What to Expect from an Outdated AEM Version

AEM is an indispensable tool that helps organizations implement the latest digital marketing best practices across all channels. It helps brands increase content velocity, respond to consumer expectations, and increase customer loyalty with engaging content. However, many companies make the mistake of not keeping their AEM version updated because they don’t have the right support, such as an experienced AEM partner. Staying current with your AEM version not only allows you to access the latest features and keep up with fast-evolving market trends, but it also ensures that your platform is functioning properly. While upgrading to an AEM version can be rather complicated, not updating could cost your organization more time and money in the long run.

Pitfalls of Using an Outdated AEM Version

AEM is a complex platform, and using an outdated version could result in one or more of the following issues: Unable to Access the Latest Features Marketing technologies are advancing at a fast pace, and the latest AEM software has new features that aren’t available in older versions. For example, AEM 6.5 offers new capabilities within the DAM platform, Brand Portal, and its search function. It also uses Adobe Sensei, an AI application, to drive visual search, smart tagging, and Smart Crop. Many of AEM’s new features are designed to streamline workflows and reduce the time your team needs to spend on labor-intensive tasks, such as tagging, resizing images, and searching for assets. This way, they are free to focus on innovative and creative tasks so your brand can remain a market leader. Issues with Integrations AEM integrates with many other Adobe enterprise software solutions (e.g., Adobe Analytics, Adobe Target, etc.) to help you create an ecosystem tailored to specific business objectives. These applications are designed to work with the latest AEM version. As these software packages are patched, updated, and upgraded, they may no longer be compatible with an older AEM version. There’s also a chance that the integrations may break due to changes in codes, leading to technical problems. Conflicts and Incompatibility AEM integrates with other third-party services, such as AWS, Salesforce, and YouTube, to help users streamline workflows and improve efficiency. You can also create custom integrations for other applications that your team already uses. However, these third-party platforms update their codes regularly to add features and improve functionalities. As the applications evolve, they may stop supporting older versions of AEM, and you could be caught off-guard, leading to interruptions in the production process and the customer experience. Deprecated and Removed Features Some features in older versions of AEM are no longer supported, while others are replaced. Certain features may break or stop working altogether if you neglect to review them in your current deployment and make plans to stay up to date by using the suggested alternatives. For example, Analytics Activity Map, ExactTarget integration, and the Assets offloading feature have been removed from AEM 6.5. You may eventually run into issues with these functions if you’re still using them in earlier versions. Impacted User Experience As consumers expect more visual and video content, your website needs to support larger media files. Outdated codes can result in slower load times, which can negatively impact the user experience and even cause visitors to click away from your site. AEM 6.5’s features are designed to meet today’s consumer habits and expectations. For example, the latest Single-Page Applications (SPA) editor and Headless CMS approach give you the capabilities to deliver content faster and more seamlessly than ever before. Security and Vulnerability Issues The complex nature of AEM and the fast-evolving cybersecurity landscape means that you need to keep up with the latest patches and fixes. This allows you to protect your system from hackers and keep your sensitive information safe so you can stay compliant with industry regulations. Using the latest AEM version helps ensure that you’re getting the latest updates to minimize vulnerabilities. Because of heightened endpoint security risks, this is particularly important for enterprises that have multiple users logging into the platform from various devices.

How to Implement a Seamless AEM Upgrade

There are many moving parts when orchestrating a successful AEM upgrade. For example, you need to design a comprehensive plan, determine upgrade complexity and backward compatibility, take the necessary pre-upgrade steps, implement a test plan, create a rollback strategy, and perform post-upgrade checks. While the process can be complicated, it’s essential to upgrade to the latest AEM version. To ensure a seamless process, work with an experienced partner to make sure it’s properly implemented to avoid issues that can slow down your workflows and impact your brand’s digital experience. Atypical Digital is an Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) Preferred Partner specializing in helping enterprise brands leverage Adobe’s AEM platform to optimize their platforms for productivity and efficiency, free up IT-related tasks to make teams more productive, and maximize AEM stability and security. To see how Atypical Digital can help your brand improve its backend foundation to reduce critical errors during AEM upgrades, contact our knowledgeable team of AEM upgrade specialists today!

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