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Sep 20 2021
Sep 20

People of the modern era have witnessed the impact of the digital revolution that has successfully connected the whole world through the medium of technology. Sitting at the cozy corner of your home you can explore the new cuisines added in your favourite restaurant nearby. How about going trekking this weekend? You can get an idea about the best treks with the help of information available over the internet. So, have you ever wondered how the digital content is maintained and made accessible to the large audience across various channels with every new update or information? Well it is made possible with the help of “create once and publish everywhere” (COPE) where you can just create the content once and publish the same in every digital format over multiple platforms, also enhancing the digital outreach. In this article, I will take you through the details of this significant term, C.O.P.E. with Drupal. 

What is meant by create once, publish everywhere (COPE)?

Create once, publish everywhere (COPE) is a strategy that helps in content creation and distribution. With COPE, instead of creating content multiple times over multiple pages, you can manage a single piece of content in one place and publish it in many different platforms for either the first time or the hundredth. Due to this unique facility, more organizations are seen adopting the COPE model that helps in managing their increasing demands over content creation and distribution. Let us look into an example for better understanding. Assume that you own a fashion house and it has a very exciting website. Now, it so happens that you plan to change your business hours which are present in every page of your website. If your website has got 25 pages, does that mean you will have to make changes in all the pages? Not really. Because with COPE you can form a panel or a block which holds your business hours and can instruct your content management system (CMS) that you want that particular block to appear in each page of your website. So, now when you change your business hours, you will only have to change that particular block, and it will get updated over all the pages of your website with just one click. 

COPE was first pioneered by National Public Radio (NPR) to make multimedia content sharing and publishing easy across various devices, email marketing, social media and many more. In regard to the significance of COPE, NPR states that with the growing need of digital content, the opportunities for content providers have increased massively. Therefore, to blow away the audience with amazing pieces of content, the content providers also require distribution platforms and APIs. But along with those, they essentially need to follow the philosophy of COPE which ensures content portability and modularity. Below is a diagram representing NPR’s content management pipeline and how it adopts the COPE principles. The diagram depicts the main principle that is to have content producers and ingestion scripts channel content into just one system or series of nearly tied systems. Also, it illustrates that regardless of content destinations, or its type, the distribution of all content can be done uniformly.  

A diagram describing NPR's Content Management Pipeline, demonstrating COPE (Create once, publish everywhere)Source: NPR


With the growing technology, the interaction between the customer and the brands are constantly changing. The users are no longer accustomed to the traditional way of using websites or applications. They are seen connecting to your brands via IoT devices, conversational UIs and wearables. With their exclusive requirements, the customers actively engage with the organization’s content and data over various platforms. Due to the increase in the different channels through which the content is shared, the marketing team felt the need of treating content more like data. The marketers started to conceptualize content in the form of html pages, however the page architecture cannot be applied to all of the content available today. So, here comes the need of adaptation towards the models of structured content. Treating the content like data helps the marketers to practice the approach of COPE across various channels, and  executing structured content enables in extending an organization’s reach at the same time. 

To get a better learning experience about “create once, and publish everywhere” (C.O.P.E) you can go through these informative sessions below.

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Where can you find COPE?

Now, here comes the question, where do you find COPE? Basically, you’re running into such type of content over various websites you engage in. For example, Healthcare websites that are related to clinic locations, doctors. Retail websites where you can view products of your choice. News websites that are related to news or information. Entertainment websites where you can watch your favorite shows, movies and many more. Finally, to end with, recipe websites related to recipes and blog posts. 

Why shall you COPE?

A diagram describing the reasons to COPE (Create once, publish everywhere)


By far in brief you got an idea what exactly is COPE. Now, it's very essential to know the reasons for implementing it. Since, it is a big initiative that requires time, technical resources and cooperation from various groups at your organization.

Provides scalability

As we know that publishing content is just not limited to the web. With growing times, the number of systems and devices which consume content is increasing. Companies are seen publishing everywhere their content through digital signage, mobile apps, televisions and wearable technology as well. There is a need to make your content ideally scalable as you will have no time to manage your content in a different place for every output. So, having the capacity to create and update content in one single place is the best way to ensure scalability for a long term, and which is undoubtedly provided by COPE.

Provides growth with less resources

One of the important benefits COPE provides is that even with less resources you get the opportunity to grow and develop. A lot of money and time can be saved by not having the burden of creating different content for different platforms. Some of the companies who allow members from non-marketing departments to create content find it difficult to get those professionals to deliver and update content as per requirements. By executing COPE, some of these problems can be resolved as the duplication of content can be eliminated for different platforms.

Provides wider audience reach

COPE allows your organization to circulate content to a growing number of channels. For example, you might post a piece of content to your newsroom and associate it with some particular keywords or categories. Then the content’s summary will automatically be shown up on the newsroom’s homepage, on the main website homepage, and also in category-specific RSS feeds. Additionally, a link to your content and a summary will be shared on social-media automatically, also the users of your mobile app will receive a notification of the accessibility of the new content that can be read by them on their Android phones, iPhones, iPads and tablets. So, with COPE you have the facility of publishing your content over different mediums, also enhancing your audience reach at the same time. 

Provides accessibility

With COPE you can make your content accessible to a wide range of platforms through various formats that allows the people with disabilities to consume content without facing any difficulty. Accessibility can be provided in various forms. This approach is just not providing content accessibility to vision impaired users but also to users who are reading impaired, hearing impaired, neurologically impaired and the ones who are technologically challenged i.e. having slow or no internet access at all. Therefore, all these issues can be solved with the help of this approach.

Provides easier redesign

The web design trends keep on changing frequently, so the organizations need to go through a comprehensive redesign of their sites within a few years or constantly get involved in making iterative changes to their websites. In cases like this, if you do not have the basic principle of COPE i.e. the separation of content completely from the presentation layer, then you will have to create the new design and then copy the existing content into the new templates manually which is so troublesome. But with COPE, by separating content from the design, you don’t have to be concerned about the migration process, since you have the option of applying a different presentation to your content.

Enhances content freshness and accuracy

Managing your content in multiple places can not just be dull and time consuming but it can degrade the quality of your content negatively. If you have to log into various systems to create the same content in just different formats, you might lack enthusiasm in creating fresh content which could bring a negative impact over your Search Engine Results Page Ranking (SERP). Additionally, handling different types of content in numerous places further makes it difficult to provide exact accuracy over all channels. So, all these risks can be handled well by the COPE approach. And the users will be enabled to enter content into structured fields that helps them to personalize specific sections for particular destinations and outputs. The content creation also can be increased by pulling in links to related content that is recently published. 

What does it take to execute COPE?

This section will give you an understanding of what exactly it takes to implement COPE. So, let’s find out.

A  diagram describing what exactly it takes to implement COPE (Create once, publish everywhere)


Separate content and design

The complete separation of content from the presentation layer is one of the primary prerequisites of COPE as you will have to produce your content in any presentation. One important thing to emphasize upon is the need for the appropriate CMS as it works as content capturing tools that are very particular about where or how the content should be viewed, be it a mobile app, web page, TV etc to completely separate the content from the display. You will have to be careful from the content management systems that can distract your content contributors from prioritizing upon publishing quality and fresh content. 

Better structured content entry

Karen McGrane, a content strategist and website accessibility advocate explains the need for more structured content entry. She uses the terminology “dumb blobs versus smart chunks” in her talks around the world. So, dumb blobs are large pieces of content which are managed in one WYSIWYG editor that is similar to a Word document. With this there is a problem, it basically comprises your capacity to share content of different versions like condensed versions for a different website or a synopsis on a homepage. When it comes to executing COPE, content modularity is the key. It is the same as object-oriented programming that enables you to write your code in small, hugely reusable chunks. COPE essentially makes you understand that you need to be away from the dumb blobs and rather make your content entry forms even more smarter. You need to go beyond a monolithic WYSIWYG area by replacing it with much more structured data like content blocks, text fields and textareas, file choosers, pertinent metadata fields such as category, tags and keywords, summary and start and end date.

Cross-platform facility

Both proprietary and open source content management systems are seen struggling with cross-site sharing of content. You need to evaluate whether your CMS is capable enough to share content across sites and pages, and also inspect how it enables content sharing by non-technical users. In case, if you want to move to another system, then it is very important to carefully inspect and examine, also test how the ones which you are assessing supports the content sharing over websites and pages. While evaluating your present CMS, it is imperative to carefully analyze how to produce a single piece of content in as many different formats as you require without duplicating any content. You will have to figure out whether your CMS allows you to manage as many different websites as you require and also publish your content to limitless destinations. 

What are the challenges you face while coping?

Every coin has two sides, so with benefits also comes challenges. Here we will dive into the challenges you might face while coping.

A diagram describing the challenges one face during COPE (Create once, publish everywhere)


Paradigm shift

For some of the organizations, executing COPE requires an extreme paradigm shift. Some of the contributors might be very protective about their content and hesitant to have it published beyond their control, while others might have a concern that the content which is irrelevant to their page may accidentally be pulled in. Additionally, COPE necessitates you to think differently about the content. For instance, rather than creating “big blobs” which do not allow you to share smaller chunks of content to various platforms, COPE suggests you break your content entry forms into various structured blocks and fields. And in result, it will be time consuming for your “WYSIWYG blob” lobby to get a proper understanding about how your organization and audience will be benefited by the shift.

Requires investment

Depending on your current infrastructure, you might need to make some investments. Let’s say, for example, all the content management systems do not support COPE, and executing a more new, more appropriate CMS also integrating it with other systems can be time consuming and require resources. Training all your content contributors also requires time, and considering that if you don’t go for a CMS switch, you will need to re-work your content entry forms to further allow users to enter content in a much more structured way to attain portability. Ultimately, you will have to ensure that you tend to separate the content from the presentation layer, also providing the contributors the facility to enter content in small chunks instead of big blobs via WYSIWYG editor. One more important aspect is the need to explain to the stakeholders about the requirements and benefits of COPE. With the help of examples of companies like NPR who have successfully executed COPE, you can convince your stakeholders to consider adopting the most essential COPE approach.

Too much COPE is troublesome

A very important thing to remember is that COPE doesn’t signify you to randomly push all content to all platforms. Excessive use of this approach will bring the risk of losing your audience as they will be provided with content that might not be relevant to them. Therefore, it is advisable to be very strategic and recognize which content is suitable to which platforms or channels. Content marketing tools and analytics can be used to understand in detail about the different elements of your target audience, also measure your content effectiveness and strategize your plan accordingly.

What is the right way to COPE?

We have now understood the significance of COPE with the above explanations but along with that we should also be knowing the right approach of COPE. So, this section will exactly guide you with it.

A diagram describing the right way to COPE


Understanding your users

Adopting a user-centred design approach will help you in preparing your content according to the mindsets and behavioural patterns of the users. By using proper research and testing of the users preferences, you can provide your audience a seamless multi-channel experience of useful and relevant content.

Reviewing your tech stack

There is a necessity for a strong technology infrastructure, and the right content strategy that enables in delivering at the right time, the right content to the right person in the right format. To provide such a seamless delivery there is a need for a very sophisticated content management system that can easily identify which device your website or applications are being viewed on and also adapt what’s displayed suitably. 

Refreshing your internal and external resources

One of the important aspects that mostly gets unnoticed is the internal culture and processes. If your teams are busy working in silos then you won’t be able to get a clear and complete picture of the content creation that would further lead to dissatisfied and disaffected customer experience. 

Getting in touch with your stakeholders

Stakeholders are a very important part of the project's success. You cannot afford to miss the opportunity to contact them at the early stage when you decide to adopt the COPE approach into your business. There is a need for transparency between you and the stakeholders where you can explain to them the significance of this approach and how hugely the business can be benefited by adopting COPE.

Establishing high-level goals

At the beginning it is important to recognize your analytics and know where you exactly want to head towards. Without making them your sole focus, you need to have a SMART that stands for ‘specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely’ goal for your business.

Documenting your future plan

By hitting the ‘Publish’ button on your website, you do not finish your responsibility towards COPE. Since your work towards the web can never be finished. You will have to boost up your team by having frequent discussions where they can document all their plans, marketing strategies to meet the team goals and objectives. Things like identifying how and when the content shall be governed across the website needs to be looked after closely for better outcomes.

COPE with Drupal

It is well known to us that the digital networks consist of a variety of applications, and therefore all your organization’s can depend upon Drupal as the platform for content creation. So, by adopting an API-first architecture, Drupal can empower all your digital systems. Organizations are seen selecting a decoupled Drupal approach for various benefits. Headless Drupal or Decoupled Drupal uncouples the back-end which is accountable for presenting content, enabling Drupal to display content to other front-end systems, also allowing digital tools to utilize the tools of their convenience while sharing content over various channels. 

To execute a decoupled or headless Drupal architecture, organizations require a platform that enables developers to work with both traditional Drupal sites and decoupled Drupal projects as well.

Here, we will now look into how decoupled Drupal works. The developers with decoupled Drupal architecture gets the option of working with Drupal in the following modes.

  • With a completely decoupled Drupal approach, Drupal’s back-end serves as a decoupled CMS, managing and storing data, also availing it to the front-end systems of the developer’s preferences to deliver the content and communicate with Drupal via web service APIs.
  • Developers can choose a hybrid (progressively decoupled) Drupal approach, where a layer of JavaScript gets added to a webpage to provide a single block or component, or to build a communicative end-user experience.

More about the different options of decoupling Drupal here.

Drupal can be an excellent CMS for editors who need to have control over their content presentation and also be a rich headless CMS for developers building huge content ecosystems in one single package. With the help of the below diagram, you will get a clear understanding about the difference between a traditional Drupal site and a headless CMS.

A diagram describing the difference between a traditional Drupal site and a headless CMS.


The headless CMS steps back in the areas like in-context administration and in-place editing of content while Drupal focuses on allowing an editor to manage content and page structure in an interface beside a live preview instead of an interface that is entirely separate from the front-end user experience. Headless CMSes are unable to provide a full-fledged editorial experience which is integrated into the front ends to the ones they serve content. In order to make the marketers successful there is a need for a proper display and layout manipulation. But headless CMSes do not hold a strong opinion about display and layout settings and therefore fail to provide the required assistance to the marketers. Whereas one of the key features of Drupal is the capability to control where content appears in a layout structure. One more facility that editors and marketers want is the access to an easy preview system for the unpublished content. But in the headless CMS paradigm, developers will have to come into the picture to deliver a seamless preview by setting up a new API endpoint and deploying a distinct version of their application which issues requests against new ways. Therefore, headless CMS lacks in providing a seamless preview to the marketers and editors as there is an interference of the developers without whose assistance they cannot preview the content on their own. 

So, from the above discussion it is clear that the features provided by Drupal are simply unique in comparison to other headless CMSes. Therefore, Drupal is certainly the first choice for an editor and a developer who enthusiastically look forward to working hand-in-hand with the latest technology and trends.

Learn more about decoupled Drupal here:

Conclusion

If you want to sustain your content management for a long-term, then all you need to do is adopt the COPE framework. This approach will need you to change your perspective towards managing your content to make it available to a wide range of audiences through multiple platforms and channels. And implementing COPE with Drupal will be the best way to ensure your organization the route to success.

Sep 06 2021
Sep 06

Healthcare industry is one of the fastest growing industries that need to embrace digitalization for offering customized care and services to patients. Every aspect of healthcare operations demand a digital transformation to meet the numerous necessities of modern healthcare. In this article, we will get a deeper understanding about how the healthcare industry is welcoming new digital tools and innovations breaking the old traditional healthcare pathways. You will also get a glimpse of what role Drupal plays in empowering the healthcare industry. 

How digital transformation trends are contributing to the digitalization of the healthcare industry?

Digital healthcare is enabling patients to get access to modern healthcare services that deliver seamless patient experiences. Here are some of the digital trends that are adopted by the healthcare industry to bring radical changes in their respective services. 

Describing the digital trends which are contributing to the digitalization of the healthcare industry


Telehealth facility

Telehealth enables us to witness a complete change in the communication process between a patient and a healthcare provider. The technologies such as telemedicine, patient-portals, remote patient monitoring, video conferencing and mobile health are making the patient-doctor interaction very secure and swift.  

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is one of the most rapidly growing trends for healthcare and technology. The AI-based solutions enable the doctors and medical staff to rightfully take data-driven decisions beneficial for all. Instead of utilizing the rule-based registries, the AI-powered data recovery method is practised to provide exact patient information. The chatbots and automated voice systems are adopted by the hospitals to reduce the workload for the medical staff and screen patients without any difficulties or concerns. The versatility in chatbots enables it to play multiple roles such as diagnostic tools, customer service representatives and therapists as well. Also, the AI screening helps in recognizing who is in need of immediate care and guides patients towards the right contact channels. 

Robotics Process Automation

Since robotics process automation(RPA) can be termed as an intelligent form of business process automation which helps in recording processes carried out by humans on their computer and then carrying out the same processes without the help of any human interference. This technology can be very useful for the hospitals as it can automate all the repetitive processes that necessitate human interference in a hospital.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality has significantly brought a change in the way patients are treated. This technology helps physicians and doctors to perform proper diagnosis and also plays a huge role in physical therapy, where patients are instructed to follow an exercise routine including VR instead of invasive surgeries and drugs. It can be considered as a powerful communication channel between doctor-patient that helps the healthcare providers to have a better understanding of patients needs and engage them virtually with the necessary services.

IoT & Patient Interaction

IoT provides operation theatres, labs and hospital’s diagnosis rooms with sophisticated technology that connects tools, equipment and machinery to deliver smooth integration where data is shared. IoT altogether helps in enhancing the patient satisfaction with better and much effective communication between patients and healthcare professionals. Additionally, healthcare providers are able to track data for critically ill patients with IoT based wearable devices to get a better understanding of their health conditions. Preventive healthcare is facilitated to patients where they can monitor their internal health conditions by wearable technology. Some of the commonly used wearable devices are oximeters, heart rate sensors and exercise trackers. This technology provides a sense of ownership to the patients during the process of improving their health conditions. The information received from these wearable devices also enable the health insurers to correctly rate a patient’s risk for ailment. It overall enables the healthcare industries to save a lot of money and provide the best healthcare assistance to the patients.

