If you are considering a Sitecore implementation or have recently launched an instance of Sitecore, you'll want to be sure to address each of these four key Sitecore operations resources.

During the planning stages of Sitecore implementations, we are often asked about which IT resources are most crucial for the continued success of the deployment. As you can imagine, each project requires a customized answer, depending on the specifics, but there are a few that carry through with the majority of our implementations.

1. Managing servers/intrastructure

The effort here should be minimal, as this is largely routine tasks for patches, backup verification and the sort that can be mostly automated. If you decide to have your Sitecore partner provide managed hosting, this work could be offloaded to them. This work will require about one day per month for verification once the process is established. If you do decide to keep the servers and infrastructure management in house, you’ll typically assign the responsibility to the IT department.

2. Sitecore application monitoring

The ongoing monitoring of the Sitecore application itself requires roughly one day per month to review logs, cache settings and fine tune the operational settings. This work could be offloaded to a partner under a maintenance agreement. There is no hard and fast rule on where this person would report if part of the client team, but we see a slight bias towards this person residing inside the IT organization.

3. Managing complex content layouts/Simple front-end (HTML/CSS) development

The promise of a content management system is a set of robust templates that can accommodate any future need. The reality is that there will be special circumstances (campaigns, landing pages, etc.) that require a bit more knowledge of HTML/CSS and possibly JavaScript. The power user with this skill is often found in the Marketing team and can take on this work as part of their normal duties.  They also tend to be the lead users from which others ask for assistance. The level of effort for this skill is hard to predict and is entirely dependent on the frequency with which new templates may be required. If an existing member of the marketing team does not fit this description, we would suggest one day per week as an average level of need.

4. Ongoing improvements (new templates, workflows, etc.)

The development of new features requires UX/design, Sitecore/.NET development and HTML/CSS/JavaScript skills. Based on the size of the web properties and what will be a phased launch, most of nonlinear’s clients have three to four people available part time to take on this work.  Their actual allocation would equate to 1 to 1.5 full time equivalents or FTEs. Once all phases of the re-build and migration are complete this should drop to 0.75 – 1 FTEs.

As we mentioned at the onset of this post, these are only four of the most common Sitecore operations elements to consider. Would you add any other typical Sitecore operations that should be added to the list?

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