In 2012, the blink of an eye — just 0.4 seconds — was too long to wait for a page to load. The British public broadcaster, the BBC, recently realized that for every additional second a page takes to load, 10% of users leave. Customers haven’t had the time to wait for your site to load for years, and they don’t have the patience to wait for you to get your CX right today.

The truth is customer expectations have undergone a fundamental shift in recent years. Research carried out in August 2020 shows that 52% of customers expect offers to always be personalized, up from 49% in 2019, while 66% expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations.

Keeping up with customer expectations around customer experience (CX) requires keeping up with rapidly changing trends and the technology advances that enable them.

Accelerating IT and driving personalization

Over the past year, we’ve covered the benefits of aligning your IT and Marketing teams to improve the digital experience for your customers. There’s no doubt that closer interdepartmental connections will positively impact business performance.

With the right blend of people and the right technology to enable personalization, your business accelerates. You can exploit data more effectively, make better decisions, and implement changes at a much faster pace. In fact, companies with aligned IT and Marketing are up to 4x more successful at significantly increasing their speed to market than their competitors.

But still, IT and Marketing departments are fundamentally different. They have diverging principles and they work at different paces. IT must test, secure, and validate technology, while marketers are more comfortable iterating on the fly. Almost half of IT leaders think Marketing departments work too fast, while a similar proportion of Marketing leaders think IT doesn’t work quickly enough, making it even more important to align the two departments. Enabling technologies play a pivotal role in correcting the imbalance. After all, it’s easier for everyone to work faster when they don’t have to keep interrupting their progress to recalibrate.

Optimize teams and analyze data for a better CX

For true team alignment and integrated working, businesses need tools that make data, analytics and technological insight widely available. When everyone has sight of the bigger picture and has the technology they need to play their part, everything accelerates. People do their best work. And they do it quickly. This means a faster, more efficient CX, which leads to an increase in sales.

By their nature, interdependent teams have shared goals, but they also have their own targets and very specific technology needs. Marketers need to deliver data-informed experiences to improve personalization and hit KPIs. IT teams need to enhance their agility, uphold security and drive down TCO. Developers need to boost productivity, improve functionality, and streamline processes.

It’s a question of balancing the needs of all team members, as well as aligning the goals of IT and Marketing. That’s when your business begins to accelerate. And that’s what the recently updated Sitecore Experience Platform (XP) 10.1 enables.

For both IT and Marketing, the embedded AI for auto-personalization helps businesses overcome common roadblocks. Now you’re able to jumpstart large-scale personalization efforts, which might once have seemed impossible to manage. Marketers can use AI to analyze customer behavior and determine the best content to continuously optimize their experience. IT can rest assured that the system is robust and delivers on the promise of personalization at scale.

IT teams appreciate Sitecore 10.1’s introduction of Next.js SDK — an enterprise-ready JavaScript framework, which provides flexible delivery models ranging from static site generation (SSG), to server-side rendering (SSR), to hybrid approaches. It’s out-of-the-box features speed Sitecore implementations. It also provides performance improvements for sites using Next.js for a hybrid-SSG model.

And, finally, the tighter Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) and Horizon integration greatly speeds the building and editing of webpages. New landing page templates, for example, help content and web teams move quickly by offering a malleable framework for creativity. And interface options increase the ease of use for all teams involved.

Your route to a rapid CX future

If you’re looking to boost your speed to market, then there’s no faster way than implementing the latest versions of Sitecore Experience Manager (XM) and Sitecore XP. With AI as a new standard feature available for Sitecore XP, brands can streamline personalization. New development frameworks offer IT teams options and speed. Deeper integrations of user interfaces speed and ease the creation of content. Sitecore 10.1 helps teams across your business align on goals and achieve them quickly. You’ll be able to personalize the experience without the guesswork, analyzing customer behavior, learning where each user is in their journey, and determining the best content to serve up.

Better team alignment and a continuously optimized customer experience is what you’ll achieve with Sitecore XP 10.1.

To learn more about the advanced functionalities of Sitecore XP 10.1, reach out to us today for a demo.

Jill Grozalsky is a Product Marketing Director at Sitecore. Find her on LinkedIn and Twitter.