Cloud solutions for healthcare

Cloud-based data services enable hospitals to work upon value-based reimbursements models, providing real-time access to data storage and offering much required agility and flexibility in the healthcare operations. Since, the healthcare companies need to maintain a large volume of data in the form of patient information, medical reports and electronic records. All this data needs to be analyzed, and cloud technology enables the healthcare companies to properly store and access the data also at the same time avoiding any additional costs of physical servers in-house maintenance. Depending on the needs, cloud provides healthcare professionals with the facility to increase or decrease the data storage capacity as well. 

Data Management & Analytics

Since there has been a problem of managing huge data of patients by the medical professionals, they are seen majorly depending on Electronic Health Records (EHR). Maintaining data manually can create errors at times. But adopting necessary technologies such as big data, wearables and blockchain to properly obtain, manage and analyze data can be very beneficial for healthcare providers. Such effective data management leads to better patient diagnosis and care. 

Big Data & Hospitals

Big data brought a change in the process of fetching, analyzing and managing data, also improving the quality of patient care services, reducing the treatment costs and predicting disease outbreaks. The various healthcare apps having exclusive features help companies to get access to huge data, and Big data further analyses them and provides necessary insights. It provides additional benefits like lowering the rate of medication errors, availing preventive care and proper staffing facility.

Blockchain & Medical Records

Blockchain enables registering every transaction, identifying any conflicting information, and decentralizing data. There are countries like the UK and Australia which are seen utilizing blockchain for managing proper medical records. It is an effective tool that helps in preventing data breaches as well.

Safety and security

Cybercriminals and hackers target hospitals to take away sensitive patient data and further misuse them. Therefore, to ensure safety to patients, there is a need to have a robust cybersecurity architecture in the healthcare organizations. With the growing technology, the healthcare industry is able to maintain the necessary safety and security.

Healthcare consumerism

The healthcare consumerism helps patients to actively get involved in their important healthcare decisions. Due to the emerging technologies, like mobile health apps, member portals and bi-directional provider portals, a proper communication between the patient and the physician is built. By using such technology, the health community is able to design and develop modern healthcare facilities. 

Therefore, the above discussed emerging technology trends succeeded in enhancing the various healthcare systems and led to better patient care service. 

COVID 19 emphasizing the growing need of digitalization in the healthcare industry

The COVID 19 pandemic has adversely affected the healthcare sector leading to restriction in various services to prevent infection from this deadly virus which further resulted in reduction in health spending. Undoubtedly, due to this pandemic, there has been an economic impact on healthcare but at the same time, the industry also felt the need of prioritizing digitalization to ensure better healthcare facilities for all. It was observed that globally, the corporate funding for digital health companies was doubled and the investment in telemedicine also rose to a great extent. Additionally, due to these hard times, there has been a disruption in the supply chains of businesses. As it is mainly about life and health, the healthcare industry has to take better initiatives in the form of contingency planning than other industries to resolve such a major issue that is currently prevailing around the world. Therefore, 60% of companies are stepping in to invest in the digital supply chain prioritizing robotics, machine learning/artificial intelligence and automation according to a research conducted by Capgemini. For example, Melbourne Health Logistics has decided to take on a Supplier Improvement Pilot Project that includes 10 Australian-based SMEs and further focuses on addressing the supply chain challenges and inventory management with the help of digitization. The three main focus areas of the project are executing of data capturing technologies, enhancing data quality and enabling suppliers to utilize the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

Let us look into some of the healthcare predictions for 2021, post COVID 19.

Describing the healthcare predictions post COVID 19


Telehealth technologies will help in addressing specific patient and caregiver necessities. Currently, due to the pandemic, every health system has to adopt telehealth programs. So, the leaders are trying to look beyond the pandemic to rework upon their telehealth programs for a longer period of time. These platforms are facilitated with unique integration to EHR i.e. back-end electronic health record systems. Based on various factors like, geographical location, care and real-time language translators, this platform will enhance the functionalities to meet the growing necessities of patients.

The digital health companies will go beyond the electronic health record (EHR) systems. For better digital patient engagement, the companies are striving to look for much improved tools and technologies. Some of the big tech firms, like Salesforce and Microsoft will possibly become the platforms for patient engagement and enterprise collaboration due to the growing need of consumerism. 

Enhancing the digital experience of consumers in terms of consumer finance and e-commerce. Since consumerism is significantly growing, along with adopting telehealth technology, the healthcare industry needs to look after all the aspects of consumer satisfaction. Therefore, sectors like consumer finance and e-commerce where the healthcare industry is unable to develop best digital experiences for consumers, shall be prioritized and provided with world class facilities and experiences. The healthcare leaders will focus on enhancing digital engagement, also accepting the challenge of providing seamless customer experience.

Low-contact experiences to be a standard and quality feature of healthcare experiences. The pandemic has given a rise of contactless and low-contact experiences to provide safety to the consumers at its best. Therefore, many of the health systems have started executing online features like registration and payments which helps in replacing the earlier in-person experiences. Without any concern, the healthcare professionals can use the geo-tracking, automatically “check-in” patients at the time of their arrival at a physical location and also assist them to their appointments. 

To know more, read about pandemic-driven digital transformation, digital readiness during pandemic, and how businesses are reimagining their operations in the post-Covid era.

Why opt for Drupal?

Illustration diagram describing the Drupal features


The healthcare industry is hugely supported by Drupal development resulting in its exclusive features and functionalities. Drupal features help in building the perfect digital experiences for the healthcare industry also maintaining all the safety measures required for creating websites and applications. 

Opensource

The Drupal project is totally open-source software. Without any concern, you can download, use, work and share it to anyone for free. It is purely based upon principles like innovation, collaboration and globalism. Under the GNU General Public License (GPL), it can be distributed and there are no licensing fees for Drupal.

The Drupal community is ever ready to support its users by answering their questions and concerns. So, if you have any question, somebody will certainly answer it, since it’s a worldwide platform.

You can find more information about open-source here:

Content workflow

The in-built tools of Drupal helps in content creation, workflow and publishing, also allowing the content creators to work on it without any difficulties. The editorial workflows can be handled effectively by the provision of authentication and permission in this platform. With the provision of previews in Drupal, you get the opportunity to view the content on a device before approving and publishing it, create content with a WYSIWYG editor, and quickly track all revisions and changes to maintain the history of content changes if required. You can manage your roles and actions efficiently by observing all the stages of content i.e. creating, reviewing, and publishing. Drupal gives you access to a special feature where you can create a structured content, for example, describe content elements, tag content based upon any attributes, create convenient taxonomy for content so that it can be searched, used, reused if required in a manner that can improve customer satisfaction. 

You can create relevant content architecture using the Admin Interface or programmatically also do it. This platform gives you special mode tools and views, customizable menus that provide you a good user experience.

Read about how layout builder and paragraphs module enhance content workflow in Drupal.

Security

Drupal never fails to provide security to all kinds of web threats and vulnerabilities. It always prefers keeping robust security as a priority. There is a team of security experts that Drupal has which looks after all the security issues with their well-built coding standards, and strict review coding process. Drupal proves to be a stable and a secure open-source platform due to its wide professional service provider.

According to the 2020 edition of the Acunetix, Web Application Vulnerability Report, Drupal was found to be the most secure CMS in the open source CMS market.

Illustration with a circle describing the minimal security issues of Drupal CMS Source: Acunetix

Scalability and performance

Drupal’s in-built performance features when combined with a modern CDN provider performs exceptionally well under the pressure of supercharged databases, advanced caching and load balancing. The scalability feature of Drupal allows your website to perform well even on the busiest days. To know more, read about Drupal’s performance optimisation offerings and how it scales with your needs to govern high web traffic.

Multilingual

The automated language translation in Drupal helps in reaching out to a diverse audience with the provision of localized content. Drupal can build complex multilingual web applications and customized sites in various languages. The core modules of Drupal help in complete translation of every part of a website, content types and their definite fields, users, menus, taxonomy, blocks, contact forms and comments. This further allows in acknowledging the suitable language as per the user’s IP address, URL, browser settings, session and more. Read more about Drupal’s multilingual capabilities here.

Accessibility

With Drupal you get a special feature of building websites that can be accessible by people with disabilities. Drupal ensures that all its features conform with the World Wide Web Consortium guidelines (W3C) guidelines: WCAG 2.0 and ATAG 2.0. This feature provides an equal opportunity for all regardless of any discrimination. 

Learn more about accessibility here:

Personalisation

Drupal users receive a special, personalized profile for every visitor like using geolocation, browser history, behavior taxonomies and device type. They also are given a customized experience that helps them in tracking and reporting with A/B and multivariate testing, improving ROI through target marketing and also segmenting visitors over devices by focusing on the important user identity for your business goals. 

Learn more about personalisation here:

SEO 

With Drupal, you get access to exclusive SEO tools that help you in improving your website’s visibility. Here are the tools and modules.

Understanding the linking game through Linkit module; 
Understanding keyword game through Real-time SEO for Drupal;
Understanding the duplicacy predicament through Redirect module;

To know more, read this definitive guide to Drupal SEO in 2021.

Multisite support 

Drupal helps you in managing various websites over your organization, geographies, brands and campaigns on a single platform, enabling easy, fast website creation and deployment. Read this complete guide on Drupal Multisite to know more. 

Marketing automation

By utilizing tools and modules in recent versions, Drupal facilitates smooth integration with the automation platforms that can collect customer demographics and convert potential leads within the suitable time. Learn more about how marketing automation can be leveraged with Drupal here.

Mobile first approach and mobile apps

Drupal helps in creating responsive sites and building web applications that can deliver better user experience. It provides responsive design best practices and makes sure your users are benefited with the best content experience each time on every device. There are two ways of building mobile web applications which work with Drupal - integrated with Drupal at the theme layer, or a standalone mobile web app that communicates with Drupal using web services. Even though, both the approaches will work for building mobile web applications, it will be a way easier to begin with integrating the mobile web app into Drupal as a theme. To know more, read about mobile-first design approach and mobile apps like that of Flutter-powered delivered by Drupal.

Integrated Digital Tools and Applications

Drupal can smoothly integrate with a wide ecosystem of digital technology and other business applications to help you opt for the right set of tools today and tomorrow according to your preferences. 

Strong Stack Foundation

Drupal depends upon Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP, the latest LAMP technology stack which meet the requirements of flexible, fast-moving agile companies and brands that help in building the next generation digital platforms. 

Facilitates Decoupled Architecture

Content flexibility is one of the features that Drupal provides to allow a smooth flow over sites, native apps, connected devices that can be displayed on third party websites and social networks. Since, many CMSes look for managing content in a back-end repository and move it to “front-end” templates which can provide a static experience. Drupal facilitates decoupling the back and front ends, wherever it’s required. So, the content of Drupal remains as reusable chunks, which is free from presentation, and ready for easy delivery to sites and applications. Drupal’s presentation i.e. RESTful API and neutral content help the front-end developers to build interactive websites and applications according to their preferences. There is availability of tools like Angular, Node, Ember and Backbone. With this platform you can obtain third-party content ((eg. syndicators and aggregators) and make it accessible to any app, website or channel. The content of Drupal can be comfortably consumed by other websites and applications with the support of Drupal’s content-as-a-service capability. The front end developers of Drupal can easily design content such as separating back-end content from front-end presentation according to their conveniences. 

Learn more about decoupled Drupal here:

Web Hosting

You can choose the best hosting vendor that fulfills your needs, with Drupal. Additionally, you can change hosting vendors whenever you want, and also select to host the website internally. 

Migrations

Drupal upgrades can be said to be easy and convenient. The makers reveal that the upgrade from Drupal 8 to 9 was very simple. By referring to these four simple steps, you can build your site’s functionality, and maintain proper security standards of Drupal 9 by using the Upgrade Status. With Drupal Module Upgrader and Upgrade Status, the developers can make the upgrades themselves. Moreover, you can also recognize  whether your modules and themes are capable enough for Drupal 8/9 and convert your custom code respectively.

Learn more about Drupal 9 upgrade here:

Extensibility

Drupal offers various themes and distributions to its users. Now, taking you through some of the significant themes offered by Drupal. The first theme we have is YG Medical - Healthcare | Bootstrap based Drupal 9 theme. Available for Drupal 8 and Drupal 9, the YG Medical is a complete modern bootstrap theme for Clinics and Hospitals. 

The second theme is Medical Zymphonies. It is not dependent on any other core theme and has a modern look and feel. The features of this theme include Medical related color combination, Doctor appointment form., Awesome slider, Quick contact details on top of the website, Font awesome icons, Drupal forum, HTML5, JavaScript, jQuery & PHP, Single column, two columns and full width layout, a total of 16 regions, Nivo slider, views, webform module styles, Minimal design and nice typography and Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Vimeo). 

The third theme we have is Medicare Zymphonies. This theme is a perfect fit for medical companies and hospital websites, for small clinics, like pediatric, dental, gynecology or general therapist clinics, family doctors and ambulances. It also has all the necessary features needed especially for the medical websites. 

Next, the fourth theme is Ultra Zymphonies. This is a responsive multipurpose Drupal theme which is perfect for any business themes. Be it a medical doctor, freelancer, corporate team or a lawyer who is looking forward to a modern business website or a personal blog, Zymphonies theme can be the best choice.

The fifth theme is Decor Zymphonies. This theme is similar to the above theme. A complete responsive multipurpose theme that suits best for the business theme. It proves to be the perfect theme for anyone including a medical doctor, lawyer, creative, corporate team or freelancer who is proactively willing to build a modern business website or create a personal blog.  

Finally, we will end up with Clinic Zymphonies Theme. It is a Mobile-first Drupal 8 responsive theme. Along with being highly customizable, it also features a custom sideshow, responsive layout and multiple column layouts. 

Now, we will go through one of the Drupal distributions for healthcare i.e. Virtual care. It is a distribution that offers a Basic Drupal Healthcare site for better communication between Patient and Healthcare Professional which further facilitates the exclusive features for patients, healthcare professionals, editors and site-admins as well.

Support and maintenance, hiring of developers, and partnering with digital agencies

You will find various Drupal agencies that will provide you with quality services as per your requirements. Below are the top 5 Drupal agencies in the global Drupal marketplace.

Describing the top 5 Drupal agencies in the global Drupal marketplace with the help of a diagramSource: Drupal.org

Supporting emerging technologies

Drupal uses the latest technologies such as artificial intelligence in the form of chatbots, virtual reality, IoT and Blockchain, cognitive search and digital voice assistants like Alexa on Drupal sites. Check out some of the Drupal-powered healthcare technologies here.

With the above mentioned features, Drupal healthcare websites can be built ensuring all the necessary security standards and requirements. 

Now, below you will get a glimpse of the drupal websites that were successfully built for the healthcare industry around the globe. 

Success Stories

You will get to witness some successful case studies around the world that depict Drupal’s extreme efforts in reaching its users expectations. 

National Nurses United

National Nurses United(NNU) can be considered as the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in the United States. They wanted to architect, redesign and create their new website on Drupal 8. Their main requirements were to design, create and launch their website within a very tight frame. NNU wanted their website to be of light design, modern and also a content management system. Finally, the Drupal 8 website was successfully launched on time and also under the budget. The NNU team now has a modern and powerful content management system that enables their professional members to obtain required tools and information on time.

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity is one of the UK’s biggest charities, which is also an international centre of excellence in child health care. The website of the hospital provides significant information to healthcare professionals, parents and child patients. They rely upon their site to support campaigns for raising funds. The hospital’s main aim is to deliver best clinical care and training, and in partnership with other organizations, pioneer new treatments and research for the well-being of children around the globe. GOSH’s primary objective was to build a single harmonised platform that would be compiled from the migration of two large, business critical sites (30 content types and 6,000 nodes per site) and 10 sub-sites to Drupal from a proprietary software that is already outdated. The secondary objectives included prioritizing digital at the centre of all organizational activities, scalable architecture, removing complexity, platform for innovation, facility of accessibility, time-saving tools and improved search facility. Therefore, the results were as such that both the content and commerce could swiftly be intertwined, they were no more constrained by their content management system, in fact all the options were available and being capitalised, facility of suitable access privileges, and availability of flexible security boundaries were achieved with the help of Drupal’s powerful Organic Groups module. Additionally, personalization could be achieved by guiding visitors quickly to microsites and site sections for their necessities. Every section could adopt message, content, imagery, tone and Solr Search for the suitable audience. Lastly, the stakeholders could recover control and regularly adapt content. 

Conclusion

Digital transformation in healthcare is a must as it provides comprehensive patient care services with much efficiency and effectiveness. Therefore, having the right technology partner is very essential as it enables in building the foundation required for digital capacities and enhances the healthcare and patient experience to a complete whole new level. And Drupal is the best technology partner to deliver such a seamless experience for both the patients and healthcare industry.

Aug 16 2021
Aug 16

We are living in a digital era. Our lives have dramatically changed over the years. Such a digital transformation is also witnessed by the various business industries which are constantly striving to level up their work standards and ethics. Today, let’s look into one of the industries that is flourishing towards digital innovation and transformation: travel and tourism. This article will also give you an insight about how Drupal proves to be the best choice when it comes to technology in the travel industry. 

Emerging digital transformation trends in the travel and tourism industry

A diagram describing the emerging technology trends in the travel and tourism industry


The growing need of digital transformation has given rise to the following trends impacting the travel industry. Here are the following technology trends that are enabling the reshaping of the tourism industry. 

Rise of mobile Integration

Cloud technologies and international mobile plans have made mobile devices highly prevalent and an important part of the travel journey since it provides facilities like online booking, easy mobile payment, and acquiring destination information in real time. It is observed that the mobile’s share of total digital ad spending in the travel industry is gradually increasing over desktop ads and will cover the majority of the travel industry’s ad spending in the future. Due to the facility of mobile responsiveness, the consumption of digital travel content can be seen growing rapidly around the world via smartphones, the most feasible medium to plan the exotic vacations and choose the best travel destination. People are today seen spending hours over their phones scrolling the various social media platforms. Such social media platforms prove to be a good medium to inspire travel and also improve the travel business for the travel and tourism industry. 

Availability of AI and Chatbots

Artificial intelligence and chatbots help customers in digital check-in, voice assistants, easy access to digital concierge services and smart rooms. You can experience a seamless travel by this technology since it provides customised and personalized service according to your preferences. 

