PreviousNext was recently invited to present on the Australian government’s adoption of Drupal at Drupal GovCon in Washington DC. The conference was a great success, with over 1,200 attendees discovering how Drupal is providing solutions to complex business challenges for a broad and diverse range of government related organisations.
While we were in the USA, we took the opportunity to meet with many of the leading Drupal service providers to gauge their views on where Drupal is heading in government, and to discover what trends they are seeing across the board. It was fascinating to see how Drupal usage is growing in this huge market, and to reflect on what some of these trends might mean for Australia in coming years.
One thing that was immediately apparent is that Drupal is now considered a strategic platform in many of the more progressive government agencies. Following the proliferation of digital services that has occurred in recent years, organisations are now taking a platform approach to digital service delivery - with Drupal considered as an ideal foundation to build upon into the future.
Another prominent trend is the level of uptake of Drupal for innovative projects, pushing the boundaries of what is normally expected from a content management system. This is largely due to Drupal’s underlying framework and rich API, and Drupal is increasingly acting as the integration point for a wide variety of systems and business processes. Drupal’s power is to provide access to disparate services via a consistent user interface, driving user engagement and customer satisfaction as a result.
It was also interesting to hear of the enormous anticipation and demand for Drupal 8 and the range of enterprise capabilities that it offers. With the imminent production-ready release of Drupal 8, we heard of many complex Drupal 7 projects being put on hold in order to take full advantage of the benefits it will bring. This will entrench Drupal 8 as the go-to platform for strategic initiatives and mission critical platform builds.
The level of innovation and the scale of recent Drupal 7 projects can best be illustrated through a couple of case studies from leading solution providers. Adfero, a strategic communication agency for major government clients, developed the MyCareer@VA program for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Meanwhile, Mobomo - who describe themselves as ambitious problem-resolvers - reimagined NASA’s digital presence, and won a coveted Webby award in the process.
More details on these ambitious and successful projects follow, and they provide a sense of what is possible with Drupal today, and only hint at how Drupal can power all your organisation’s Digital needs - now and into the future.
In summary, the main trends we’re seeing in the USA Government’s use of Drupal are:
- Drupal is being used as the core of “Web Experience Management” platforms, providing a consistent interface into disparate content and best of breed web services.
- The adoption of Drupal is a strategic technical decision by CIOs and CTOs looking to future-proof their web platforms, not just as a point solution for individual websites.
- Sophisticated Government users are holding off on major new projects until Drupal 8 is released to take advantage of the advanced enterprise-class capabilities in the new version.
As one of the Top 3 companies globally contributing code to Drupal 8, PreviousNext is uniquely qualified to help Australian Government organisations take full advantage of the advances coming in Drupal 8. Our team can provide the “Drupal 8 Ready” session as a 2hr workshop, backed by the full day “Getting Started with Drupal 8” training for content editors, site builders and developers.
Feel free to get in touch with PreviousNext to discuss how you can get started with Drupal 8 within your organisation.