Road to Success with a Sitecore Technical Audit
Business & Strategy
Sitecore Upgrade

Sitecore Technical Audit: How to Get It Right

Oct 14, 2020
Oshyn

It’s a fact that legacy CMSs aren’t going to help you disrupt your competition in the era of omnichannel digital experiences. However, investing in a modern DXP like Sitecore without the proper guidance might end up doing more harm than good because, when improperly implemented, content management systems like Sitecore might end up underperforming.

To avoid that, you not only need to have a well-thought-out strategy; you need a robust, working solution that integrates every piece of the puzzle. It doesn’t matter how carefully you designed your website; poor execution can lead to downtime and missed opportunities.

However, while many Sitecore Partners  offer audits to help reduce the chances of a shoddy implementation, not all audits are created equal, and you can get an incorrect diagnosis that leaves your website in an even more delicate position.

At Oshyn , we make sure that your Sitecore implementation works the way it should. That’s why we created a technical audit for Sitecore  that gives CIOs and senior IT professionals an in-depth analysis of their current implementation and a roadmap for how to improve it.

Let’s dive deep into what makes an excellent Sitecore technical audit.

What Is a Sitecore Audit?

In a nutshell, a Sitecore audit is a process that combines automated tools with qualitative analysis and human experience to produce recommendations that can help improve your Sitecore implementation.

In our case, our audit includes a document with technical and architectural recommendations as well as best practices. The Sitecore technical audit consists of a review of your website and its network architecture that looks for flaws and areas of improvement as well as the authoring and publishing process and any third-party apps that you might be using.

At this point, you might be asking yourself. Do I need a technical audit for Sitecore?

Telltale Signs You Need a Technical CMS Audit

Like cars and almost everything in the world, websites and apps eventually show signs of age and start failing. That’s part of its lifecycle, and it can’t be entirely avoided. But you can learn how to spot the signs and get ready for some maintenance if necessary.

Here are some signs that your implementation needs a technical audit:

You Decided to Switch to a Different Implementation Partner

Maybe you hired Agency X, a Sitecore Platinum Partner, but for some reasons, things didn’t really work out, and they didn’t do the stellar job they had promised. If that’s the case, you need to know the problems with your site before turning to another partner.. What did the previous agency do wrong? How can you fix it? and what are the next steps to move on from your previous partner?

You Haven’t Had an Update In a Long Time

In this case, a Sitecore audit is like a visit to the doctor. A technical audit should be part of your maintenance and upgrade strategy if you want to maximize the benefits of your Sitecore implementation. In our experience, we recommend performing a Sitecore audit every couple of years or when you start to feel that your implementation doesn’t run as smoothly as it once did.

You Aren’t Leveraging Sitecore’s Full Capabilities

If you decided to use Sitecore, it’s because you want to leverage 100% of its capabilities. However, chances are that it hasn’t happened yet, which is why a Sitecore technical audit can help pinpoint the reasons why you haven’t leveraged your implementation to the fullest. A technical audit uncovers whether your implementation was built to leverage the functionalities you need and gauge the level of effort required to implement it.

Benefits Of a Sitecore Audit

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t see technical audits as something evil. They’re part of a proper implementation process, and without one, you might end up lost.

Also, technical audits are an excellent way for you to strike up a conversation with your Sitecore Partner and present a good starting point. A technical audit makes sure that your partner:

  • Gets a clear picture of your current implementation,
  • Is ready to support your particular case and doesn’t try one-size-fits-all fixes,
  • Can give you informed facts about what needs to be done in your implementation.

How Oshyn Carries Out a Sitecore Technical Audit

A good technical audit starts with listening. Our process begins with hearing from every stakeholder to understand what the issues are with the site and implementation. That way, we understand how to properly focus the technical audit on the areas that can move your needle, starting with an interview by Oshyn’s team which results in a document with the state of your current Sitecore implementation.

The overall process we follow for a technical audit is:

  • Understand the challenge
  • Conduct automated analysis
  • Apply qualitative analysis
  • Consolidate findings
  • Recommendations and next steps

Oshyn takes a comprehensive approach to the audit, checking the following four areas:

Sitecore

  • Configuration
  • Item Structure
  • Templates
  • Layouts / CSHTML
  • Modules
  • Caching
  • Helix
  • Search
  • xDB
  • Under-utilized Features

.NET Project & C#

  • Code Complexity
  • Dependencies
  • Security / Vulnerabilities

Processes

  • Development environments
  • Code release

We check over a hundred different elements that fall into the following five categories:

  • Performance
  • Scalability
  • Availability
  • Security
  • Best Practices

After we’ve completed the Sitecore Technical Audit, we include detailed action items for the development to start right away and improve your website. Also, we create management presentations that the C-suite can use to explain the current state of your implementation and the recommendations about what to do next.

All in all, if you suspect that your Sitecore implementation isn’t running optimally, an audit is the best and quickest way to improve your Sitecore Implementation.

If you want to read more about our Sitecore technical audit process, take a look at this article: Oshyn’s Sitecore Technical Audit Process.

Using an Audit to Improve Sitecore: Oshyn and Dole

Dole is the largest producer of fruit and vegetables in the world, operating with 74,300 full-time and seasonal employees who are responsible for over 300 products in 90 countries.

Dole had been using Sitecore in the past and had seen increased engagement and familiarity with Dole’s extensive product range, which prompted them to look for a partner who could guide them through the process of upgrading to Sitecore 9.

With that in mind, we conducted a Sitecore technical audit and subsequently built entirely new production and non-production environments using Microsoft Azure PaaS and Azure DevOps.

Thanks to the technical audit, Oshyn had the tools and the visibility to simplify, streamline, and improve the upgrade Dole’s existing deployment.

Beware: Not All Audits Are Created The Same

While many Sitecore partners offer audits, not all audits are the same. That means that you can run an audit and still not know where your implementation stands.

However, a proper technical audit for Sitecore starts with your Sitecore partner listening and with you being able to tell them more about your implementation. Without a conversation between you and your partner, you won’t get the most of your audit and won’t know where to move next.

At Oshyn, we aim at helping you implement Sitecore in such a way that it gives you the most of the tool. That’s why we created a technical audit for Sitecore that gives IT professionals deep insights into their current implementation as well as a roadmap that shows them how to squeeze the most of Sitecore.

Are you ready to kickstart your Sitecore implementation? Contact us, and let’s get started.