Integration of IoT

IoT helps in building a data rich tourism sector that leads to enhancing customer experience. The facilities like interoperability of data, sensors and automation that further helps in producing real time understanding and information for properly managing tourism can be obtained. It also brings improvement in the visitor experiences and increases the operational efficiencies that enable to successfully provide the best travel services to the enthusiastic travelers. One of the unique innovations of this technology is an IoT device called wearable. So, wearables or  wearable technology is adopted by travel agents across the globe to fulfill the growing need of personalized services from travelers. It enhances the communication with the travelers since all they look for is solutions in their fingertips and which is attainable with this technology. Therefore, wearable technology is rapidly growing among the people as it proves to be one of the significant travel innovations of the present world. The main motive of this technology is to  simplify the experience of a traveler and make it frictionless. 

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality helps in capturing the tourism destinations in an immersive and unique way. The users can feel the experience of “being there” with this special technology which the usual images and videos of various destinations cannot offer. A user can witness the most realistic virtual reality travel experience with the VR headsets. The travel agents use this technology to help their clients get a better experience than just viewing regular brochures and computer screens. Here is an example where VR is adopted. In the Marriott Hotels, the guests are offered VR experiences which can be enjoyed from the comfort of their rooms. 

Cloud-based solutions

The cloud-based infrastructure has various benefits. One of the most significant benefits is the cost reduction. For example, TUI, a European travel company, was able to reduce its technology costs at the time of COVID 19 by scaling down the cloud usage.  Another benefit of cloud computing is agility. It helps in reducing the time to deploy new products and services to customers and employees. Due to the pandemic, cloud-based technology proves to be a good option. Since majorly, employees are seen working remotely, this technology provides an easy access to critical information that helps employees to smoothly carry out their work responsibilities. 

Focusing on Data

Digitalization helps in the acquisition, collection and interpretation of the consumer data. This further helps in understanding the customer preferences and behavioural patterns that allows companies to offer best services and experiences to their customers. Here is an example of an Australian airline, Qantas who in partnership with unified customer data platform Umbel, has built a data hub focused on customer behaviours and preferences which will further enhance the customer experience. In-flight services, check-in process and real time ticket booking facilities are personalized for the customers. 

Building reputation

Brand reputation can be built with technology by providing the feedback facility to its customers. On receiving the best services, the customers can share their opinions through various mediums like Facebook, TripAdvisor, Yelp and travel review websites. This also works as an encouragement for the various brands to provide quality services to maintain a good relationship with their trustworthy customers. It is also found that ninety five percent of people majorly depend on the brand’s reviews before opting for it.

Providing safety and security

Safety and security have always been one of the top-most priorities for the travel and tourism industry. Technology should aim at creating innovation and enhancing security. A traveler’s journey can be made trouble free by providing seamless safety processes. For example, Aruba Happy Flow can be considered as an innovative scheme which requires passengers to show their passport only once on every journey. The primary means of recognizing passengers and helping them throughout the entire airport journey is via facial recognition. The governments of Aruba and the Netherlands, Aruba Airport Security, KLM, Schiphol Group and stakeholders consider it to be an important innovation in security clearance. 

How digitalization can help the tourism industry to recover from the pandemic, COVID 19?

Many companies have felt the need of adapting digitalization post the pandemic, COVID 19. The pandemic is encouraging companies to modify their approaches regarding various functionalities. They look forward to being more resilient. It is important to be able to withstand all the uncertainties that the business encounters because of COVID 19. The companies can find ways with the help of technology like increasing their remote workforce that will stabilize their current hard situations. And being agile is the key to sustenance for the present tough times. The agility in business helps in quickly adapting and scaling the business against the prevailing competition. The companies which have already integrated digital processes into their company culture even before the pandemic, weren’t seen struggling much like the companies which restricted themselves from adopting such essential digital procedures. Therefore, companies are seen embracing digitalization in today’s time. For example, Hyatt hotels are putting an effort to introduce their improved digital facilities via hyatt.com and the World of Hyatt app which will allow its customers to communicate better while revealing their preferences and choices over the different services offered by them. To know more, read about pandemic-driven digital transformation, how businesses are reimagining their business operations, and how to be digitally ready no matter what.

Why choose Drupal?

Illustration diagram describing the Drupal features


Drupal is a safe and highly reliable platform that provides a wide range of features that helps in creating rich digital experiences for the travel and tourism industry. So, let me take you through the exclusive Drupal features explained below.  

Open source

The Drupal project is fully open-source software. Anyone is free to download, use, work on and also share it with others.  It is based on principles like innovation, collaboration and globalism. It can be further distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). There are no licensing fees for Drupal.

The Drupal community is always ready to support its users by answering their questions and concerns. So, if you have any question, somebody will certainly answer it, since it’s a worldwide platform.

Learn more about open source here:

Content workflow

Drupal’s in-built tools enable content creation, workflow and publishing, also allowing the content creators or content managers to smoothly work on it. In this platform, editorial workflows can be managed effectively by permission and authentication that is easily available. The preview provision allows visibility of how the content will be displayed on a device even before approving and publishing the content. It helps in creating content with a WYSIWYG editor. You also get the facility to quickly track all revisions and changes, if you feel the need of maintaining the history of content changes. So, every stage of content, from creating, reviewing, and publishing can be viewed that further helps in managing your roles and responsibilities. Drupal has a special feature where you get the opportunity to create a structured content like describing content elements, tagging content based on any attributes, forming appropriate taxonomy for content so that it can be searched, used, reused if needed to improve the customer satisfaction. 

You get a chance to create a relevant content architecture utilizing the Admin Interface or also do it programmatically. It facilitates you with special mode tools and views, customized menus that provide a comfortable user experience, and also form pathways to content over several devices. 

Read about how layout builder and paragraphs module enhance content workflow in Drupal.

Security

Drupal CMS provides security from all types of web vulnerabilities and threats. It keeps robust security as a priority. You will find a team of security experts that look after all the security concerns with their well structured coding standards and strict review coding procedure. Since, security is given much emphasis by Drupal, it has a broad professional service provider security that makes it one of the most stable and secure open-source platforms. So, Drupal websites are built by maintaining all the required security and privacy for the users. One more important security aspect to be discussed is, ‘Drupal Commerce’ that supports the core payment API, for an easy payment collection process through the check out form while travelling via airways. 

According to the 2020 edition of the Acunetix, Web Application Vulnerability Report, Drupal was found to be the most secure CMS in the open source CMS market.

Illustration with a circle describing the minimal security issues of Drupal CMS Source: Acunetix

Scalability and performance

The in-built performance features of Drupal when combined with a modern CDN provider performs extremely well under the pressure of supercharged databases, load balancing and advanced caching. Even on the busiest days, Drupal's scalability allows your website to perform exceptionally well. To know more, read about Drupal’s performance optimisation offerings and how it scales with your needs to govern high web traffic.

Multilingual

Drupal’s automated language translation makes it possible to reach out to different audiences with the facility of localized content. Drupal is an expert in building complex multilingual web applications and customized sites in numerous languages. Drupal’s core modules help in complete translation of each part of a site, content types and their specific fields, users, menus, blocks, taxonomy, comments and contact forms. It further helps in specifying the preferred language in accordance with the user’s IP address, URL, session, browser settings and much more. Read more about Drupal’s multilingual capabilities here.

Accessibility

Drupal facilitates an exclusive feature of building websites that can be accessible by people with disabilities. It ensures that all its features conform with the World Wide Web Consortium guidelines (W3C) guidelines: WCAG 2.0 and ATAG 2.0. This a very significant feature as it helps in providing equal accessibility to everyone regardless of any discrimination. 

Learn more about accessibility here:

Personalisation

Drupal’s users get a special, personalized profile for each visitor like using geolocation, behavior taxonomies, browser history and device type. Drupal also provides a customized experience which helps in tracking and reporting with A/B and multivariate testing, improving ROI by target marketing and also segment users over devices with an aim on the significant user identity for your business goals.

Learn more about personalisation here:

SEO 

The users of Drupal get access to exclusive SEO tools that help in improving the site’s visibility. The tools and modules are discussed below.

To know more, read this definitive guide to Drupal SEO in 2021.

Multisite support 

You can handle various websites over your organization, geographies, brands and campaigns on a single platform, allowing easy, fast website creation and deployment with Drupal. Read this ultimate guide on Drupal multisite to know more.

Marketing automation

By using modules and tools in latest versions, Drupal enables smooth integration with the automation platforms which can collect customer demographics, and convert potential leads within the suitable time. Learn more about how marketing automation can be leveraged with Drupal here.

Mobile first approach and mobile apps

Drupal facilitates in creating web applications and responsive websites that further enhances the user experience. It provides the best practices of responsive design and also makes sure that your users attain excellent content experience each time, on every device. And, there are two ways of building mobile web applications which work with Drupal - integrated with Drupal at the theme layer, or a standalone mobile web app that communicates with Drupal using web services. Even though, both the approaches will work for building mobile web applications, it will be much easier to begin with integrating the mobile web app into Drupal as a theme. To know more, read about mobile-first design approach and mobile apps like that of Flutter-powered delivered by Drupal.

Integrated Digital Tools and Applications

Drupal smoothly integrates with a broad ecosystem of digital marketing technology and other business applications that enable you to select the right set of tools today and tomorrow according to your convenience.

Strong Stack Foundation

Drupal lives upon Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP, the latest LAMP technology stack that meet the necessities of flexible, fast-moving agile companies and brands  which further creates the next generation digital platforms.

Facilitates Decoupled Architecture

One of the significant features of Drupal is the content flexibility that helps in easy flow of content over sites, native apps, which can be presented on third party sites and social networks. Since, many CMSes look for managing content in a back-end repository and move it to “front-end” which can provide an experience i.e mostly static. You get an option to to decouple the back and front ends, wherever it's required. Therefore, Drupal content remains as reusable chunks, which is free from presentation and is also ready for smooth delivery to sites and applications. With the help of Drupal’s presentation i.e. RESTful API and neutral content, the front end developers can build interactive sites and applications without facing any restrictions. There is availability of tools like Node, Angular, Backbone, Ember etc. The third-party content(eg. syndicators and aggregators) can be attained and made available to any site, application, or channel under this free and open source platform. With the help of Drupal’s content-as-a-service capability, the content of Drupal can be consumed easily by any other sites and applications. Additionally, Drupal’s front end developers also get the opportunity of designing content smoothly such as separating back-end content from front-end presentation according to their preferences. 

Learn more about decoupled Drupal here:

Web Hosting

You can select the convenient hosting vendor that suits your needs with Drupal. Also, you get the opportunity to change hosting vendors whenever you want and select to host the website internally. 

Migrations

Drupal upgrades can be considered easy and convenient. Upgrading Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 was very easy, confirmed by the makers. With these four simple steps, you can develop your present site’s functionality, and maintain proper safety standards of Drupal 9 by using the Upgrade Status. With Upgrade Status and Drupal Module Upgrader, the developers can easily make the upgrade themselves. Additionally, you also specify whether your themes and modules are competent for Drupal 8/9, and also convert your custom code suitably.

Learn more about Drupal 9 upgrade here:

Extensibility

Drupal facilitates its users with various essential modules, themes and distributions. Let us first discuss some of the modules offered by Drupal. The first module is IP Geolocation Views & Maps. IP Geolocation Views & Maps (IPGV&M) is basically a mapping engine. This module very easily helps you in creating views-based mapping solutions utilizing the map renderer of your preferred choice (Google, OpenLayers2 or Leaflet) with any location storage module of your wish, e.g., Get Locations, Geofield, Geolocation Field or Location. It enables you in bringing together both modules and feature sets which you wouldn’t be able to combine without this module. Then the second module is Baidu Map. In China, the Baidu Map is considered more accurate than the Google Maps and more complete than the Ali Maps. The Baidu Map module enables geographic and location information to be displayed via the Baidu Map API. It helps to attain geographic coordinates from textual addresses in China (Geocode) and display any type of geographic information via Baidu Maps. As Baidu Map presently provides support only for Mainland China, so the capacities of this module would be restricted to China. But it is still able to cover a vast market of more than 500 million internauts, bringing an availability of great applications starting from Logistics, to Tourism/Hospitality, going through E-Commerce or Real Estates.

There are some well-designed themes and templates which Drupal offers. Let us look into some of the Drupal free themes for travel websites. So, the first theme is Travel Zymphonies Theme. The travel agency or tour operating website are benefited by the Travel Zymphonies theme as it helps to focus on offering various adventure tour packages. This theme is compatible with Drupal 8 and it provides multiple layouts that help in creating multiple pages based on your contents. Also, it is responsive and can be used completely for free. Then next we have Guesthouse Lite. The Guesthouse Lite can be considered as a free mobile-first, Bootstrap 4 based theme for Drupal 8 which is based on the Drupal’s premium, Premium Guesthouse theme distribution that comes along with 200+ theme settings and enables you to build sites for small hotels, guesthouses and businesses in the tourism sector.

Finally, taking you through one of the Drupal distributions for travel i.e. Travel profile. Travel profile is a very modern-looking profile which is a great option for the travel agencies or hotels’ landing pages. The travel theme that is used in this profile is very responsive and looks great on any device.

Support and maintenance, hiring of developers, and partnering with digital agencies

There are numerous Drupal agencies you can opt for. According to your requirements, they tend to provide you with the quality services that will meet your expectations. Below are some of the top 4 Drupal agencies in the global Drupal marketplace.

Illustration diagram describing the top 4 Drupal agencies in the global Drupal marketplaceSource: Drupal.org

                                   
Supporting emerging technologies

Drupal proactively, uses the latest technologies such as artificial intelligence in the   form of chatbots, virtual reality, IoT and Blockchain, cognitive search and digital voice assistants like Alexa on Drupal sites to provide a better experience for it’s users. 

Inspiring stories

In this section, I will take you through some of the case studies that will help you in understanding why you should pick Drupal when it comes to building your dream website. 

Top Deck Travel

Top Deck Travel can’t only be considered as a tour operator but rather they can be addressed as travel enthusiasts who plan exciting trips to exotic destinations for people between the age of 18 to 39. They provide 330 different tours around 65 countries to the travellers and help them make beautiful travel experiences and memories. They wanted Drupal to create their new website that would increase the online presence, help in direct to consumer sales, reduce the reliability of third-party travel agents, availability of Single Sign On process over historical sites, applications, form a digital platform which could be utilized for sister brands, Back Roads Touring, Blue Roads Touring and align their applications architecture with the parent Group i.e. Flightcentre. Drupal successfully enhanced their site performance, reduced page load speed, increased consumer conversion rate, launched Back Roads and Blue Roads and generated incremental sales. 

Content Migration at Scale for Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet is a well known name in the travel industry. They facilitate travellers with extensive resources that include guide books, reliable web content, popular mobile applications and a flourishing online community. Lonely Planet wanted to upgrade their legacy website that was created over a decade and had been custom made on Ruby on Rails. They faced various challenges with caching and site scalability. It was a time-consuming and complex project since the volume of content had been accumulated over a decade. They wanted to streamline and migrate to Drupal 8. They had to take their next step, which was to migrate their custom platform onto Drupal. Some of the reasons why they wanted to migrate to Drupal were because of Drupal’s versatile migration API which helped them to conveniently migrate data from its source to the Drupal system. And, Drupal’s flexibility with numerous types of content modeling approaches makes it the best choice for their project. Eventually, part of the new system was successfully launched. They successfully migrated their WordPress-based portal to Drupal.

Final thoughts

From this article, it is clear that over the past two decades, the travel and tourism industry has experienced a fundamental transformation. Driven by new digital technologies, this industry is able to revolutionize the entire work culture and look forward to efficiently providing personalized customer services. This journey is made a lot easier by Drupal as it is the right technology helping the travel industry to not only retain customers but also win over new travelers by providing the necessary technical assistance with its incredible features and functionality.

Aug 10 2021
Aug 10

Every nonprofit organization is established with some definite goals and objectives that it opts to achieve. But are the nonprofits able to achieve their set up goals without facing any challenges? Not really. In this highly competitive world, these organizations find themselves struggling in finding ways to turn their vision into reality. So, in a situation like this, digital innovation can be the savior for the nonprofits. Updating to the latest technology is the smartest step a nonprofit can take to justify its organization’s mission, also successfully accomplishing the expected results and outcomes. Therefore, in this article we will discover how Drupal can pave the way to greater success in a nonprofit organization. 

The emerging need for nonprofit digital transformation 

Illustration diagram describing the ways in which nonprofits organizations are benefited by digital transformation


There are various angles to a digital transformation that it can be difficult for nonprofits that have been using similar IT systems for years. It is totally comprehensible to not know exactly where to start your digital transformation journey, or how each new technology will be beneficial to your organization. Therefore, these are the areas where your organization can be improved by adopting digital transformation. 

Building a digital first donor funding strategy

Digital transformation helps in availing innovative user experiences that enable in meeting new digital expectations of the nonprofit organizations. Modern technology has entirely transformed the digital expectations for employees, donors and other beneficiaries. Digital interaction is made easy by the help of smart devices, mobile apps, social media, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and ecommerce that are majorly beneficial for these organizations. Online portals can be built for beneficiaries to contact the nonprofits, providing full transparency that would encourage the donors to contribute, making an easy access to organization services leading to trust building. Therefore, all these experiences bring a positive impact on the various fundraising programs conducted by the nonprofits to improve the user engagement and satisfaction. 

Online strategies can be developed to enhance the donors’ participation and reach them on their preferred channels to let them witness a great experience with the nonprofit organizations. 

There is an example, where Accenture helped a national microfinance organization on donor analytics by facilitating data capacities and advanced insights. The nonprofit gained various benefits like immediate visibility into donor demographics, improved funding behavior, lifetime value and many more. 

Empowering employees by using digital tools 

The COVID 19 brought a major transformation in the field of digital technology. There was a complete shift in the overall operation methods of the nonprofit organizations due to this pandemic. They started embracing new operating models, using the right digital tools and encouraging new ways of working to maximize performance. Along with the employees who endeavour to perform their work in the new environment, the beneficiaries should also learn to communicate with the organization in the new operating model. Some organizations tried making the digital tools easier for the beneficiaries to use and witness a seamless experience. 

One significant thing the nonprofits can do is to provide the front-line-employees with the correct data and insights , as it will help in serving the stakeholders more efficiently, who overall support the movement of a nonprofit organization in various ways. 

