Drupal Thoughts on a Snowy Day

Stephen Sanzo // January 2014

For those of us in New England, today is a day we are hunkered down in blizzard-like conditions pondering thoughts of the new year and what it has in store.  At Isovera, we continually take cues from our clients to get a feel for how folks are approaching their web strategy for 2014 and beyond. As a Drupal-focused technology firm, we are very excited about what is on the horizon. Here are just some random thoughts about Drupal, etc. (with some possible helpful links from others) that you may or may not find interesting:

  • In 2014 (and with the emergence of Drupal 8) more organizations will leverage Drupal as the “great facilitator” providing a scalable pathway to integrate all of their web-based systems (commerce, CRM, etc.)
  • Drupal is not always a good solution if you don’t allot a budget for it post-launch.
  • Designing for Drupal, content-first strategy, and responsive design are all part of the same puzzle in considering a starting point for web design strategy. For those accustomed to the traditional “Photoshop to Web Developer” approach…a change it is a comin’. Take a look at this site, it does a good job at hammering home a very cool concept: http://styletil.es/
  • There is still a large percentage of smaller, budget-conscious organizations that have found themselves with Drupal for the wrong reasons. Make sure you have a long-term plan in place if you are attaching your wagon to the Drupal platform. Otherwise, you will be disappointed.
  • I used to think “Intranet” was an outdated term, but it seems to be coming up more and more as organizations look to find better tools to collaborate and communicate. Funny, most of our clients still rarely refer to “Social Platform” or similar trendy terms. Continual improvements to Drupal Commons (and limitations with solutions like Jive and Sharepoint) have created an opportunity. Acquia and others (like Isovera) are helping to move the needle forward to create feasible and flexible ways to build great intranets… I mean social platforms.
  • I still see a lot of help wanted ads from organizations looking to build an internal web team for Drupal projects that are in search of a “Drupal designer-sitebuilder-themer-architect-module developer”. We call those folks “unicorns” and, as you have surmised by the name, they are somewhat of a mythical concept. Be realistic with your expectations. One FTE is most likely not going to replace the resources of an entire development shop.
  • We still find there is a large disconnect between how Drupal development shops approach estimating and how clients understand how costs are derived. This blog piece by Lullabot written in 2012 serves as excellent reference in explaining it from both perspectives: http://www.lullabot.com/blog/article/art-estimation. We still refer to it.
  • Drupal is still not a product https://www.isovera.com/blog/drupal-not-product. But it is awesome and will be getting better for more organizations in 2014.

Happy New Year everyone! Feel free to add your own random thoughts.

Filed under: