Drupal is one of the best-regarded open-source Content Management Systems (CMS) for organizations with complex requirements. It has been featured in industry-leading reports including Gartner and Forrester, and is the platform of choice for many enterprise groups.
As an 18+ year old project, Drupal is supported by a mature ecosystem of companies, people and processes that are constantly driving improvements. In fact, Drupal 8 introduced several major changes from the previous versions, and those new features are having a positive impact on the longevity of the project. Below are the best reasons why Drupal 8 will help you and your organization achieve your digital business goals.
#1 Staying on the cutting edge, constantly
Up until version 8, Drupal had a very traditional release cycle. Each major version was developed with a set of functionalities that were then frozen before the software was released. That model, although seen as stable, it made it difficult for new features to reach users in a timely fashion. In turn, the Drupal community created modules to plug the gaps, which unfortunately led to ecosystem fragmentation.
In contrast to Drupal 5, 6, and 7, Drupal 8 has adopted a continuous improvement cycle with minor version releases roughly every six months. This means that new features don’t have to wait for a full new version: instead, they are incrementally be included in the software.
Organizations that adopt Drupal 8 enjoy immediate access to system that is constantly evolving in time with the latest technological achievements. This allows teams to focus on their competitive advantages, continuously incorporate cutting-edge best practices, and keep up with ever-changing industry standards.
#2 Collaboration and standards
When adopting a new technology, many companies are concerned about how they will have access to developers and vendors who work with that technology. Fortunately, with Drupal, this isn’t a problem. The ecosystem that is built around Drupal 8 offers a huge amount of support. Prior to the release of Drupal 8, many organizations found themselves implementing custom code, which meant that developers had to be thoroughly trained in order to be productive.
However, Drupal 8 marks a departure from the need for that level of custom knowledge. Drupal 8 has embraced the best practices and industry standards pioneered by the PHP community. (For those not in the know, PHP is the underlying technology of Drupal, and has been maturing and defining a set of standards and best practices for year). This makes Drupal 8 accessible to a far wider ecosystem of developer and technical support, and reduces the need (and cost) of staff training.
#3 Security and compliance
Hands down the biggest priority for a CIO is compliance with security and privacy requirements. Drupal has always been dedicated to security, and it’s the only open source CMS that has a dedicated security team.
With Drupal 8, the security team is ramping up their effort by maturing the governance model, adopting a standard announcement-and-release cycle, and providing enterprise users with the features that are used from commercial vendors. For privacy (especially including GDPR), an open ecosystem functionality is being created so that organizations can manage their users’ privacy settings in a meaningful way.
Businesses that adopt Drupal get peace of mind that there is a team working on securing the system so they don’t have to. As long as a site is under a Drupal SLA with a vendor like FFW, teams can rest assure that there is a steady stream of security patches coming their way.
#4 Total cost of ownership
A close second problem for many CIOs is managing the total cost of ownership of their platform— the combined costs of procuring, maintaining, and extending said system. Make no mistake: with impactful worldwide projects and initiatives, costs can and do pile up quickly.
Because Drupal 8 is open-source, the up-front investment of licensing fees is gone. Additionally, a vast network of contributors maintain and extend common code, allowing your digital vendor to focus on configuring custom code for your particular needs. In simple terms, you pay only for what is unique to your business, and you benefit from ongoing maintenance and security reviews by a global network of professionals.
Moreover, given the open-source development workflow, there is a strong preference for development standards and best practices that in turn make onboarding agencies and freelancers easier and cost effective. This means that the cost of change is significantly reduced, and it’s far easier to pursue new partnerships if existing ones don’t work. By choosing Drupal 8, organizations can easily avoid vendor and supplier lock-in.
#5 Community and governance
For platforms that need to have a global reach with multiple localized presences, having access to a pool of international talent is of paramount importance. Drupal’s global community makes getting access to that talent— either via freelancers or digital agencies— easier than ever.
The Drupal project supports healthy community ecosystems in all major regions of the world. In fact, this has been recognized as an advantage most of ther enterprise-level CMS in industry publications (check out The Forrester Wave™: Web Content Management Systems, Q4 2018 for more info).
Moreover, Drupal has a defined governance model with clear leadership, responsibilities, and decision making abilities. This governance keeps the symbotic relationship between the Drupal project and its end-users healthy. Drupal adopters often exhibit strong affiliation with the broader community and consider this a differentiating factor during CMS selection.
Drupal 8 is one of the best releases of the software yet, and it’s constantly improving. The project is used by digital leaders in business, government, higher education and non-profit organizations.
Want to stand in the company of giants? FFW works with industry greats such as City of Copenhagen, Stanford and World Health Organisation to deliver world-class solutions. Get in touch if you want to know how we can rebuild or reconfigure your Drupal 8 platform to increase ROI, drive engagement, and deliver experiences that build customer loyalty today, tomorrow, and years from now.