Since the digital economy is changing, it is crucially important for nonprofits to ensure that the operations they are working on are efficient and effective enough to achieve their organizational goals and objectives. To know more, learn how the Covid-19 pandemic propelled businesses to reimagine their businesses and how pandemic-driven digital transformation looks like.

Developing strategic partnerships

In the middle of the pandemic, the nonprofits receiving support from the profit earning organizations have taken a positive shift towards growth and development. Since some nonprofits fall behind in their digital capabilities, several technology companies have stepped in to provide free services for a limited time to get through this current crisis. The nonprofits have gained benefits from these corporate partnerships in many ways, huge marketing exposure, increased funding, shared resources and the capability to increase more volunteers. 

Some nonprofits abstain from getting involved in such partnerships without realizing the positive impact which can be obtained from it. And one important thing to be aware of is the selection of the right partners to work with. Since changing digital providers might lead to various inefficiencies in the long-term. But by choosing the right partnerships, nonprofits can sustain their operations and succeed in attaining their work plan and targets.

Providing support with the emerging technologies

Adopting the emerging transformational technologies by the nonprofits proves to be one of the best decisions as it helps in meeting the growing digital expectations. Such technologies are listed below.

  • Augmented Reality
  • Virtual Reality
  • Blockchain 

Augmented reality 

Augmented reality provides a live view of something in the real world. It basically blends the real world and virtual reality to improve the viewer’s insight of his or her surroundings. By adopting this technology, the nonprofits can gain many benefits. Firstly, it transports your organization’s constituents to the center of your cause. This helps in establishing a personal relationship between the organization and potential donors and volunteers, also building the necessary trust. For better understanding, a NPO, charity:water provides an example. In the December 2015 annual black tie fundraising banquet, by using augmented reality, the guests of the events were provided augmented reality headsets that virtually transported them to a small village in Ethiopia. They were taken through a week in the life of a 13-year-old Ethiopian girl through this technology, where they saw her family’s struggle for clean water firsthand.  By watching such a heart-breaking story, the guests were so moved by the experience, that they ended up contributing a total amount of $2.4 million. This technology also provides viewers real-time information. 

Virtual reality

We will understand this technology by the help of an example. A nonprofit organization, Pencils and Promise aims at providing education to children by building schools in the rural communities of less developed countries like Nicaragua and Laos. It is difficult to convince donors and investors to contribute while the construction is still half-a-world away. If by any chance, they contribute, a part of the donations are automatically funnelled towards the travel costs. So, virtual reality can be a perfect solution for such a problem. By using this technology, a one minute-and-a-half film was shot and the organization could surprisingly, raise a sum total of $1.9 million.

Blockchain

Blockchain helps nonprofits in various ways. It provides full transparency regarding tracking the transfer of funds from the donor to the beneficiary, scrutinizing the usage of funds and the overall activities of the organization. It helps in trust building between the donor and the beneficiary by providing the clarity of the necessary tracks and services. It is found that some donors wish to remain unknown, they want to support the nonprofits without revealing their identity. The traditional funding method failed to provide that facility, while blockchain is able to maintain confidentiality by providing the digital wallets facility. The intermediaries like banks and payment services do not fit in the architecture of the blockchain technology, so it helps in reducing the administrative costs of the nonprofits and also helps in smooth transfer of funds to the beneficiaries. Also read, how blockchain is revolutionising the education sector and digital media sector. 

Providing safe and secured user experience

You will not use technology, you don’t trust. Isn’t that obvious? So, this rule will be applicable for everyone, from volunteers and donors, to employees and beneficiaries. Though nonprofits come across cybersecurity attacks, recent studies revealed that nonprofits fall behind in adopting the robust policies and practices required to suitably secure their IT environments. 

Here is an example: Between 2016, December and 2017 April, the UK’s privacy regulator publicly exposed and charged 11 large charities for failing to follow UK privacy rules with regard to usage of donor information.  

Discovering new ways of working to secure your nonprofit’s future 

It is understandable that nonprofits go through a lot of challenges in this highly competitive world, but they can take all these situations as an opportunity to be creative and grow tremendously. Some organizations surrender and fail to overcome these challenges and others courageously adopt innovative new business processes and technologies to succeed in their mission. This process of adoption can be termed as digital transformation. The nonprofits can have a better understanding of digital transformation by observing the transformation journey of the leading private sector companies. Some of the ways in which the nonprofits can thrive in the digital world is by building flexible and robust technology service platforms that can free themselves from maintaining high-priced infrastructure which requires important levels of man-power and expertise.  

How can nonprofits kickstart their digital transformation journey

Illustration diagram describing the steps that can be followed by the nonprofits to start the digital transformation


Now let us take a glimpse of how a digital transformation takes place. Here are 5 major steps you can follow to get started.

Step 1

Establishing a common frame of reference. The first step is to build a common language and also frame a reference which all your stakeholders can look upto. The NGO Reference Model can be adopted and it will help you in visualizing the major connection points between process, people and technology in your organization.

Step 2

Assessing your present approach to digital technology to recognise gaps and opportunities. It is advisable to assess your present approach to technology over the four necessary outcomes of nonprofit digital strategy as discussed above. You can get started by completing the Nonprofit Digital Strategy Assessment to recognize current gaps in your approach to digital technology, also prioritizing opportunities for development, and get insights about exactly what the next level of transformation will look like. 

Step 3

Building consensus by explaining how digital strategy will transform your impact. The successful digital transformation strategies need strong support from the senior leadership, since the digital transformation impacts every single role within the organization, therefore, everybody has a role to play. A transformational digital strategy can be formed by building consensus and obtaining support from program teams, middle management and senior leadership to enhance the culture of innovation at the workplace. The leaders will have to take responsibility in actively engaging the volunteers, employees, donors and the beneficiaries to contribute their part in the process of this transformation. 

Step 4

Identifying ways to increase your security in the cloud. The nonprofits can improve their security by adopting the right cloud platform without any huge upfront investment. It is important for both cybersecurity and data-protection compliance. In fact, a major necessity of most comprehensive data-protection laws that includes the EU Data Protection Directive and the GDPR, is that companies handling personal data should take organizational and technical steps to maintain the security of any personal data they gather or process. To know more, read about GDPR and CCPA


Step 5

Start your digital transformation. After building the agreement that digital transformation is required, you can follow the respective process of Dream, Design, Deliver to form a transformative strategy. 

Dream. You can run a design thinking workshop to visualize the innovative scenario with your team.

Design. You need to align technology, process, and organizational change management plans into a time-phased common roadmap to deliver emphasized scenarios and impact.

Deliver. You need to execute process reengineering, technology solutions and organizational readiness, making sure that closed-loop measuring of learnings and impacts can be further utilized in the next stage of transformation. 

Drupal: The first choice for non-profit organizations

Illustration showing multiple squares describing the features of Drupal for nonprofits


Nonprofits need a platform that can simplify the donation procedure, build a secure site, share the organization’s mission through blogs, and set up online communication among the site organizers and visitors. Therefore, Drupal is the perfect CMS for a nonprofit website as it implements all types of functionality without any concerns. It further provides a wide range of exclusive features that meets all the expected standards of a nonprofit site. So, the below Drupal features prove that Drupal for nonprofits is the best choice.  

Open source

The Drupal project is entirely open-source software. You can download it completely free of cost, then use, work or share it with someone else too. It is based on some principles like globalism, collaboration and innovation. It can be further distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). There are no licensing fees for Drupal.

The Drupal community always supports its users by answering their queries and concerns. That means, if you have a question, someone surely will have the answer, as it's a worldwide platform. The Drupal developers get access to the worldwide community experience. 

Learn more about open source here:


Content workflow

Drupal’s in-built tools help in content creation, workflow and publishing, also letting the content creators to work on it easily without any concerns. Editorial workflows can be managed efficiently by permission and authentication available in this platform. The provision of previews gives the visibility of how the content will be displayed on a device before approving and publishing the content. It allows you to create content with a WYSIWYG editor. The facility of quickly tracking all revisions and changes are available, if you require to maintain a history of content changes. All the stages of content, from creating, reviewing, and publishing can be viewed, to help you manage your roles and actions. Drupal has an exclusive feature where you can create a structured content i.e. describe content elements, tag content based on any attributes, form suitable taxonomy for content so that it can be observed, used, reused if required in a manner that can enhance customer satisfaction.

Drupal gives you an opportunity to create the relevant content architecture using the Admin Interface or even do it programmatically. It provides you with unique mode tools and views, customizable menus that give a comfortable user experience, and create pathways to content across various devices.

Read about how layout builder and paragraphs module enhance content workflow in Drupal.

Security

Drupal CMS is free from all kinds of web security vulnerabilities and threats as it is completely safe and secure. Robust security is kept as a priority by Drupal. Drupal has a team of security experts that take care of all the security concerns with their well built coding standards and strict code review process. It also has a vast professional service provider security as they don’t want to take this important aspect, ‘security’ for granted. 

According to the 2020 edition of the Acunetix, Web Application Vulnerability Report, Drupal was found to be the most secure CMS in the open source CMS market.

Illustration with a circle describing the minimal security issues of Drupal for nonprofitsSource: Acunetix

Scalability and performance

Drupal built-in performance features that, combined with a modern CDN provider, performs exceptionally well under the pressure of supercharged databases, advanced caching and load balancing. Drupal’s scalability allows your website to perform remarkably well even on the busiest days.  To know more, read about Drupal’s performance optimisation offerings and how it scales with your needs to govern high web traffic.


Multilingual

The automated language translation of Drupal helps in reaching different audiences with localized content. Drupal specializes in building complex multilingual web applications and customized sites in various languages. Core modules in Drupal enable complete translation of every part of a site, content types and their specific fields, menus, users, blocks, taxonomy, comments and contact forms. It allows in recognizing the preferred language as per the user’s IP address, URL, browser settings, session and more. Read more about Drupal’s multilingual capabilities here.

Accessibility

Drupal provides a special feature of building websites that are accessible by people with disabilities. It makes sure that all its features conform with the World Wide Web Consortium guidelines (W3C) guidelines: WCAG 2.0 and ATAG 2.0. Such a feature of accessibility is very important as it is able to accomplish one of the most desired objectives of serving all the citizens without any discrimination. 

Learn more about accessibility here:

Personalisation

Drupal provides its users with an exclusive, personalized profile for every visitor such as using geolocation, browser history, behavior taxonomies and device type. You can get a customized experience that will help in tracking and reporting with A/B and multivariate testing, enhancing ROI through target marketing and also segmenting visitors over devices with an aim on the important user identity for your business goals and objectives.  

Learn more about personalisation here:

SEO

Drupal provides exclusive SEO tools that can enhance your site’s visibility. Below are the tools and modules.

To know more, read this definitive guide to Drupal SEO in 2021.

Multisite

With Drupal you can manage numerous sites across your company, geographies, brands and campaigns on a single platform, enabling smooth, quick website creation and deployment. Read this complete guide on Drupal multisite to know more.

Marketing automation

Using tools and modules in recent versions, Drupal facilitates easy integration with the automation platforms that can assemble customer demographics, also converting potential leads within the appropriate time. Learn more about how marketing automation can be leveraged with Drupal here.

Mobile first approach and mobile app delivery

Drupal helps in building responsive websites and creating web applications which can provide excellent visitor experiences. It provides responsive design best practices and assures your users receive the ultimate content experience every time, on each device. You will find two ways of building mobile web applications which work with Drupal - integrated with Drupal at the theme layer, or a standalone mobile web app that communicates with Drupal using web services. Although both the approaches will work for building mobile web applications, it will be much easier to begin with integrating the mobile web app into Drupal as a theme. To know more, read about mobile-first design approach and mobile apps like that of Flutter-powered delivered by Drupal.

Integrated Digital Tools and Applications

Drupal easily integrates with a broad ecosystem of digital marketing technology and other business applications that can help you choose the right set of tools today and also according to your comfort, flex with new tools tomorrow. 

Strong Stack Foundation

The latest LAMP technology stack like Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP are the ones upon which Drupal lives since they meet the requirements of flexible, fast-moving agile organizations and brands that help in creating the next generation digital platforms. 

Decoupled Architecture

One of the features Drupal provides is the content flexibility that allows an easy flow of content over websites, native apps, connected devices which can be displayed on third party sites and social networks. As, many CMSes seek to manage content in a back-end repository and move it to “front-end” templates that can provide an experience (mostly static). There is a facility to decouple the back and front ends, wherever it's necessary. Hence, Drupal content remains as reusable chunks, that is free from presentation, also ready for smooth delivery to websites and applications. Content becomes future proof as well. Due to Drupal’s presentation i.e. RESTful API and neutral content, the front end developers can come out of the restrictions, helping them build interactive websites and applications, according to their convenience. Tools like  Angular, Node, Ember, Backbone, and others are available. You can obtain  third-party content(eg. syndicators and aggregators) and make it available to any website, app or channel under this platform. Drupal’s content can be easily consumed by other websites and applications with the help of Drupal’s content-as-a-service capability. Also Drupal’s front end developers can smoothly design content like for example, separating back-end content from front-end presentation according to their conveniences. 

Learn more about decoupled Drupal here:

Web Hosting

Drupal helps you to choose the best hosting vendor that suits your needs, you can change hosting vendors whenever you want, and also select to host the website internally. 

Migrations

The Drupal upgrades are referred to as easy and reliable. The upgradating of Drupal 8 to 9 was simple, as said by the makers. By following a four step guide, you can prepare your present site’s functionality, also maintaining proper security standards of Drupal 9 by utilizing the Upgrade Status. With the help of Upgrade Status and Drupal Module Upgrader , the developers are allowed to make the upgrade themselves. And it also further helps you to recognize whether your modules and themes are competent enough for Drupal 8/9 and convert your custom code accordingly.

Learn more about Drupal 9 upgrade here:

Extensibility

Drupal has various modules, themes and distributions to extend the functionalities.

Below are the examples of Drupal modules for non-profit:

Orcid

According to ORCHID.org, ORCID is an open, non-profit, community-driven effort to create and maintain a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to these identifiers.

The Orchid module helps a user to create an account and login with ORCID OAuth2.

Campaign Kit

It is a flexible donation system that helps you to engage your supporters in the fund-raising activities. The Campaign Kit module is compatible with Drupal 9. It allows:

  • To create standalone campaigns (donate toward a specific goal)
  • Let your supporters create peer-to-peer Campaigns; that will allow the end user to create a child campaign (with a URL different from the parent campaign) and the amount raised rolls up to the parent campaign.
  • To create excitement with team competitions.
  • The site can display a donor wall.
  • Campaign queuing.
  • Availability of payment processors using the plug-in architecture.

There are many exclusive themes too that Drupal presents, like. 

YG Charity | Bootstrap based Drupal 9 theme for NGO

The YG Charity is the most suitable drupal theme for NGO, charity and non-profit organizations. The features of this theme include:

  • Drupal 8 and Drupal 9 core
  • Bootstrap v3.3.5
  • Causes and events sections
  • Team
  • Testimonials

Charity Zymphones Theme

The Charity Zymphones theme is specifically designed for charity, nonprofit, non-governmental organization (NGO), donation and fund-raising campaigns with exclusive features. You will find all the required features for a charity site with a complete responsive mobile-first layout. This theme perfectly fits in many displays and resolutions desktop screens, tablets, iPads, iPhones and small mobile devices. It is also compatible with Drupal 9.

There are various distribution options that Drupal has. Let’s now take a look at the Drupal distribution for nonprofits. 

Open Social

You can create digital spaces which allow your members to share with Open Social's out-of-the-box solution for your online community. International organizations around the world like The United Nations, Greenpeace, the European Commission, FIFA and many more use this distribution. With the help of this community engagement platform, the NGOs, governments and many organizations can connect to their members, volunteers and customers. 

Campaignion Starterkit

The Campaignion Starterkit is a Drupal Distribution for non-profits. It basically specializes in eCampaigning, online fundraising and also applies digital marketing best practices. It helps in:

  • Setting up online actions such as petitions, email protests or other landing pages with forms to capture leads.
  • Creating donation pages and allowing visitors to pay through paymill, stripe and direct debit.
  • Managing supporters in a CRM system (based on Redhen CRM, heavily customized)
  • Managing subscribers of your email list with third-party email marketing tools integrated.

To get more information, you can visit the Campaignion website and for documentation, you can  start with Campaignion core module

Drupal Commons

Drupal Commons is a "community collaboration website in a box" built on Drupal. The following are the help which you receive from this distribution.

  • You can answer the question, “How do you get started?”
  • By downloading a nightly snapshot, you can take a test of the development version of Commons.
  • You can provide e feedback on documentation, and also make requests for additional documentation.
  • Finally, it helps to work on an issue in another project with the commonslove tag.

Open Outreach

Open Outreach is an inexpensive and a quick way for nonprofits and community organizations to operate using Drupal with the web tools which they require for effective public engagement. It basically comprises the latest version of Drupal core and other modules and configures in advance the features frequently used by organizations such as events calendars, image and video handling, social media integration, and contact management. With this distribution, you can save a lot of time and money while building your non-profit websites.

Support and maintenance, hiring of developers, and partnering with digital agencies

There are various Drupal agencies you can go for. They try to provide quality services according to your requirements and choices. Here are the top 4 Drupal agencies in the global Drupal marketplace.

Illustration diagram describing the top 4 Drupal agencies for nonprofits in the global Drupal marketplaceSource: Drupal.org


Supporting emerging technologies

To deliver a better user experience, Drupal actively uses the latest technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT and cognitive search and digital voice assistants like Alexa on Drupal sites. More on futuristic websites powered by Drupal here.

Hence, with the above features, Drupal nonprofit websites can be built according to your project's expectations and standards.

Success stories

Taking you through some case studies that proves Drupal as the best option to opt for in order to build a secure and user-friendly website.

The National Council for the Blind in Ireland (NCBI)

A screenshot of the National Council for the Blind in Ireland (NCBI) website's homepage


The National Council for the Blind in Ireland (NCBI) is a part of the project, Bookshare by Benetech. The council provides learning opportunities to those who struggle with visual impairment across the globe. It aims at providing accessibility for nearly 1.3 billion people worldwide. NCBI is actively working in their field but since they don’t have a website of their own, they are not able to let their constituents get access to their content in a digital format. Therefore, they wanted to share their materials easily in an online format to make people understand their vision and goals, and to make the site AAA compliant. After the large Bookshare platform was made available, NCBI could utilize the platform to partner with publishers in Ireland and share their materials. Availing strategy, design, front and back-end development of the platform in Drupal, Bookshare could be tailored to NCBI’s requirements and audiences to get access to reading. Now, by working with Kanopi, NCBI could provide excellent features like synchronized text and audio, searchable text and customizable font size and contrast to help visually impaired people with learning and literacy. NCBI finally has a AAA compliant site, with 800,000+ titles available to users. This was a big achievement for the team as they could manage to give such great accessibility to people around the globe with learning and education.

