to XM Cloud? Should you upgrade to Sitecore 10.4, build a modern headless XM Cloud compatible website, then plan for an XM Cloud migration on your future roadmap? Maybe instead of staying on XP, upgrade to Sitecore 10.4 XM and add some composable solutions like Sitecore Connect, Sitecore Personalize or CDP?

As always, there is a lot to consider.

Many Paths Into The Future With Sitecore

There is no doubt many options to consider and strategies to employ. You can choose Sitecore 10.4 with XM or XP variants, or take the leap into Sitecore XM Cloud. Regardless of your choice, Sitecore remains committed to their traditional XP and XM platforms where customers have and will continue to accomplish great things.

Please contact us and our award-winning team can help you sort through the best next steps for your organization.

Thanks for reading.

Meet Dan Cruickshank

President | Sitecore MVP x 11

Dan is the founder of Fishtank. He's a multi-time Sitecore MVP and Coveo MVP award winner. Outside of technology, he is widely considered to be a top 3 father (routinely receiving "Father of the Year" accolades from his family) and past his prime on the basketball court.

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