Drupal, one of the largest open source projects in the world, is a content management system and application framework that powers millions of websites, web services, and mobile applications. Individuals and organizations in every sector use Drupal for everything from simple blogs and micro-sites, to complex intranets and private internal applications, to some of the largest sites on the web, including several top 100 properties.
A couple of weeks ago, a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) of one of the largest mobile telecommunications companies in the world asked me how a large organization such as hers should think about organizing itself to maintain control over costs and risks while still giving their global organization the freedom to innovate.
When it comes to managing their websites and the digital customer experience, they have over 50 different platforms managed by local teams in over 50 countries around the world, she told me. Her goal is to improve operational efficiency, improve brand consistency, and set governance by standardizing on a central platform. The challenge is that they have no global IT organization that can force the different teams to re-platform.
The performance and scalability improvements promised by the upcoming, 8th version of Drupal are getting the attention of the Drupal website builders working for the European Commission. The open source content management system will also be able to accommodate larger sites, and will also improve delivery of turnkey web site solutions (Software As A Service, SAAS), the EC developers notice.
FarmOS is a Drupal-based software project aimed at easing the day-to-day management of a farm. It allows different roles to be assigned to managers, workers, and viewers. Managers can monitor how things are going with access to the whole system, workers can use the record-keeping tools, and viewers have read-only access to, for example, certify the farm's records.
After years of development and a few delays, the open source Drupal 8 content management system (CMS) is now generally and freely available. Among the most popular and widely deployed CMS technologies in use today, Drupal counts whitehouse.gov and the Federal Communications Commission among its notable users.
Drupal Hub will hold regular day time drop-in sessions as well as playing host to established Drupal events, thereby bringing people together to collaborate and contribute to the software.
Other plans are in place for Drupal training days, Drupal user group meets, Drupal sprints and the Drupal Academy, which provides intensive training for users of all abilities.
Cisco’s Jamal Haider acknowledged during a presentation this week that his team that works on the company’s open source-based customer support portal hasn’t given much back to the wider Drupal community yet, but he said this talk at the sold-out Acquia Engage conference in Boston is part of an effort to change that.
And why not? Cisco has plenty of reasons – more than $400 million of them, in fact – to be grateful for Drupal since migrating its Support Community portal to the open source content management system early last year. Cisco started working on project requirements in 2013 with Acquia, a SaaS provider that has commercialized Drupal offerings.
That both open source and education have core commitments to sharing knowledge freely and to impacting the world for good through collaboration. We also share a similar challenge of how to encourage many small and unique contributions to a very large-scale project. There is some fascinating work going on in India to create social infrastructure in and around schools that makes Drupal knowledge and community easier to build and sustain.
Getting my clients' developers and sysadmins to stick to all of the documented processes I've set up for them.
I have years of experience implementing Drupal-based solutions, so I have a rather solid understanding of what works and what doesn't. But some folks without any experience with Drupal try to shoehorn it into incompatible environments. I do my best to explain all of this and why to ensure that, when I'm gone, folks can take all of my wiki documentation and run with it (use it and update it as necessary).
I like to think of my consulting services as successful if my clients can continue working on their projects without me. Basically, I'm doing a good job if I put myself out of one.