Considering an AEM Migration? Here’s What Marketing and IT Need to Know

An Adobe Experience Manager migration is not easy feat, but what do marketing and sales need to know? This blog gives answers!
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Written by Max Slabyak

April 4, 2021

Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) is a powerful content and digital asset management system. Many enterprise and corporate organizations consider migrating to AEM when:

  • They’re using a system like WordPress, Drupal or Sitecore 
  • IT is struggling to efficiently maintain their system 
  • Marketing isn’t delivering an end-user experience that’s hitting their goals 

AEM offers best-in-class capabilities that allow marketing and IT to efficiently deliver digital content experiences that are innovative, consistent and scalable. It makes your team faster, you’re able to do more with less and you can create a winning customer experience that drives bottom-line results. 

But, AEM isn’t right for every enterprise and corporate organization!

Is this platform right for you, right now? And, are you set up for a successful migration?

Here are five things marketing and IT leaders need to evaluate about AEM before moving forward with a migration. 

Related: Should you use AEM’s cloud service offering?

#1 — Evaluate AEM’s three major components and how they can work for you 

AEM Sites, Assets and Forms are the top three functions that most differentiate AEM from other platforms and drive results. Here’s what you need to know about each of these three functions. 

AEM Sites

This is the Content Management System (CMS) where you build website hierarchies using different content elements.

Marketing values AEM Sites because it enables web editorial and marketing content teams to go to market faster with more personalized customer experiences. Other platforms have some general personalization capabilities, but AEM takes that personalization to the next level and allows your team to create content at the rate the market demands.

Most AEM users see a drastic increase in customer engagement and conversion rates compared to their previous CMS.

IT values AEM Sites because their team can control security and accessibility BUT they don’t have to control the entire website. Marketing can create website content experiences without manual development support.

On average, AEM reduces IT resources by 78%!

AEM Assets

Assets is your traditional digital asset manager (DAM) to upload, edit and manage assets to use across your multi-channel experiences. 

Marketing values AEM Assets because it allows their team to create, manage and deliver assets for personalized experiences at scale. It allows you to templatize assets and store assets all in one place. You can focus your creative resources more on innovation and the customer experience and less on production edits or duplicative work.

On average, digital asset creation is 47% faster with AEM compared to other DAMs. 

IT values AEM Assets because it drives efficiency. On average, IT teams supporting digital asset management and storage are 21% more efficient with AEM. 

AEM Forms 

Forms is a centralized portal to create, manage and publish dynamic forms for web and mobile devices. 

Marketing values AEM Forms because it has smart, dynamic configurations that result in a 20% lower customer form abandonment rate, on average. And, first-party intelligence drives strategic decisions to impact the bottom line. 

IT values AEM Forms because it integrates with back-end processes to handle data in meaningful ways. It also makes some creative, in-depth forms possible with out-of-the-box features that would otherwise require custom development.

On average, AEM users have 50%+ faster optimizations for forms

Here's how AEM ties it all together!

#2 — Evaluate your team to get set up for AEM success

The marketing team is the main user of AEM. And, there are a few key marketing roles you need on your team to effectively create content experiences and maximize AEM: 

  • UX designer 
  • Content strategist 
  • Marketing operations 

If you don’t currently have these three roles, you need to consider your budget to either:

  • Hire for these full-time positions
  • Upskill current employees to take on these roles 
  • Or outsource these roles to a strategic partner

You need these roles to be successful with AEM. So, if you don’t have the resources to fill these roles now, it’s best to hold off on a migration.

The IT team is also critical to consider when you’re analyzing these budget-deciding questions:

  • Will you migrate to AEM on-prem or AEM Cloud? 
  • Will your IT team manage the migration in-house or will you use a migration partner? 

“On-prem” defined: On-prem, also called on-premise, means you install, store and manage AEM on your internal computers and servers. With AEM Cloud, Adobe hosts and maintains the software.

AEM on-prem requires significantly more full-time IT staff to manage compared to AEM Cloud, which was released last year. 

For the migration, you also need to consider if your current IT team has the bandwidth to manage day-to-day demands as well as the migration. If not, then you need to evaluate your budget for migration partners. 

#3 — Evaluate your marketing strategy and results

AEM will allow you to create more personalized content experiences faster with fewer resources. It enables you to scale. 

But, what if the content you’re creating now isn’t customer-focused or isn’t resonating with your audiences and getting results? Upgrading to AEM might help you get more of that content that’s not working to your audiences faster.

You need to evaluate your strategy to ensure it considers the entire customer journey so you’re confident that migrating to AEM will only accelerate results. 

Related: Not sure if you’re setup for AEM success? We can help!

#4 — Assess how AEM will integrate into your existing tech architecture

Marketing keeps adding new tech all the time - so leverage Adobe Experience Manager for a more holistic approach to your tech stack!

On average, enterprise organizations use 1,200+ cloud services in their MarTech stack. Marketing and IT need to work together to assess:

  • AEM’s compatibility with these technologies
  • If AEM overlaps in functionality with any existing MarTech platforms
  • If there could be integration issues 

Assess this infrastructure before migration so you can build potential roadblocks into your migration plan, budget and timeline. 

Assess this infrastructure before migration. That will help determine if an AEM migration is in your budget. If you do move forward with a migration, you can build potential roadblocks into your migration plan and timeline.

And, keep this in mind: many companies using AEM (including our clients!) also use other Adobe products, like Marketo Engage, Target, and Audience Manager. With other Adobe products, it’s still important to set aside time and budget to integrate these platforms with AEM.

#5 — Find the right partner to help you successfully migrate

Most enterprise and corporate organizations use a trusted Adobe Platinum Partner to help them successfully migrate to AEM and adopt the platform.

For marketing, they tend to value a strategic partner to examine their entire customer journey and strategy from a bird’s eye view. A strategic partner helps you create a scalable strategy and adoption plan so you can leverage all that AEM offers and drive the most results. 

For IT, it’s usually much more practical to tap into an Adobe partner to help with some or all of the technical migration instead of hiring more full-time employees or over-burdening their current team with daily tasks and the migration. 

We also typically see IT teams rely on strategic partners for insight on AEM integrations with other MarTech platforms. At the Pedowitz Group, our team is certified in 600+ technologies, and our clients value this breadth of expertise during any migration, but especially a platform as comprehensive as AEM. 

Next Steps

If you still aren’t sure if a migration is in your best interest, think through the business case for it with this blog, and to help you even more, here are additional AEM-focused resources!

If you’re curious about AEM as a cloud service, our AEM experts break down what you need to know in this blog post.

And if you want an Adobe expert’s advice, we’re here to help!

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