Drupal 8 Redesign for Non-profit, Synergos

A screenshot of the Synergos website's homepage


Synergos, a global nonprofit, has been committed to systemic change solutions to fight against poverty for over 25 years. The Synergos team was ready to rebuild their website for better engagement with the donors and supporters. The project aimed at bringing optimum exposure and audience engagement to Synergos.org, enabling users to smoothly find and engage with content, creating simple ways for users to learn about Synergos’ mission, activities, increasing support in the form of donations and email subscriptions, services and the easy ways of getting involved with them. Drupal brought a huge transformation by providing a fresh approach to digital strategy, a new design, allowing to engage with new partners, making funding secure, strengthening services. Drupal provided Synergos some exceptional results like the bounce rate improved by 19%, pages/sessions increased by 27%, session duration increased by 63%, and finally page load time was enhanced by 52% on tablet devices and mobile. Synergos overall got a very customized platform that helped in enhancing the user engagement and increasing their audience as well. 

Website Redesign in Drupal 8 Helps a Rockstar Nonprofit Get an Edge

A screenshot of the Youth on Record website's homepage


Youth on Record empowers high school students, the ones  who are underprivileged to prosper in their lives through the help of musical programs. It actively partners with local and national musicians, schools and treatment centers to provide them credit classes that are inspirational, engaging and culturally suitable for students. There was a problem with their website since it was unable to display the tangible impact of providing children access to get a learning experience from real artists and couldn’t support fundraising and event awareness endeavours. A new website information architecture, with an improved user experience and a responsive design was built on Drupal 8. There was a lot of content that Youth on Record had but it wasn’t well organized. So, along with choosing the right content, media too had to be well looked after or else it could lead to confusion. Here, Drupal 8 handled the situation by allowing an easy integration of external libraries. Therefore, it was pretty easy to include a library to handle execution of the Twitter API, that saved long working hours and cost, and also allowed Youth on Record’s content to be relevant. So, all the desired project’s outcomes were achieved such as the new Youth on Record website now acts both as a media center and resource for every aspect of the company. It enhanced fundraising, partnerships, more engagement of partner artists and followers. Drupal 8 provided a complete, future-proofed site that was launched on time within the planned budget and could also reach the client’s expectations. 

A Reimagined Rainforest Alliance on Drupal 8

A screenshot of the Rainforest Alliance website's homepage


Reimagined Rainforest has developed a repository of well structured content to support their vision and mission. The content is majorly displayed in long form text, there is also a broad variety of metadata and assets related with every piece of content. One of the major goals of the new site was the availability of the provision to discover new content on the website through automatic selection of similar content navigated by the metadata of the content the user was observing. Also, RA had a future plan for advanced authorization and publishing workflows to allow stakeholders, who aren’t from the web team to play a part in the content lifecycle. So, Drupal 8 was chosen for this project. Firstly, the focus on structured data suits Rainforest Alliance’s requirement for movable and searchable content. Secondly, due to the integrations with Apache Solr permitted for a nuanced content relation engine. Also Solr was utilized to power the several search interfaces. Thirdly, Drupal possesses strong workflow tools for managing content. Although the tools weren’t ready for Drupal 8, when they built it, the Drupal team knew that the tools would be easy to integrate, once they are completely ready. Therefore, it was proved that Drupal was the best choice for the project’s immediate need, and Drupal 8 was successful in meeting the organization’s long-term goals and aspirations. 

Conclusion

With the help of digital transformation, nonprofit organizations are able to enhance their impact on the society, reach their target audience and be prepared for any challenges that they might come across in the path of meeting their clear goals and objectives. In this digital transformation for nonprofits, Drupal plays a major role in turning their mission into reality, providing them the opportunity to work confidently in the field of technology and successfully help in achieving their work aspirations.

Aug 03 2021
Aug 03

In today’s modern times, the best way to connect with each other is through technology. Talking about connection, the very first thing which comes to our mind is connecting to our family and friends. The necessity of technology can be well understood if you stay away from family or friends and want to connect them instantly. So, by talking about the basic ideology of technology, what I wanted to portray is the effect of digital transformation in our lives. Now when it comes to communicating with the government, what is the most convenient way to do so? Yes, you got it right. It’s through technology again. As we know that the government’s main objective is to meet the needs of its citizens. Therefore, the best way to reach out to the citizens and provide them the necessary help is through digital services. In this article, I will tell you about the reasons why Drupal is the first choice of government when it comes to providing world class digital services. 

Significance of digital transformation for a government

Illustration with a circle and various cylindrical shaped objects describing the importance of digital transformation in government


When we talk about digital transformation, it's not only about new technologies but it comprises a vast subject matter like mindset, culture, work process and organizational structure. These are the areas which need to be given emphasis along with the digital technology adaptation. 

This section will provide you with information about what exact digital technologies the government adopts to deliver services more efficiently and effectively to its citizens. You will also get an overview of how digital transformation has brought a positive impact in the overall digital services leading to better outcomes for its people. 

Facilitating good customer experience

Today every citizen looks for public services to be customized and approachable as the services like that of the private sector. So, the government has to plan for some ways to deal with this expectation of the people. There is a need to create a customer centric mindset where they look for improving service quality, strengthen the level of public trust in the government and promote transparent interaction leading to better customer experience. 

Social media and mobile services like applications and SMS that are replacing the traditional channels, enable users to get access to the government services they require in the most suitable way. Such platforms can be a good medium of communication between people and the government, where everyone can report their concerns and also provide the necessary feedback to the government. 

When it comes to providing quality digital service, we can’t afford to forget about artificial intelligence (AI) that provides excellent services to its customers using chatbots within the government websites to complete necessary transactions. It helps in improving policy development, enhancing administrative efficiency, examining complex datasets and delivering new and improved services to its users. 

One more benefit which the government derives from technology is the facility of detecting geographical location that helps the users to choose their government services according to their preferred location. With this special feature in the government websites, citizens can save a lot of time and get access to the nearby government services without any concern. 

Enhancing the return on public investment

Observing an uncertain growth and rising demand in the environment, it is important for the government to find sustainable solutions to finance public services and infrastructure. This is when the government needs to adopt digital technologies which can help in exploring new models for providing services and improving the management of resources in a smart and efficient way. Predictive analytics and text mining are some of the smart managing resources procedures that help in predicting problems and facilitating preventive action like for example recognising taxpayers at the risk of non-payment.   

Maintaining citizen security

Everything comes with both pros and cons. Technology can be both a hindrance and a solution too. What I meant by this is to take your attention towards the cyber security issues. There are a lot of cyber attacks taking place all over the world. So, it is the government’s responsibility to safeguard the citizens from such threats, helping them live fearlessly without any doubt related to digital security. There are information security management systems that are introduced by the government to safeguard all the important data. Cloud computing is also a good process of increasing the computing capacity and facilitating safe payment platforms for citizen transactions. 

Improving future workforce

A country’s workforce plays an important role in the economic growth and development. As a result the government should focus on building capacities and skills in their employees to achieve better outcomes. A responsive environment is beneficial for attracting enthusiastic workers who can actively take up lead roles, contributing to the evolution of the society. The employees can be encouraged to concentrate on stimulating and value adding tasks. This is made possible by deploying intelligent automation tools to reduce the manual and repetitive work that can complement human workers. Therefore, it helps in enhancing productivity and satisfaction, further helping in improving the citizens' experience with government services. 

Upgrading infrastructure

Government has observed an increasing need of building and upgrading infrastructure, especially in the urban areas due to huge population growth. In situations like this, a new infrastructure can be beneficial to support the growing population and increased economic activity. A smart infrastructure can be built by adopting digital technology that can provide digital literacy among citizens. Some of the examples are software, smart devices and sensors that can enable secure access to government services. 

Provides better communication in emergency situations

The government websites can be a great help at the time of emergency since it is the first line of defence in such hard times that can provide the necessary support to the citizens. By building such functional websites with easy navigation, government officials can connect to the people in need and make sure that everyone is well informed about the important updates and announcements.   

Reports and surveys tell the same story

The fact that the technology revolution is offering new opportunities to the government is also agreed by some of the well known company’s reports and surveys. Let us take a look at their opinion.

Microsoft

Microsoft, in a study, shares four key focus areas that act as the main drivers for a digital transformation roadmap. With these pillars, Microsoft is trying to help the government in accomplishing the much needed digital transformation that can provide the best services to its citizens. 

Illustration with a circle and four squares describing the four key areas to focus on to achieve digital transformation in government


Citizen engagement

Government is able to better engage with the citizens through connected mobile services which helps in understanding citizens' needs and necessities leading to good customer satisfaction. This helps the government in enacting mobile citizen services which leads to better communication with the citizens on a very secured and reliable platform.

The Microsoft cloud platform helps in enhancing productivity, reducing management costs and protecting government data from any cyber attacks. 

Government workers empowerment

The government workers are facilitated with the necessary digital technologies, for example, Microsoft cloud platform that helps in proper communication with the employees and work in a much efficient way. The employee tasks get easier like gaining access to real-time case information, file reports and developing effective strategies together as a team maintaining the required security and compliance.

Government operations optimization

The cloud services and solutions help in optimizing the government operations, promoting the cost and operating efficiencies. Microsoft aims at delivering an integrated, flexible and a cloud and productivity solution for government which is trustworthy, also that helps in addressing all the main transformation challenges faced by the agencies in providing quality services to citizens.   

Service transformation

With the help of digital transformation, an agency gains access to huge quantities of data from processes and also the Internet of Things to provide better analysis, insights and better decision making that can enhance operations and provide new service opportunities. Now the data can grow in value since the government takes proper advantage of self-service data analysis tools, enabling everyone to work virtually with any type of data in new and convenient ways. 

Deloitte

Illustration with two regular pentagons describing the digital survey conducted by Deloitte to analyze the digital maturity and the COVID 19 impact of government's digital transformation


A Deloitte Digital Global Survey, The Journey to Government’s Digital Transformation explores the digital technology’s capacity to crucially transform the manner in which the public sector operates and delivers services to customers and present strategies for government leaders to measure the rate of their progress. It includes responses by more than 1,200 government officials from over 70 countries. This global survey also includes interviews with more130 government leaders and digital experts to get insight to the practices and policies influencing organizations’ “digital maturity.”

While surveying the 1,200 government officials from over 70 countries, they revealed that digital technologies are having a significant impact on the government. Among the respondents, three-fourths expressed that digital technologies are disrupting the public sector. It was also found that governments are at different stages in their journey towards digital transformation. A very small percentage can be considered as ‘maturing’ but the majority is still under the developing stage. 30 percent of the organizations surveyed confirmed that they are ahead of the public sector peers regarding digital capabilities; 70 percent said that they are behind the private sector. The two primary drivers of digital transformation i.e. cost-budget pressures and citizen demands are far away, accounting for 75 percent responses, although only 14 percent are moved by government directives.  

Deloitte surveyed 800 government officials over eight countries to analyze COVID-19’s impact on government’s digital transformation around the world. About three-fourths of respondents expressed that COVID-19 has accelerated their government’s digital transformation, although 80 percent said that there wasn’t much advancement in their organization’s digital transformation. 

The government agencies before the pandemic were majorly “doing digital” i.e. utilizing digital technologies to improve their capacities, yet majorly depending on legacy operating models. Governments were encouraged to enter into the next level of digital transformation due to COVID 19. Therefore, 77 percent of the government agencies confirmed that taking such initiatives due to this pandemic has brought a positive impact upon their organizations. Although they are “doing digital”, it's time to “be digital”. On reaching that stage of completely “being digital”, companies will be able to use some impactful technologies like cyber, AI and cloud to upgrade the human experience and entirely transform back-office operations and service delivery. Below are the stages of an organization’s digital transformation. 

Graphical representation with a curve depicting digital transformation of governmentSource: Deloitte

The ultimate goal of an organization’s digital transformation is to reach the stage of “being digital” as described in the above diagram. This stage consists of reinventing the strategies of meeting citizens demands and expectations leading to improved customer satisfaction by the government. By following the necessary measures, every government should opt to reach its final goal and utilize the optimum benefits of digital transformation. To know more on transformational strategies brought forth by Covid-19, read about digital readiness, how the pandemic enabled businesses to reimagine their operations, and the pandemic-driven digital transformation strategies.

CFI Group

Illustration with a circle and four squares describing the report on government websites conducted by CFI Group's 2020 Government websites report


According to CFI Group's 2020 Government Websites report, the government websites have played a major role in providing high quality, reliable information to the citizens during the hard times of COVID 19. According to the current data, the federal government websites are on the way to obtaining traffic volume of about 18 billion visits, representing nearly about a 80% increase over last year. The customer satisfaction index(CSI) of federal government websites is 73 as counted on a 0-100 scale for the fourth year in a row. The federal government websites are a reliable and cost-effective way to communicate with the citizens. The 2020 survey provides the latest update on citizen satisfaction i.e there is an increase in citizen satisfaction due to the availability of mobile access trends and easy chat facility. 

Using Drupal for digital transformation of government

Illustration with multiple hexagons describing the features of Drupal


Why choose Drupal for government websites? Drupal CMS tends to transform the web development scenario of the government websites dramatically. It provides excellent web services that help its users experience a dynamic digital transformation. Many prominent Drupal government websites are built with the help of the following significant Drupal features.

Open source

The Drupal project is completely open-source software. Everyone is free to download, use, work on and also share it with others.  It is based on principles like innovation, collaboration and globalism. It can be distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). There are no licensing fees for Drupal.

The Drupal community is ever ready to support its users by answering their questions and concerns. So, if you have any question, somebody will certainly answer it, since it’s a worldwide platform.

Learn more about open source here:

Content Workflow

The in-built tools in Drupal helps in content creation, workflow and publishing, making it easy for the content creators to efficiently do their work. Permission and authentication help in managing editorial workflows effectively. The facility of previews help in showing how the content will look on a device before the user approves and publishes the content. Drupal helps you in creating content with a WYSIWYG editor. It allows you to quickly track all revisions and changes, if you need to maintain a history of content changes. You can view the complete stages of your content, from creating, reviewing and publishing, enabling you to manage your roles and actions, automatically. The unique feature that Drupal provides is the ability to create a structured content i.e. describe content elements, tag content based on any attributes, form convenient taxonomy for content so that it can be looked, found, used and reused if necessary in ways that increases the customers satisfaction. 

Drupal helps in creating the convenient content architecture using the Admin Interface or even do it programatically. There is an availability of unique mode tools and views, customizable menus that can create a comfortable user experience, also creating ways to content across numerous devices.  

Read about how layout builder and paragraphs module enhance content workflow in Drupal.

Security

Drupal CMS is fully secure and it safeguards the websites from any types of serious internet vulnerabilities. It is designed keeping robust security in mind. There is a dedicated staff team of security specialists, along with a huge professional service provider ecosystem as security remains one of the top priorities of this free and open platform. Most of the security issues are handled by Drupal’s well built coding standards and strict code review procedure.

According to the 2020 edition of the Acunetix, Web Application Vulnerability Report, Drupal was found to be the most secure CMS in the open source CMS market.

Illustration with a circle describing the security analysis conducted by 2020 edition of the Acunetix, Web Accessibility and Vulnerability reportSource: Acunetix


Performance and scalability

When it comes to performance, Drupal’s built-in performance features, combined with a modern CDN provider, perform well under the pressure of supercharged databases, load-balancing and advanced caching. Drupal’s scalability refers to the fact that it can manage the largest high traffic sites in the world. To know more, read about Drupal’s performance optimisation offerings and how it scales with your needs to govern high web traffic.

Multilingual

Drupal's automated language translation helps in reaching different audiences with localized content. It builds customized sites in any language to complex multilingual web applications. Core modules in Drupal facilitate complete translation of every part of a site, content types and their specific fields, users, menus, taxonomy, blocks, comments and contact forms. It also permits the identification of preferred language in accordance with the user's IP address, URL, browser settings, session and more. Read more about Drupal’s multilingual capabilities here.

Accessibility

Drupal has a special feature of building websites accessible by people with disabilities. It ensures that all its features conform with the World Wide Web Consortium guidelines (W3C) guidelines: WCAG 2.0 and ATAG 2.0. This feature proves to be very prominent for the government sites as it successfully achieves one of the objectives to serve all its citizens regardless of any discrimination. 

Learn more about accessibility here:

Personalisation

Drupal builds an exclusive, personalized profile for each visitor, starting from using geolocation, browser history, behavior taxonomies and device type. It helps in gaining an overall customized experience, enabling you to track and report with A/B and multivariate testing, increasing ROI through target marketing and also provide segmentation of visitors over devices with an aim on the significant user identity for your business goals. 
Learn more about personalisation here:

SEO

Drupal has unique SEO tools that can improve your site’s visibility. The tools or modules are discussed below:

To know more, read this definitive guide to Drupal SEO in 2021.

Multi-site support

Drupal helps in managing multiple sites across your organization, geographies, brands and campaigns on a single platform that allows easy, fast website creation and deployment. Read this complete guide on Drupal multisite to know more.

Marketing automation

By using tools and modules, in recent versions, Drupal helps in easy integration with the automation platforms that can collect customer demographics, helping in converting potential leads within the most suitable time. Learn more about how marketing automation can be leveraged with Drupal here.

Mobile first approach and mobile apps

With Drupal you can build responsive websites and create web applications that can provide optimum visitor experiences. It helps in providing responsive design best practices and guarantee your users get a perfect content experience each time, on every device. To know more, read about mobile-first design approach and mobile apps like that of Flutter-powered delivered by Drupal.

Integration with third party tools

Drupal helps in smooth integration with a vast ecosystem of digital marketing technology and other business applications, so that you can use the finest set of tools today, and also flex with new tools tomorrow. Drupal’s API-first focus refers to connecting content to other websites and applications, building content more powerful. 

You can specify Drupal exactly what you want and create limitless solutions which support your business needs. 

