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by Jeffrey McGuire
How will Drupal help you win? How will it help you do better? As business itself becomes digital, the benefits that a widely adopted, open source technology solution like Drupal can bring to organizations today are manyfold, but they can be boiled down to a few salient points.
The key ways Drupal will help you win:
- Faster and continuous innovation
- Risk mitigation
- Faster time to market
- Focus on your core business
- Best-of-breed, integrated solutions
- Improved quality, security, and accountability
In this and subsequent posts, I will show you that these claims hold up both in theory and in practice, on the front lines of the digitalization of business. Once I’ve covered what Drupal is and how having its critical mass of adoption on your side is a critical advantage, I’ll show how the very definition of open source software – the “Four Freedoms” – turns from an abstract statement of principle to a set of values and practices to concrete benefits for your organization. I will also discuss some specific benefits Drupal provides you that are derived from the potent combination of being open source at scale, and back them up with examples of how real businesses are implementing and benefitting from Drupal today.
Open source means business
Explaining the value of open source – software, culture, and practices – is consistently one of the most satisfying experiences I have in my job. My employer Acquia is a company with deep open source roots and an active culture of contribution, embodying the openness and sharing at the core of open source philosophy and practice. In this spirit, I’ve had the chance to share my open-source-idealism-meets-business experiences in presentations for technology and business audiences at numerous events in recent years.
Learn how Drupal will benefit your organization
Technology professionals love technology! And we’re all in a technological age. Despite the fact that it’s been written and said a lot, it’s easy for Drupal service providers to forget to “Sell the benefits, not the features” or “Sell with benefits, support with features”.
For example, you probably know some or all of the following: megapixel resolution of your digital camera; the exact size of your device screens; processor speed, RAM, hard disk capacity of your computer…right? Right. Developers, sysadmins, and Drupal site builders know hundreds or thousands of other technical facts and systems that are essential to delivering you great digital experiences with Drupal, but that might not mean much to you: SASS/compass, dependency injection, Twig, HTML5, and many more.
These features are exciting to technical professionals because they can see how components will benefit them in their daily work and in delivering your project. Should we sell you Drupal with this stuff? No! You have other priorities, like the ones listed above. You don’t need to understand all the technologies behind Drupal and the web to be able to understand the benefits Drupal will bring you and to make your choice of Drupal an easy and obvious one.
If not features, then what are the differentiators?
Features are commodities now. If you are planning a content management project, this kind of stuff is simply table stakes for any CMS contender: WYSIWYG, approval workflows, user generated content, spam control, image handling and galleries, social media integration, personalization–functionality like this has to be a given for a platform to succeed and to support your business needs, but a feature does not a successful business make. You need to focus on your core, digital business; Drupal has got you covered for the features.
If CMSs can’t compete on widgets anymore, then what sets Drupal apart? In this series, I am going to show you exactly what free and open source software in general, and Drupal specifically, can offer to you and your business; my hope is that this will help you understand how much you and your business could benefit from choosing this technology solution.
Drupal is a more than the sum of its features
The benefits Drupal provides to business – beyond various functionalities – are the practical consequences derived from the “abstract” philosophy and idealism of free and open source software. Those benefits also derive from the fact that Drupal is open source at scale: widely adopted, successful, and backed by a community of tens of thousands of professionals around the world. Numerous companies cover everything from Drupal security to support to site building, design, hosting, scalability, and more. You’ll find everything from one-person “Drupal shops” and consultants to bootstrapped startups to collectives to venture capital backed companies. There are Drupal teams inside universities, corporations, governments, and media organizations, too.
You need to know how you will benefit from working with us, the Drupal professionals of the world. Of course we’ll need to convince you that you’ll get the features you need. We’ll have to give a good demo, show relevant case studies, and so on, but I want to seal the deal by helping you understand the benefits Drupal provides that go beyond ticking all the requirement boxes on an RFP. Drupal is a lot more than the sum of its features: that’s what I’ll be covering in upcoming posts.
So come along for the ride!
I’ll be writing about aspects of open source software that benefit digital businesses – and today that means practically every kind of business. I will touch on benefits for end user organizations that pay for digital solutions, build digital solutions in house, or some combination thereof. Stick with me if you think you might be able to get more out of digital – the web, data and analytics, devices – than you are right now. My focus and the examples I use are from the CMS- and web-worlds, but the principles and practices should apply to other areas, too. Whether you’re refining a digital experience or your organization is undergoing digital transformation, Drupal and open source can help you win that game.