DrupalCon is always an exciting time of year for all of us in the Drupal community. This year was even more exciting as Drupal 8 is right on the horizon. Our developers flew out to Los Angeles for this year’s event, giving us an opportunity to share ideas with our peers (RJ coordinated a great discussion on headless Drupal), attend different sessions, and continue to stay-up-to-date on the latest trends.
Throughout all this activity, I pulled three strategic themes for folks to follow for the second half of 2015. These themes are key for your users, and you, as we navigate some huge changes in digital.
Content is King
The most popular question we get now “I want to make my site responsive.” Where do we even start with the dizzying array of devices and screen sizes? We start always by asking YOU about your content.
One of the trends we continue to see (and needs constant education) is the antidote to dealing with all this confusion and complexity is having content strategy in place. Are you viewing your content in chunks? How can we move from viewing your site as a series of pages, but rather a set of reusable components? We, at Isovera, have been at the front of this educating our clients, as it’s not getting easier.
At DrupalCon this year, I can safely confirm this is no longer a fresh concept restricted to just thought leaders in the know. This now has practical ramifications, and we are seeing a clearer and clearer line with between your content and the bottom line. I’m seeing this now being discussed at the sales, corporate, and C-level — when this has happened, you know it’s time to act.
Content Administrators Are (Still) the Key to Your Long-Term Enterprise Site Success
Successful platform implementations provide easy-to-use tools to the most important users of your site. Who are these users? I will take a stand and say these users (no surprise) are your content administrators. Successfully empowering these users provide great content to your site (and good return on your investment).
Firms like ourselves are aligning to make sure once your initial engagement is complete your content editors can actually use your new platform. While Drupal 8 is making in-roads, you still need to put in the budget, time for discovery, planning and implementation so your front-line team is getting their job done. This is NOT an unnecessary cost, but an investment with overall implementation team that will ensure a greater lifespan to your site, better total-cost-of-ownership, and happier users.
Training and Education
Last but not least is the need to continue to educate users on the Drupal platform. As an open-source technology, we say time and time again, there is no product manual. You spent all this time customizing your site to meet your business needs, but did you plan to train your staff to enter that content?
We love Drupal, but regardless of your platform, it is key to be constantly choosing the right partners to support and educate your staff. For us in this field, we are seeing historic changes, and it’s hard to keep up. As a non-technical user, it is key to quickly find a quality partner who help guide you on what’s coming up. Websites are no longer just quick things you put together on Dreamweaver — you are now building applications that integrate across your stack. Invest in training, as it will help you get your job quicker, and allow you to make better technology decisions.
I would love to hear some of your stories — feel free to contact me at dsisko@isovera or just leave a comment!