Strong stack foundation

Drupal lives on the latest LAMP technology stack: Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP that meet the needs of flexible, fast-moving agile enterprises and brands creating next generation digital platforms.

Decoupled architectures

Drupal provides content flexibility that will allow an easy flow of content over websites, native apps, connected devices and are displayed on third party sites and also social networks. Since, many CMSes try to manage content in a back-end repository and move it to “front-end” templates that can serve up an experience (mostly static). Drupal allows you to decouple the back and front ends, wherever it's useful. Therefore, Drupal content exists as reusable chunks, free from presentation, ready for easy delivery to websites and apps. Content also becomes future-proof. Drupal’s presentation i.e. RESTful API and neutral content help front-end developers to come out of the restrictions, enabling them to build interactive websites and applications, according to their preferences. They are allowed to use tools like Angular, Node, Ember, Backbone, and others. With this active platform, you can attain third-party content(eg. syndicators and aggregators) and make it available to any website, app or channel. With Drupal’s content-as-a-service capability, drupal’s content can be easily consumed by other applications and websites you choose. The Drupal front-end developers can easily design content, for example, separating back-end content from front-end presentation according to their preferences.

Learn more about decoupled Drupal here:

Web Hosting

With Drupal you can choose the best hosting vendor that suits your needs, you can change hosting vendors whenever you want, and also select to host the website internally. 

Upgrades and migrations

The Drupal upgrades are considered to be very easy and convenient. The upgrade from Drupal 8 to 9, Drupal 9 being the most recent and much improved version, is very effortless, according to its makers. The developers are allowed to make the upgrade themselves with the help of Upgrade Status and Drupal Module Upgrader. This further helps you to know whether your modules and themes are competent enough for Drupal 8/9 and converting your custom code accordingly. 

Learn more about Drupal 9 upgrade here:

Extensibility

Drupal has plenty of modules, themes and distributions to extend the functionalities.

For example, these are some of the Drupal distributions for government:

Opigno LMS

Opigno Learning Management System (LMS) is completely open-source, 100% customizable and 100% Drupal-based. It is a fully-fledged secure LMS for any organization or industry. It is used by Governments and Government agencies, higher education and large enterprises. This is available for Drupal 8 and Drupal 9 version is said to be available towards the end of August 2021.

Dimpact WIM

WIM is a complete free reusable website model designed for local government and municipalities. With WIM every municipality can experience a great online presence; smoothly and at minimal cost. The WIM sites are considered as a cooperative initiative of the Cooperative Association Dimpact from The Netherlands. Their goal is to achieve a modern integrated public service. Please note that this distribution is only available for Drupal 7.

GovCMS

Using Drupal 7 core, the govCMS distribution is built along with additional software such as modules, themes, libraries, and installation profiles specific to Australian government websites. This distribution is currently available for Drupal 7, 8 and 9 versions. For Drupal 7 version, you can check Drupal.org release and the repository for download can be found on GitHub here. For Drupal 8 and 9 versions, check out the Github repository here.

deGov

deGov is the first Drupal distribution that focuses on the needs of (German) governmental organizations. It is seen using lightning media as a basis and extends it with valuable functions to meet the use cases for various scenarios:

  • Sites for governmental organizations from all levels (federal, regional, local) to publish information
  • Service-oriented E-Government portals to end the gap between citizens and your administration
  • Citizen Engagement portals to discuss and decide online
  • Open311 portals for civic issue tracking
  • Open data portals to publish and form communities around data
  • Intranet/Extranet for government employees

The Drupal 9 version of this distribution is available for download.

Drupal voor Gemeenten

DvG is the "Drupal voor Gemeenten" distribution developed particularly for Dutch municipalities. It is built around the top tasks model, putting smooth and efficient online services front and center. This is available for Drupal 7.

There are also various Drupal themes for government that come handy:

USWDS Base

The United States Web Design System (USWDS) is a design system particularly built for the use of the Federal Government. This theme is the process to integrate the styles with Drupal. 

Government Website Template

Based on zen theme, the Government Website Template theme was efficiently modified and customized for the AO39 (administrative order no.39) Compliance. By using this foundation css theme framework (version 5.4.5), this theme provides a responsive design for the template. Additionally, it has a module helper that enhances the functionality of the template and it also adds additional blocks such as transparency seal and Philippine Standard Time(PST). 

GOV.UK Theme

The GOV.UK Design System Frontend node module is being used by this specific theme which also has Twig template files for the majority of the GOV.UK styles, components and patterns. It is completely responsive and multi-column with a mobile navigation menu. This theme shows full support to Drupal Webforms, along with client-side validation of necessary fields and identifying any error message when there is GOV.UK validation error. Also, it is compatible with Drupal 9. 

Bootstrap Rijkshuisstijl (Dutch Government Branding)

Netherland’s central government owns a standard Visual Identity which is used on every website. The central government visual branding i.e. "Rijkshuisstijl" has been further translated to the Rijkshuisstijl theme. The main features of this theme include:

  • Capable of being configured with every government agency.
  • Capable of being configured with 17 preset colour schemes.
  • Availability of responsive design and mobile first facility.
  • Digitoegankelijk compliant.
  • Bootstrap v4 is used as a design framework.
  • A living style guide is provided with a KSS node.
  • The theme is completely translated into Dutch.

The theme is compatible with Dupal 9 as well.

Bootstrap 4 GovBR SASS

The Bootstrap 4 GovBR SASS is a Barrio subtheme which simplifies integrating Bootstrap 4 SASS, GovBR visual standards, and "Barra do Governo" with Drupal. This particular subtheme overrides nearly every CSS from Drupal and replaces Bootstrap variables wherever necessary to build from the roots a new set of CSS files. It is compatible with Drupal 9.

GovBR theme

It is a responsive Bootstrap based theme along with the default identity of the Federal Government of Brazil. This theme has two requirements i.e., Bootstrap base theme and jQuery 1.9.x (jQuery Update recommended).

And, you also get really useful Drupal modules for the government. For example:

USWDS Ckeditor Integration

The USWDS library has become an essential requirement for government websites. This module majorly focuses on making a user to smoothly utilize and inject USWDS classes and components into the ckeditor without even opening the source event for a single time. The USWDS Ckeditor Integration module is compatible with Drupal 9.

GovCMS Dissemination Limiting Marker (DLM)

With regards to the paper–based information, all electronic–based information requires to be marked with a suitable protecting marketing. This particular theme provides the option to a user for setting a default Email Protective Marking, like SEC=UNOFFICIAL], appended to the end of the subject line for all outgoing emails sent using drupal_mail() on your site. 

So, these are some of the Drupal government themes, modules and distributions that help extend the features and functionalities of Drupal as you like.

Support, maintenance, hiring and partnering with digital agencies

There are a lot of Drupal agencies you can opt for. They tend to provide you with the best services possible, according to your convenience. The top 4 Drupal agencies in the global Drupal marketplace are listed below. 

Describing the top 4 Drupal agencies in the global Drupal marketplace with the help of a diagramSource: Drupal.org


Support for Emerging technologies

Drupal never steps back from utilizing the latest technologies to deliver a better user experience. Some of the examples can be the use of artificial intelligence in the form of chatbots, virtual reality, IoT and Blockchain, cognitive search and digital voice assistants like Alexa on Drupal sites. 

Therefore, the following question, “Why drupal for government” is well answered by the above features that allow the government to build very functional and secure websites for its citizens. 

Case studies 

Here are some of the case studies that tend to prove why Drupal’s the best choice when it comes to selecting the right CMS. 

Ministry of Finance, Somalia

MoF Somalia is responsible for government revenue raising, expenditure, preparing annual budgets and economic policies among other responsibilities. They were looking for a technology partner that would help them in presenting their website with a clean architecture and design to their global audience. The main goal was to restructure the website, to integrate all the new content types, along with a user-friendly navigation, also adding a custom type of publication to publish annual reports. OpenSense Labs leveraged Drupal to complete the project within 6 weeks using the agile project methodology. We successfully built a website which was a lot more user-friendly along with faceted search application features and loads in less time than before. The site became SEO friendly, with a much better architecture.  

Here is the detailed case study of the Ministry of Finance, Somalia. 

City of Boston

The City of Boston is well-known around the globe for its winning sports team, prestigious universities, New England food and rich history. It serves 4.8 million people in the Greater Boston area, supporting 23 neighborhoods. Boston, a pioneering city is famed for having the first public school, public park and subway system. The City of Boston’s website was 10 years old and was running on an outdated Content Management System which could no longer support its needs. The main aim was to build a responsive website that could meet all AA WCAG accessibility guidelines. Drupal finally built a website that dramatically enhanced the accessibility of information and services the city offers, and also marked a shift in residents’ expectations of government.  

  • The website has responsive mobile design
  • The new Boston.gov could meet all AA WCAG guidelines for accessibility and establish a 9-10th grade reading level (down from a postgraduate level)
  • Could Migrate more than 20,000 web pages and one million words to the new boston.gov
  • The website redesign could be delivered under budget
  • The new website launched 11 months after the kick-off meeting

NASA.gov

The challenge was to opt for an open source CMS in the Amazon cloud to migrate the existing site off of a proprietary, on-premise CMS system as fast as possible without causing any service interruptions for both public visitors and content managers. NASA wanted its new website to develop a solution that could offer both a modernized display as well as provide the same user experience on both desktop browsers and mobile devices. It was important to account for live coverage events drawing even larger crowds of online visitors, as well as to scale down when the events concluded. NASA wanted it’s CMS solution to accommodate continuous integration with new services and technologies - both commercially available and custom built.

Drupal helped in reducing the complete development timeline – designing, executing and deploying the solution from development to production, also saving NASA millions of dollars in annual savings at the same time. Building with Drupal on the Amazon cloud ensures that NASA’s content was stored securely, also providing NASA the advantages of very flexible development capabilities when designing, executing and integrating new features and services. With its user-driven API’s, infinite compute scalability and storage, dynamic host provisioning, constantly developed robust new features, Drupal and AWS proved to be the perfect match to meet the content requirement of both NASA and the public.

Talk London

Talk London is an online community where Londoners can share their opinion on the city's big issues. Since it is operated and managed on behalf of the Mayor of London by City Hall, the views shared through Talk London help to control the policy decisions of the future. It is a hub for crowd-sourcing ideas, raising awareness of initiatives, connecting Londoners to each other and City Hall so they can participate in designing and delivering improvements in their neighborhoods and communities. Talk London’s website (London.gov.uk) is built on Drupal 7. There was a requirement of an upgrade to Drupal 8 that would provide the chance to make Talk London 3.0 easy for the Londoners to get involved in policy and programme design, also refreshing the design with an updated brand identity. 

The goals for Talk London 3.0 were:

  • Developing a diverse membership
  • Growing participation
  • Focus on transparency

The Talk London website was rebuilt by using an agile project management approach (Scrum) on Drupal 8, incorporating a refreshed brand execution, and also using a Storybook pattern. The basic functional requirements included:

  • Advanced user generated content functionality
  • Email notifications for end users
  • Flexible content layouts for Talk London website editors

There was also a requirement of a large-scale migration of historical content from the old Drupal 7 platform to the new Drupal 8 implementation.

Talk London 3.0 was launched in early March 2021 at the time for the Covid 19 recovery campaign. 

Conclusion

Digital transformation in the government has become essentially important to meet its citizens' growing expectations and needs. Such a transformation can be challenging but eventually it proves to be rewarding for both the citizens and the government. So, a government that is ready to transform themselves and adopt the necessary digital technologies can improve the citizens’ quality of life and also enhance the citizen-government relationship. And Drupal proves to be the best support in building the bridge between people and their government.

Jul 30 2021
Jul 30

We are living in an era where there is no end to invention and innovation. The world seems to surprise us with unbelievable growth and transformation in all sectors of society. But the biggest challenge we are facing today is, ‘sustainability.’ Meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs is imperative. Today’s growing society is less concerned about it. This indeed brings a threat to the welfare of mankind.

As sustainability problems can be seen bothering every sector, so is open source. What do you think, is open source sustainable? Today in this article, you will discover what motivates one to contribute to open-source projects. If there are any challenges while contributing, what are they? Most importantly, we will unfold all the solutions of open-source sustainability making it a secure community for all. 

What’s in open source for any individual or a company

Illustration showing multiple circles describing the benefits for an individual in open source and ensuring open source sustainability


The open-source movement is growing rapidly around the world by providing a great platform for people willing to utilize their talents and do wonders in their aspiring careers or businesses. With increasing users, we now see a growth in the contributors as well in the community. Some of the reasons why an individual should contribute to open source projects are discussed further. To start with, one gets valuable work experience which helps in shaping one’s career path by being a part of this community. Open-source projects allow one to enhance his/her coding skills and become a successful coder. Great job opportunities come along and one gets the chance to build a flourishing career. This platform gives an exposure to work with people who are superbly talented to guide a beginner participant regarding any open source projects or technologies. Open source projects are very inclusive. Therefore, people from different work backgrounds are welcomed in this community. Lastly, an OSS participant gets global recognition as his/her work is easily accessible and used by people around the globe. 

Illustration with a circle describing the benefits for an organization in open source and ensuring open source sustainability


Why should businesses take interest in contributing to open-source projects? With open source projects, you can make your company staff learn new concepts, ideas, or unique techniques to meet work needs or expectations. Using open-source software in place of expensive proprietary alternatives can be a good option in saving a lot of money which can further be used in meeting a company's other important requirements. The companies can contribute to open source projects according to their preferences. For example, Pfizer, the huge pharmaceutical company, has contributed to Drupal’s 8 content workflow system to shape one of the world’s most powerful content management systems. 

This platform allows you to find new clients and potential employees who can contribute to the growth and development of your company’s goals and aspirations. While using open-source software, you can analyze the code of the product you’re using and also change it according to your choice. Such modification is possible due to the availability of open source licenses. In open source after a software gets released, if a user wants certain types of changes, he doesn’t have to wait for someone. But rather he/she can make the changes in the form of updating and expanding with numerous plugins and modules also sharing them with the community. Therefore, this gives you a sense of ownership and self-satisfaction. So, these were some of the reasons listed to show the need for companies to run on open source. More on the impact of large companies on open source here.

Now, once an organization decides to run on open source, then one question which comes to my mind is, “How do you manage open source projects”? It isn’t an easy task because you will have to look into various aspects to successfully be a part of this free and open movement. Only by choosing the right open source project, one’s job doesn’t get finished unless there is approval coming from the product owners, legal departments, or executives to smoothly use the open-source projects. Sometimes organizations worry about the risks associated with open-source projects. Therefore, the following tips can reduce the concerns of the organizations making them more confident about choosing an open-source community. 

Illustration showing multiple circles describing the tips to reduce risk in open source project and ensure open source sustainability
  • Implementing component lifecycle management. You should develop a process to determine which components are acceptable for people in your organization to use. The level of risk can be reduced by testing components or doing static and dynamic analysis which further builds up more confidence with executives.
  • Finding the right convincer. If you find a person at your organization who can take the authority of convincing the project owners or legal departments to understand your company’s concern and work in your favor, then it will certainly help in the smooth functioning of your company’s work within the community. 
  • Get help from the open-source project. You will find that many open source communities include people who can help you in building a well-structured business case for your approvers. This indeed will be a great help for your organization to initiate a task or a project in the open-source community with clarity and confidence. 

Increasing awareness about the challenges of open source 

While contributing to open-source projects, one comes across few challenges which create hurdles in the process of participating in the community. Therefore, these challenges need to be overcome so that the growth and future of the open-source community are not hampered. Let’s find out what makes a good open-source project? 

Illustration showing multiple hexagons describing the challenges of open-source and how to ensure open source sustainability
  • Need for proper financial resources to support open source projects. The participants of OSS need adequate financial assistance for the smooth functioning of the community. This will further help in sustaining the contributors in open source projects for a longer time.  
  • Communication needs to be made stronger among OSS members. Good communication must be built up among the participants of OSS projects as this will help in proper coordination and understanding of the projects in a much better way.
  • One has to be smart enough to consult the right mentor for better performance. To gain knowledge about the OSS projects, it is essential to take guidance from an experienced person who has a high proficiency in terms of OSS projects and software.
  • Improvement is needed in the field of OSS governance. Good governance is followed by a code of conduct describing the guidelines and principles for the contributors to get full transparency and clarity about the OSS projects. The OSS projects should have a roadmap document describing the future goals, ideas, and plans to inspire participants of the community to reach the desired work aspirations.
  • The ratio between takers and makers has to be well balanced. The number of users and contributors has to be proportionate so that along with the usage of software, contributions can also be made to help the OSS community grow and flourish for a longer time. 
  • Improvement to be made in the field of security. Open-source security needs more development for increasing the trust factor of its users and contributors. For example, the OpenSSL and Heartbleed case can be an eye-opener regarding the significance of maintaining proper security within the community. Read the complete open source security manual here.

Here, I would like to take you through a discussion held between Aaron Stannard, CTO, and founder of Petabridge, and Rachel Appel, NET Developer Advocate at JetBrains regarding open-source sustainability challenges. It is generally observed that open source is adopted by the majority of the organizations but still it is seen struggling as a result of misalignment between the user’s value and contributor’s value. Therefore, there is a need for a better business model to help open source sustain for a longer time. Take a look.

[embedded content]


Ensuring sustainability and maintenance of open-source projects

Focusing on improvement: How do you maintain open-source software

By far we all have understood that the contribution made to improve sustainability in open-source isn’t enough. So, let’s look into the possibilities which can help to enhance sustainability in open-source in a much better way.

Illustration showing multiple circles describing the tips to ensure open source sustainability


How do you organize an open-source project? Let’s start with the most fundamental significance of open-source sustainability i.e. the governance. Good governance consists of a code of conduct that is created to state the project details enabling the contributors to have a clear understanding of OSS projects. Next, it is very essential to maintain a high-quality document as it receives the most amount of traffic. Documents like Contributor’s Guide can be of great help for the contributors. Depending on the quality of the project’s documentation, a contributor decides whether to continue learning about your project or not. 

There is a need to maintain high-quality code throughout the project. A documented code review process should be followed for every type of contribution including both human approval procedure and automated checks to maintain high-quality code standards. It is a good idea to set up a legal organization to safeguard the liabilities of individuals involved in the project. To give clarity to the community members, there should be an open ledger for every project’s income and expenditure showing how funds are spent on projects. Lastly, there is a need to improve the licensing of OSS projects as fair licensing of all contributions safeguards the security of the community. 

