There’s an abundance of information out there for technical folks on the benefits of Drupal 8, but less material on the business benefits of Drupal’s latest version. In addition to carrying on Drupal’s core functionality and open source roots, it offers many additions and upgrades that will help to bring your digital business boldly forwards into today’s age of the customer.
According to Forrester, there is a prescriptive roadmap to where digital business is going, and Forrester describes four market imperatives that your company must consider as you continue to move into a digital future. These include:
Turn Big Data Into Business Insights. Data is important, but what makes it valuable is finding ways to interpret it that move the needle for your business.
Drupal provides a strong foundation for enabling organizations to deliver better data-driven web, mobile, and social experiences.
Embrace the Mobile Mind Shift. The idea of going mobile and being able to deliver rich mobile experiences in the right context at the right time is crucial, especially in the arena of customer loyalty.
Drupal 8 is architected to support mobile-first initiatives, enabling responsive experiences across screens as well as supporting mobile apps.
Transform the Customer Experience. At its core, transformation is the process of adapting your specific experience so that the customer gets the most out of it when they want to, where they want to, and how they want to.
Drupal 8 helps to drive the ability to make changes quickly, effectively, and efficiently in the name of engaging, effective customer experiences.
Accelerate Your Digital Business. How fast can you move in a world that’s changing faster than anyone can anticipate? It’s amazing how many new sites, services, applications, and offerings come out on a regular basis, and having the ability to stay ahead of consumers’ needs and demands is imperative.
With this as a backdrop, consider this: Drupal 8 is an engine for innovation, not just a static tool for building sites and pages. Drupal recognizes that digital is more than just marketing; digital is your business, period. Accelerating your path to digital business -- to digitization -- is at the heart of D8’s capabilities.
Core Drupal Benefits
As the backbone for digital experiences, Drupal has historically been a strong choice, but with the introduction of Drupal 8, it really enables businesses to think ahead when developing their next generation of digital strategies. There are several fundamental elements of Drupal that support this notion.
- Innovation: The idea of innovating in a hyper-competitive world is going to make or break the next generation of leaders in your industry. Like it or not, you’re going to be challenged every single day with new entrants into your market, new competitive models, and new demands from your customers to be better, faster, more engaged, and more helpful. If you can’t deliver, someone else will. Innovation truly lies at the heart of Drupal as a platform for delivering great experiences.
- Speed: Hand in hand with innovation, speed helps to create more opportunities and new possibilities. When we sit down with clients to talk about where they’re going and what they’d like to achieve, they discover that with Drupal, they’re not boxed into what they’ve done in the past based on the parameters of traditional software solutions. The open source nature of Drupal opens the door for a new era of digital experiences, where companies can get faster with everything they do, execute at scale, and not be burdened by delays in bringing new ideas to market. With Drupal, you’re not beholden to a specific vendor’s roadmap. Open source lets you extend, modify and build what you want, when you want.
- Scalability:Drupal offers the benefit of being able to join your organization wherever it is on its transformation journey. Drupal scales with you as you grow your ambitions and widen your focus. It is used by many organizations around the world, from small to large, and enables scalability as those businesses innovate, grow, and push their ambitions forward. We see this every day, both within organizations that run a single dot-com and mobile experience, and others that are literally running thousands of websites with Drupal on the Acquia Platform. Drupal can scale with you.
- Freedom:Typical alternatives to Drupal are commercial-based systems, frequently with a specific way of doing things, and a feature roadmap that you’re locked into once you sign a contract. Freedom, in those cases, comes with limits. With Drupal, you can build whatever kind of digital experience you’d like, without any restrictions or parameters. It allows self-paced progress on projects, and invites new ideas and collaboration. What it doesn’t do is lock you into any one system or process, leaving you the freedom to pursue your most pressing business needs in a way that’s most effective for your organization.
- Community:The Drupal community is one of the most important and compelling aspects of D8. Drupal and its community have been maturing for 15 years. More than 3,000 people contributed to Drupal 8 through code contributions, testing, and more. That same community stands with hundreds of thousands of Drupal developers who not only build their digital experience projects on Drupal, but who continually support, update, troubleshoot, and further enhance the Drupal platform.
Key Drupal 8 Benefits
In addition to offering the robust core of the Drupal platform, Drupal 8 has many enhancements that make it a more user-friendly, responsive, flexible, and integrable platform. Here are just a few of the main Drupal 8 updates that should matter to digital professionals, marketers, and others who need to accelerate their digital strategies.
- Authoring is the hallmark of Drupal 8 -- fast, fun, and beautiful. The authoring experience in D8 is far easier than ever before. In addition to a WYSIWYG editor, it provides in-line and in-context editing on the page. This is a huge advantage for people who simply need to edit content and manage content on your site.
- Drupal 8 is architected to be fully responsive out-of-the-box. You can use the platform to deliver experiences on a web browser, on a phone, on a tablet, or anywhere else content and data need to flow today and in the future.
- Flexible Content Delivery is another key tenet of D8. The notion of using Drupal as a content management platform really becomes powerful when you start to think of how Drupal enables you to create and deliver content as a service to any channel or device, or even any application. The same goes for ingesting content from other sources into Drupal. In the emerging API economy, Drupal is the engine that will enable businesses to execute on this ideal.
- Translation and localization are much easier with Drupal 8, as the platform was built to support any language from the authoring side, and the interface can be customized to dozens of languages. It can also support your business processes around language translation and localization, e.g. integration with external translation service providers.
- Integrations matter greatly in a growing ecosystem of disparate but connected digital technologies for marketing and more. Drupal is a great foundation for web content management and digital experience management, because it enables integrations with your best-of-breed technologies, and Drupal 8 has vast capabilities to integrate with your existing marketing technologies. It gives you the ultimate freedom and flexibility to choose what technologies you want to use when it comes to things like marketing automation or email marketing software.
We’ve only just scratched the surface with Drupal 8’s new and improved capabilities here, and as the platform matures, it will only get better. From improved SEO friendliness, accessibility, and tighter security built right into the platform -- there is still much to discover. With the Drupal community behind it, updates and improvements are guaranteed as adoption increases and the platform becomes the backbone of more and more digital experiences.