Therefore, with the above discussion you get clarity about how to create a successful open source project. 
 
Now let’s have a look at the basic sustainability principles of open-source which are of great importance. By following these set principles, the longevity of the open-source community can be guaranteed. Here it goes:

  • Under a Free and open source license, the software must be released. More on open source licensing here.
  • In the community, the membership rules must be published and adhered to.
  • All types of contributors shall have the availability of membership within the community. 
  • Membership must-have requirements for validation of identity, and review of contribution to the community (to avoid stacking the membership roles). Any impediment to membership must be low enough that a person with the least advantage could achieve it.
  • To give each member an equal vote, the voting process must be put in the proper place.
  • All positions of authority in the project must be, directly or indirectly, the result of a vote.
  • A strong code of conduct with clear, fair enforcement mechanisms is needed.
  • Under the terms of the open-source license, any patents included in the software must be granted.
  • Every contributor must retain his/her copyright unless the software is being managed by a foundation for license enforcement.
  • All contributors intending to have their work incorporated into a distribution must contribute their work under the same terms as the software license they received it under.
  • Any commercial activity around the software must further the sustainability of the community, and the potential for commercial benefit must be available to all.
  • The incentives in any commercial model must bend away from the creation of proprietary downstream software.

Contributing to open source: Essential strategies

To make meaningful contributions in open source projects, various strategies are developed which act as a support in sustaining participants in open source. The steps taken to bring a positive change within the community are discussed below.

Hiring sufficient maintainers for OSS projects. The companies can balance the workload by hiring suitable maintainers to handle the numerous OSS projects. They should have the flexibility of working with the contributors and handle projects according to their own convenience.

Here, we have an example of Drupal, where people are seen contributing according to their conveniences. Contributions are made in the form of a volunteer contribution, a sponsored contribution, and both volunteer and sponsored contributions at the same time. Generally, all the contributors provide support to Drupal in their respective capacities. But surprisingly, for the first time in Drupal’s record, volunteer contribution remained static due to the challenging time of COVID -19, in comparison to the increasing sponsored contribution. Take a look below. 

Graphical representation of volunteer and sponsored contributors' contribution in open-source during the COVID 19Source: Drupal.org

Developing an open-source award program. It is always a good idea to acknowledge the contributors with awards and recognitions. It also has a very special recognition for its contributors. When any contribution is made, it is marked with a green square on a huge calendar. With more contributions, the square becomes even brighter. If you contribute for several consecutive days, then GitHub counts it as a streak and records your score for future reference. This can be a way to motivate people for more active contributions. Below is the diagram:

Graphical representation given by GitHub about contributors' contribution in open-source for the year of 2017 Source: GitHub

The Drupal Association too hasn’t stepped back and introduced the contribution recognition committee a unique way to recognize the contributions of both individual contributors and their organizational sponsors, followed by measuring the contribution ecosystem which supports Drupal. This will encourage the employees to work even harder to generate unique innovation and ideas for the community. 
 
Starting an open-source program office. Companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc have set up formal open-source programs within their companies to look after the open-source strategy to use and contribute better in OSS projects. 

Giving contributors their self-time. Apart from working at a company, employees should have their self-time where they can work on anything they want. This can help them to be more innovative and productive as they would dedicate their time according to their choice. For example, Google allotted 20% time to its employees to work for themselves which as a result led to the discovery of many innovative products. Similar flexibility was shown by Atlassian as they also set up a policy where their staff got 20% time allocation to work according to their own will. This further helped Atlassian to come up with great work ideas and innovations. Such a facility can help in employee contentment and retention.

Contributing to the non-coding tasks. The non-coders of a company can educate people about the benefits of contributing to OSS projects by writing blog posts. If someone is interested in designing, then he/she can help the developers with some design ideas regarding any icons or logos which could make their app look visually appealing and also help in justifying the concept or purpose of the app.

Open source has a funding problem: Resolving economic woes

  • Companies can start an open-source fund to support OSS projects financially. For example, CarGurus launched an open-source fund to support OSS projects. Contributing a portion of a company’s equity to open-source can be very beneficial. Here is an example, Citus data donated one percent of its equity to the PostgreSQL community. There are some initiatives taken by an American foundation i.e. the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, a nonprofit organization, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) in providing financial support to open source software as well. Along with funding, there is also a need for full transparency regarding the finances, allowing everyone to see the money received and spent on any project. Therefore, Open Collective is the best example of providing such assistance to open source contributors helping them to get a clear vision about their finances and plan a better and healthier community for all.
  • GitHub announced an initiative called GitHub Sponsors where the users of OSS projects can pay the contributors for their work within GitHub. Such commercial sponsorship is very important to acknowledge the contributors for their work towards OSS projects. This not only helps open-source projects to sustain their contributors but also improves their diversity within the community. More on the diversity, inclusion and equity in open source here.
  • The Linux Foundation at the Open-Source Leadership Summit announced the formation of CommunityBridge, a platform for open-source developers. While announcing this, Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation said that the Linux Foundation would match funding for any organization that donated funds to Community Bridge projects. Read more about open source being recession-free and how the right sort of leadership within open source makes a world of difference.

What’s next?

How do you create an open source sustainability? I hope now you can answer this question in a very confident way since in this article we tried covering every aspect of open source sustainability. Well sustainability is not a one-off investment. It needs constant nurturing and support from its contributors. Therefore, every member of the community shall take ownership of delivering consistent efforts towards the longevity of open source projects. With open-source, together we learn and innovate. 

Conclusion

Over the last two decades, there has been a rapid growth of open-source technology around the world. Therefore, it leads to an increase in demand for better OSS projects, products, and services which isn’t possible without the support of its dedicated contributors. So, amid all the challenges that come across while contributing to OSS projects, the contributors shouldn’t step back from contributing and making the open-source community sustainable for us and our future generations. Now, I would like to end this article by pointing out a very important fact that the rights of the contributors are always to be safeguarded and taken care of in the most effective way.

Jul 17 2021
Jul 17

Drupal is evolving as one of the leading open-source projects that is providing the best services to its community by adopting some significant initiatives, focusing on desirable goals and outcomes. These initiatives are known as strategic initiatives that are currently being worked on and are progressing over a while. Therefore, strategic initiatives of Drupal play a major role in making Drupal the first choice for any open-source user. This article will take you through the contributions made by these initiatives in helping Drupal reach the position that it stands today. 

The role of strategic initiatives in Drupal’s success

Drupal is supported by its community and group collaborations that lead to accomplishing common priority goals. Their strategic initiatives are prioritized at solving major problems that act as a barrier for the users from receiving the optimum benefits from this free and open platform.

Dries Buytaert, Drupal founder and project lead, envisioned the power of strategic initiatives in making Drupal a huge success. Receiving support from community collaboration, these initiatives have contributed to producing some remarkable developments driven by forces such as:

  • Cooperation with the core maintainers
  • Studies related to usability and survey data
  • Building an open-source digital platform experience
  • An improvement in customer experience and advanced editorial can lead to progress in market relevance
  • The facility of validation by collaborations and larger community discussions 

After the initiatives are recommended, they are forwarded to the planned initiatives stage, where every initiative is nourished with objectives and goals by its dedicated contributors. Once an initiative crosses this stage, it then moves forward to the next stage, i.e. active initiatives stage. This is how initiatives come into existence. Drupal has numerous ongoing strategic initiatives that are in progress to provide exceptional outcomes. To learn more on how Community initiatives are proposed and how Strategic initiatives come about, read here. Also, learn what’s happening with these strategic initiatives: Drupal 10 readiness initiative and Automatic updates initiative. We will now focus upon another strategic initiative of Drupal, Decoupled menus which has significantly contributed to Drupal's accomplishments.

Understanding Decoupled menus initiative in depth

At the event of DrupalCon Global 2020, Dries came up with an idea of a new initiative for building a decoupled menu component that is well written in JavaScript. Therefore, for Drupal, to be framework agnostic, he preferred to begin with building components for Vue.js and React.js.

Dries expresses that various websites are progressing into customized, omnichannel digital experiences. Drupal has to keep on advancing with the growing demands in the marketplace. It has to be built into the best web service platform and well-structured data engine regarding the back end. On the other hand, JavaScript seems to grow rapidly on the front end. As Drupal is considered as a decoupled CMS and capable headless, a lot of improvements and advancements can be made with the right approach.

Learn more about decoupled Drupal here:

According to the Drupal 2020 Product Survey, the second most requested feature was a need for a much modern administration UI. Such types of UIs can be built with the help of web services APIs and JavaScript. There is a major need to improve JavaScript and invest in web services APIs. It is well proved by the following facts.

  • Most of Drupal’s end users focus on creating decoupled front ends and omnichannel digital experiences.
  • An improvement can be made upon its administration UI with more WYSIWYG, drag-and-drop, and other ease-of-use features.

Dries further shares that to take a step towards enhancing Drupal's headless capabilities and administration UI, there is a need to include official Drupal JavaScript components to Drupal Core. The first step can be executing a JavaScript menu component in Vue and React. It can mark the first official JavaScript component in Drupal. By developing a JavaScript component, the major issues of the front-end developers can be solved. So, this menu component would provide a menu that can be placed in a front-end JavaScript application. To release the first official JavaScript component, will require the tools and processes to control and release JavaScript components. This further helps in forming a pattern for more components allowing Drupal to successfully embrace JavaScript, the need of the hour.

Illustration with a rectangle describing the path towards having a first official JavaScript component which is longer than it might appearSource: Drupal.org

The path to having a first official JavaScript component is longer than it may appear.
                                           
Here, I would like to take you across one important aspect of Decoupled menus, i.e. Drupal Decoupled Menus Survey which was announced at DrupalCon Global 2020. The reason behind conducting this survey was to get an insight into the preferences of individuals and organizations who have already built decoupled applications. By receiving the necessary understanding, Drupal actively tries to make this platform a preferred choice for the JavaScript developers. Therefore, using Survey Monkey, this analysis was executed and was promoted majorly through existing Drupal developer channels.

The primary goal of the decoupled menus initiative in Drupal is to facilitate the most convenient way for JavaScript front-ends to consume configurable menus managed in Drupal. It includes forming official, community-supported components (e.g. React & Vue) that one can use in his project or as a recommended implementation followed by necessary support that includes docs, security, and packaging, etc. Drupal prefers to keep a practically achievable target, for example, stating the fact that they will be able to ship a single menu component in place of an entire overhaul of Drupal's admin UI is good proof.

Illustration with a rectangle describing the mission and success of Decoupled menus initiative of DrupalSource: Drupal.org


Challenges faced

JavaScript is rapidly growing but Drupal doesn’t have much to offer to this specific field resulting in the feeling of incompetence among its competitors. Using Drupal, many developers are seen building “decoupled sites” for the back end and JS frameworks for the front end. This makes the following people less likely to opt for Drupal:

  • Since by using Drupal not many benefits are attained, JavaScript developers show less interest in this open-source project.
  • Less participation by Drupal evaluators who would prefer using Drupal for its content management features but at the same time would want their site to witness the more "application-like" experience facilitated by modern JavaScript frameworks. They would want to hire developers who are well versed in HTML, CSS, and JS, but not importantly familiar with Drupal.

Problems to be resolved

  • Drupal lacks an important process for building, maintaining modern JavaScript libraries, and shipping.
  • Drupal doesn’t share a good connection with the JavaScript developers as it is unable to resolve the problems they witness.
  • Working on a site using a JavaScript front end, the content editors have less authority over their content and also the structure of their site.

Solutions to the existing problems

With the help of the below strategies, it is possible to solve all the above-discussed problems.

  • Including read-only menu items to Drupal's HTTP APIs (e.g. the JSON: API module)
  • An easy process made for a front-end developer to consume the menu data to provide navigation instead of hardcoding it by:
  1. Writing documentation for the process of integrating a React or Vue application with Drupal to render an effective menu.
  2. Eliminating the unnecessary and monotonous steps by providing JavaScript tools and/or libraries for consuming the HTTP API specified above. With the help of these libraries or tools, the processes for building modern JavaScript and policies can be documented and approved.

This initiative is suitable for

  • It will be beneficial for JavaScript framework developers who would want to use Drupal as a back end and also provide user-editable menus.
  • A good option for Drupal evaluators who prefer to have all of Drupal's CMS features and more options for their front end.

Scope excludes

  • Components of frontend with markup and styles
  • Changes made to admin UI/editing interface

Here is a short informative video giving a brief about Decoupled menus initiative in a very interesting way. Take a look.

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To emphasize more upon the milestone which this initiative has achieved, take a look at the Decoupled Menus Initiative Keynotes which were delivered at DrupalCon North America 2021. Below are the sessions.

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Conclusion

Drupal aims at building a community where the participants can easily get access to all its features, new modules, etc without any concerns that can make their software and sites much secure and convenient. This desired vision can be turned into reality by the support of strategic initiatives that can significantly make a positive shift in attaining the community goals and objectives. Decoupled menus are one of the most key initiatives that focus on upgrading the most expeditiously grown JavaScript of present times. Hence, this initiative is a work in progress that will lead to exceptional outcomes making Drupal the best choice for an open-source platform.

Jul 09 2021
Jul 09

Drupal prioritizes community contributions and group collaborations which helps in evolving Drupal as one of the leading open-source projects, providing best services to its community. To add a significant contribution, the Drupal community members actively work on projects like Drupal Core and contribute modules, distributions, and themes respectively. It discovered a convenient way to progress in all its projects by creating community initiatives to focus upon some major tasks and goals. Therefore, Dries Buytaert, founder and project lead of the Drupal project, considers few initiatives as crucially important and identifies them as Strategic Initiatives. One of the major strategic initiatives, automatic updates plays a huge role in making Drupal more effective and relevant with the ever-changing web sphere. So, in this article, we will discuss how automatic updates finally made it to Drupal? 

Strategic initiatives behind Drupal’s success 

Drupal is seen largely focusing on executing its several recommended strategic initiatives and never-ending innovation. These strategic initiatives aim at solving issues that create hurdles for the users in receiving the maximum benefits from this free and open platform. They have contributed in producing some extraordinary developments driven by forces such as:

  • Creating an open-source digital platform experience
  • Usability studies and survey data availability
  • By improving editorial, developer, and customer experience, market relevance is increased
  • Cooperation with the core maintainers
  • The provision of validation by collaborations and larger community discussions 

To learn more on how Community initiatives are proposed and how Strategic initiatives come about, read here. Also, learn what’s happening with Drupal 10 readiness initiative and Decoupled menus initiative. Moving forward, we will now take a closer look at one of the most important strategic initiatives i.e. Automatic updates initiative in Drupal. 

Automatic updates: In Detail

Illustration with a rectangle describing security status in Drupal's Automatic UpdatesSource: Drupal.org

Updating a Drupal site manually can be expensive, time-consuming and extremely difficult. Therefore, to resolve this major concern, Drupal created the Automatic Updates Initiative that can help users to experience safe and convenient automatic updates for Drupal sites. 

The primary goal of Automatic Updates in Drupal

The prime goal of this initiative is to strategically implement a safe system for Drupal’s automatically installing updates, reducing Drupal site’s total maintenance costs, enhancing Drupal site’s security that further leads to good user experience and making an easy entry for the users to the Drupal community without any major concerns. A look at the roadmap of the automatic updates initiative

The target audience of Automatic Updates

Drupal Automatic updates are not a good fit for large-scale organizations as they have their own established roadmaps and exclusive pipelines. But such initiatives can be beneficial for small-to-medium website owners as they lack in building proper workflow and system.

Some organizations with progressive deployment work plans might prefer using the automatic updates initiatives at the last step before production, i.e. staging environment. To integrate verified updates into custom build work plans, this initiative also facilitates APIs.

Scope of Automatic Updates: Overview of what this scope includes and excludes

Scope includes

The minimum Drupal core implementation includes:

  • Availability of automatic updates for Drupal core patch and security releases.
  • For safe updates, site readiness checks are available.
  • Verification and code signing is accessible for updates from Drupal.org
  • Attainability of Composer integration.
  • A custom “A/B” bootloader helps in updating in a distinct location from the live site that allows switching over at the time of successful update, also providing rollbacks in case the update introduces regressions or fails. 

Scope excludes

The minimum implementation doesn’t support:

  • Major version updates and core minor.
  • The availability of contributed project updates.


Automatic Updates is an ongoing strategic initiative and it is still being developed for better outcomes. Here are some of the significant elements that need to be looked over.

  • This initiative is yet not in core. There is an initial prototype that is available as a contributed module. Although, the core solution shall be different from this module.
  • The first phase of the Automatic Updates module includes Public service announcements (PSAs), Readiness check features, and also apply In-place updates either on cron or manually. 

Here is a short video giving an update on Drupal 8’s Automated Updates Initiative. It provides a quick look into the features of automatic updates i.e. Public service announcements, Readiness check and In-place updates. Don’t miss it, take a look.

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A quick look into the key features of automatic updates:

Public service announcements (PSAs)

Infrequent announcements are done for extremely critical security releases regarding core and contrib modules. Once a PSA is released, site owners should review their sites so that they are well updated with the latest releases. The site should be in a good position to instantly update if any fixes are provided to the community.

Readiness check

It isn’t possible for all the sites to frequently go for updates. The readiness check can be termed as an automated method that helps in recognizing the capacity of a site for automatic updates after any new release is provided to the community. Here is an example, the sites having un-run database updates, working on read-only file systems, or do not have enough disk space for updating, will not be able to receive automatic updates. In case your site fails readiness check, meanwhile, a PSA is released, it is imperative to look after the readiness issue so that your site can be instantly updated.

In-place updates

  • If the PSA service notifies a Drupal site owner about a convenient update, followed by the readiness checks’ confirmation regarding the ability of a site to be updated, the service of automatic updates can then be applied. There is a possibility that a particular site or a hosting provider may offer additional DB handling options if required.  
  • Tarball-based installations are supported by this module and it doesn’t prefer some of the requirements for secure updating, rollback, etc that will be included under the core solution.
  • Contrib updates or composer-based site installations are not supported by this module. Work on composer integration is already started and is in progress. 

Understanding the phases of automatic updates 

The Automatic Updates is huge, as a result, the tasks are worked under phases. It consists of two phases that have different significant objectives. Below are the objectives of both phases.

Phase 1 Objectives

  • Facilitating a JSON feed of Drupal Public service announcements from Drupal.org.
  • Presenting  PSAs in the Drupal admin interface.
  • Availing an extensible update readiness check system.
  • Creating update packages from Drupal.org
  • Safeguarding the update packages with a signing system.
  • With roll-back, apply the updates either automatically or manually.

Phase 2 Objectives

  • Facilitating an A/B front-end controller for more robust testing/roll-back features
  • Provide support to contributed module automatic updates.
  • Giving support to composer-based site installations.

The most recent updates on Automatic updates initiatives were delivered in DrupalCon North America 2021. The keynotes and technical overview shared during the sessions talked about providing a secure system for automatic updates, lowering the cost of maintaining a Drupal site, and improving security. They also explained different areas where the new contributors can help as the initiative is still a work in progress. Check out sessions below:

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Conclusion

Drupal is taking a major responsibility in establishing a community where the users can take the maximum advantage in making their sites and software more secure and user friendly. There is a huge emphasis on community initiatives in Drupal. Therefore, strategic initiatives in Drupal are a practical step towards meeting the designed community goals and aspirations. Considered as one of the most significant initiatives, Automatic Updates allows users to encounter secure and suitable automatic updates for Drupal sites, encouraging everyone to opt for this leading open-source project.

Jul 03 2021
Jul 03

Drupal has scaled the heights of success through its community contributions and group collaborations. It additionally came up with some strategic initiatives that allowed its users to attain optimal benefits by securing their software and sites, making it user-friendly for all. One such primary initiative, Drupal 10 Readiness will be looked at closely in this article. 

How strategic initiatives significantly contribute to Drupal

Drupal majorly emphasizes implementing its numerous suggested strategic initiatives and endless innovation. The large architectural change in Drupal 8 and 9 that was brought by Drupal 7, is a good example of continuous innovation within the community. Dries Buytaert, the project lead and founder of the Drupal project believes that strategic initiatives play a significant role in the success of Drupal. After gaining support from community collaboration, these initiatives could produce exceptional developments driven by forces such as:

  • Market relevance was enhanced by improving editorial, developer, and customer experience. 
  • An idea of building an open-source digital platform experience.
  • Engaging with the core maintainers.
  • The opportunity of validation by community decisions and collaborations.
  • Usability studies and survey data availability.

Once these initiatives are suggested, they are put across to the planned initiative stage where every initiative is built up with plans and strategies in detail. After finishing this stage, the initiative finally moves towards the active initiatives stage. This is the process of how an initiative comes into place. To know more about how community initiatives are proposed and how strategic initiatives come about in Drupal, read here. Also, learn what’s happening with Decoupled menus initiative and Automatic updates initiative. Moving forward we will explore one of the most essential strategic initiatives of Drupal i.e. Drupal 10 Readiness which keeps us curious to know more about the future of Drupal 10. Before we move on, here's the complete guide on Drupal 9, the burning questions on Drupal 9, the Drupal 9 upgrade and migration particularsmust-have modules to start Drupal 9 project, configuration management strategies, and web development strategies that are specific to Drupal 9 project.

Familiarising with Drupal 10 Readiness

Illustration with a diagram describing Drupal 9 features that need to be updated before its end of lifeSource: Drupal.org

The Drupal 10 Readiness aims at providing an agenda to ensure that Drupal 10 gets released by 2022, also maintaining the security status along with keeping it up-to-date. This initiative provides the Drupal 10 roadmap and primarily focuses on:

  • To identify the tasks that are to be completed before the Drupal 10 release, emphasizing updating dependencies and eliminating deprecated APIs.
  • Support contributed module maintainers to move forward while also keeping modules updated. 
  • Plans to release Drupal 10 by the summer of 2022 or if not surely by December 22.

The Drupal 10 Readiness initiative was launched at the DrupalCon Global 2021 and has started putting down the plans into action. This further will help in ensuring the release of Drupal 10 in 2022 as per planned by the Drupal community. Although the exact Drupal 10 release date is yet not fixed, it is still planned to be released by June 2022. So, here are the Drupal 10 features. Take a quick look. 

Illustration showing multiple circles describing the Drupal 10 features proposed in Drupal 10 readiness initiative


Drupal 10 is built on Drupal 9. There is one major exception, the CKEditor 5 project is being built as a contributed module so that it can be easy to test it and also make it easier to collaborate upon. 

Both PHP 8 and Composer 2 support shipped in Drupal 9. Backporting of composer 2 was made to Drupal 8 but the same was not possible for PHP 8 compatibility. For Drupal 10, PHP 8 will be needed as PHP 7 to be ended by November 2022.

Symfony 5 is good but Symfony 6 will be better. Since Symfony 4, one of the two main drivers of the Drupal 10 timeline is to be ended by November 2022, so a plan has been made to be updated to Symfony 5.  The Symfony 5 compatibility issues are also resolved, which can be an added advantage. In the case of Drupal 10, Symfony 5 will be on the long-term supported 5.4 branches, which would "only" be security supported till November 2025, providing Drupal 10 a 2.5 year lifetime. The Drupal team is trying to update Symfony 6 at the same time, making an effort to resolve incompatibilities identified in Drupal 9. Since Symfony 6 development is not itself open yet, they are only able to work on things that are previously deprecated.

CKEditor 4 to 5 update needs more support. One of the motivations behind the Drupal 10 timeline is CKEditor 4 support lasting till 2023.  As of now, CKEditor 5 support is being worked on in a dedicated contributed module.  Drupal is actively collaborating with the CKSource team on runtime plugin support (Webpack DLLs), general HTML support (to avoid the loss of data while using CKEditor 5 on legacy content), etc. Some of the benefits of CKEditor 5 include optional collaborative editing functionality (using a paid server component).

Feedback needed for Starterkit theme prototype. It’s a Drupal-theming paradigm shift. Duplication can be avoided by inheriting from runtime base themes but at the same time, it can cause serious issues for innovation and make Drupal support old bugs not to break live sites. So, rather they try to provide built-in support for generating a theme in a core that is based on a prepared starterkit. 

The jQuery UI components have replacements prototyped, requiring reviews. All the jQuery UI components and numerous uses of Backbone. JS have replacements prototyped: dialog, toolbar, tabbing manager, autocomplete, tours, etc. They are in need of feedback. 

Internet Explorer 11 support to be dropped. An agreement is made to drop support for IE11 from Drupal 10. The official announcement will be made shortly. 

Some one-off feature modules might be removed. Drupal decided to deprecate the aggregator module in Drupal 9 and eradicate it in Drupal 10. There will be a removal of some other single-use core modules which lack momentum and maintainers. They are also taking the initiative to indicate individual module lifecycle states.

Now that we already know Drupal 10 is slated for a mid-2022 launch, more and more contributions will be paramount to the initiative’s success. Here are some recent updates on the initiatives shared in the DrupalCon Europe 2020 and DrupalCon North America 2021:

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Conclusion

Drupal strategic initiatives are constantly making an effort to escalate the productivity level of the community leading to remarkable expected results and outcomes. Drupal 10 Readiness is such a strategic initiative that depicts the future of Drupal 10 for which we all are excitedly waiting. So, this article was written to prepare you for Drupal 10 and help you get the proper insights into its significant functionality. Hope you are now ready for a Drupal upgrade.

Jun 24 2021
Jun 24

Technology has made our life super-fast and easy. Starting from shopping online to paying your bills, you can grab the world at your fingertips. But along with easy access through various applications, is technology providing you the necessary security? As security is considered a top priority that needs to be maintained due to the increase in cyber threats around the world. Unfortunately, vulnerability is seen in some of the organization's security ecosystem leading to the inability in building systematically secured software. Therefore, it is always advisable to build security in the initial stage so that no problems occur at the time of product deployment. There are various companies that do not have an approach of designing and building software based on core security principles required for the smooth functioning of applications. This article on secure software development lifecycle can be an eye-opener for all of us to emphasize the significance of building security into software development and make it the topmost priority.

The importance of security in software development

We all are aware of the fact that the information technology sector is one of the world’s fastest-growing industries. It is observed that the rate at which software and software products are progressing is many times greater in comparison to the rate at which software security is progressing. As a result, it gives rise to cyber threats and vulnerabilities. Many companies have witnessed such harmful attacks leading to damage to their brand reputation. For example, in 2011, Sony Pictures experienced a SQL injection attack by LulzSec (the hack-group), which released around 1 million user accounts, including passwords, email addresses, home addresses, birth dates, etc., which as a result violated the privacy policy of their service. HBO was attacked in the year 2017 when a hacker released a screenplay episode of a very popular TV series that wasn’t still broadcasted. The hacker also got access to financial documents, contact lists of actors and film crew, and other confidential information. In the same year of 2017, personally identifying data of hundreds of millions of people was stolen from Equifax, one of the credit reporting agencies that assess the financial health of nearly everyone in the United States.

So, all these well-known companies never expected such malicious attacks which led to heavy financial and reputational losses at their businesses. This is the reason why software security is so important for building up secured software advantageous for both its developers and users. There is a need for a secure path to production. Thus software security helps in strengthening the security posture and avoid any future cyber attacks. 

How to enhance security in Software Development Life Cycle 

It is seen that many companies have a software development life cycle (SDLC) process which produces software with the highest quality in a much disciplined and systematic way. Due to rising software security threats, it is essential to integrate security into all the stages of the software development life cycle (SDLC) to make it a secure SDLC. It is beneficial for organizations to adopt a secure software development life cycle (SSDLC) approach to reduce cyberattacks and threats. The good thing about SSDLC approach is that it is not only restricted to developers or the security team. But it can also be easily adopted by cross-functional teams to enable better security over several stages of the software development life cycle (SDLC). There is a need for Secure software development lifecycle policy that helps in providing safer software production. Having a Secure software development lifecycle policy template can help in improving security during various phases of software development. Let’s now get a better understanding of what exactly is a secure software development life cycle (SSDLC) and its various phases. 

What is Secure Software Development Life Cycle (SSDLC)?

Secure Software Development Life Cycle (SSDLC) is a process of incorporating security into the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). It is basically, a framework defining the complete development process of a software product also building security in all the stages of SDLC i.e. starting from the planning to the design, development, testing, and deployment stage. There is a need to follow Secure software development lifecycle standards that can support the security of software production without any further concerns. 

Here we will discuss the various  types of Secure software development lifecycle phases. Take a look below. 

5 Phases of Secure Software Development Life Cycle
 

Illustration with a circle describing the 5 phases of secure software development lifecycle


Phase 1: Requirement Collection and Analysis

During this phase, security requirements for the software application are established. The key security risks within the application such as functionality, type of information application being used, etc. are examined by the security experts. This phase helps in ensuring technical feasibility and providing quality assurance.

Phase 2: Design

This phase helps in building security into the design of the software application. The technical architects and lead developers create high-level design choices that meet the necessary functional and security requirements. It is observed that half of the software defects that create security problems are introduced in this stage. Therefore, the designs are reviewed in this phase to detect the software defects and solve them at the earliest. 

Phase 3: Development

In this phase, it is ensured that code is developed securely so that no security threats and vulnerabilities occur. There are generally established secure coding guidelines and also code reviews that make sure that these guidelines have been followed correctly. The code reviews can be either manual or automated using technologies like static application security testing (SAST). 

Phase 4: Testing

It is very important to test applications and software before they are made accessible to the users. Once the development process is done, the applications and software go through a rigorous testing cycle to meet the set security standards. Such a testing process helps to minimize the number of bugs witnessed by users. The tests include penetration testing, integration testing, further static code analysis, dynamic analysis, etc. 

Phase 5: Deployment & Maintenance

In this phase, the application is made available to the user after finally checking all the security controls like secure code review (static analysis), dynamic, configuration, container security, etc. This is considered as the final stage after the applications and software go through the various phases of the Secure Software Development Life Cycle to improve the security aspect of software development.

The role of DevSecOps

Let me highlight here an important term DevSecOps which automates the integration of security at every phase of the software development lifecycle. It is necessary to understand the relationship between DevSecOps and SSDLC. Both the practices support each other in delivering the best services for enhancing security. They make sure that the developers are efficiently performing their tasks and going the extra mile to meet functional specifications apart from only spending time in writing and testing their code. DevSecOps represents a natural and essential evolution in the way companies approach security towards software development. It focuses on empowering the developers by giving them ownership of the production environment of applications from traditional IT teams. This further helps the developers to prioritize automating build, test, and release processes.

From the beginning of the development cycle, DevSecOps introduces security processes. The code is reviewed, audited, scanned, and tested for security issues throughout the development cycle. The issues are addressed at the earliest once they are identified. The DevSecOps practices also help in reducing time in resolving vulnerabilities and lessen the workload of the security team allowing them to prioritize other important tasks. 

“The purpose and intent of DevSecOps is to build on the mindset that everyone is responsible for security with the goal of safely distributing security decisions at speed and scale to those who hold the highest level of context without sacrificing the safety required,” describes Shannon Lietz, co-author of the “DevSecOps Manifesto.” More on DecSecOps here.

What SDLC model is proposed by OWASP

One more way to provide security is through the OWASP Application Security Verification Standard (ASVS) Project. This facilitates a basis for testing web application technical security controls, further providing the developers the list, necessary for secure development. During the SDLC cycle, OWASP provides security in the following ways.

The Planning or requirement stage

This particular process tries answering the following question, “What is the system going to do?” During this stage, the SAMM project provides 3 specific maturity levels including both in-house software development and third-party supplier security.

Illustration with a table divided into three sections describing the first stage of Secure Software Development lifecycle    Source: OWASP

This is the best way to provide security at the start of the Software development process.

Design Stage

After the requirements are gathered then the execution specifics should be described. This stage depicts a diagram tracing data flows and common system architecture. The threat modelling can be practiced in this stage for better security. The concept of threat modelling will be discussed shortly, in the following paragraphs. 

Development Stage

This step is very important as both the decisions and assumptions made in the previous stages will be examined. At this stage, the SAMM offers the following generic implementation considerations.

Illustration with a table divided into three sections describing the development stage of Secure Software Development lifecycleSource: OWASP

Testing Stage

This stage helps in validating software correctness and its an outcome for enhancing security-related decisions of all the other stages. Both manual and automated testing can be done in this stage. SAMM provides three maturity levels across Architecture Reviews, Requirements testing, and Security Testing.

Illustration with a table divided into three sections describing the testing stage of Secure Software Development lifecycleSource: OWASP

Release Stage

This is the final stage of the software development life cycle. The ModSecurity Core Rule Set is used efficiently to detect and block several attacks. In this, SAMM offers a section on incident management, where simple questions are asked to the stakeholders to help one determine incident preparedness appropriately. 

Illustration with a table divided into three sections describing the release stage of Secure Software Development lifecycleSource: OWASP

For better understanding, you can refer to a book named, “The Security Development Lifecycle: SDL: A Process for Developing Demonstrably More Secure Software (Developer Best Practices)” by Michael Howard and Steve Lipner.” This book mainly talks about the practical history of the SDL, and lessons to help you implement the SDL in any development organization. 

Secure software development lifecycle best practices

Now, I would like to discuss a few practices which are adopted during the early stages of the Secure Software Development Life Cycle (SSDLC) to improve security. Take a look below:

Threat Modelling

Threat modeling is a process that is carried out in the development phase to safeguard the software application from cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities. This technique helps in understanding how an attacker makes targets, locates entry points, and conducts attacks which further allows the development team to build up strategies to protect software and applications from any such potential threats and damages. It should be performed in the early stages of the software development life cycle as this enables the organizations to integrate security requirements into the design and implementation procedure. The adoption of this practice reduces the workload of developers as the potential issues are identified at an early stage allowing them to not struggle between meeting the software delivery deadlines and deploying a secure product to the users. 

Architectural risk analysis

Architectural risk analysis is a technique that helps in identifying the threats and vulnerabilities during the design phase of the software development life cycle. This process includes the identification and evaluation of risks and risk impacts. It also helps in recommending risk-reducing measures. Architectural risk analysis studies threats and vulnerabilities that may be malicious or non-malicious in nature. With this process, the developers can analyze a software system from its component level to its environmental level to evaluate the threats and vulnerabilities at each level. 

Attack trees

Attack trees provide a procedure to examine security controls, strengthen them, and respond to changes in security. Security can be considered as an ongoing process and attack trees are the basis of understanding the security process. Through a graphical representation that is easily understandable, the attack trees help to recognize the various ways in which an information system can be attacked and build countermeasures to prevent such attacks. Since this approach is used to design, implement and measure the attack, it can be considered as a practice conducted in the design phase of the SDLC.

Secure software development lifecycle training to developers 

It is important for the developers to receive proper training on developing secure software and applications. The organizations can support the developers to build software applications while maintaining the security aspect with the following easy practices.

Providing practical experience. It will be beneficial to give practical examples which will encourage the developers to experience real-life scenarios rather than mere theoretical knowledge in terms of security training.

Availability of relevant courses. It will interest the developers to learn from examples and case studies matching the technology and platforms that they are currently using. This will make them learn things better and in a much more convenient way.

Guidance through online training. Through e-learning courses, the developers get to participate in security training according to their convenient time. It gives a good opportunity to learn complex material which can be reviewed by the developers whenever they want. 

Incentives facility. The developers can be motivated by offering incentives after every course or series of courses. 

Adopting open source is a great way of making sure security at all stages of software development. To know more, read the complete guide on open source security. To see an example, learn how you can incorporate secure SDLC in Drupal development.

Endnote

As we all know that security is an ever-evolving process. Therefore, a progressive organization cannot survive without getting serious about security, and the most convenient way to get serious is to integrate a secure software development life cycle into their work. Starting from requirements to design, coding to test, and finally till deployment of products the SSDLC tries to build security into a software product or an application at every step in the development process. Even though every organization will have its methodology to support software security, the approach should be effective in nature.

Jun 16 2021
Jun 16

Enterprise agility is one of the most commonly adopted transformation approaches which comes up along with a lot of challenges. The companies need to reshape the organizational structures, make changes in the operational models and reform the old ways of working techniques. The agile transformation includes a big shift in organizational culture and that makes an organization ponder over it or even neglect it. But eventually, organizations realize the importance of it, apply agile transformation techniques, and receive immense benefits that help them evolve and move closer towards their goals and aspirations. This article will guide you through the right approach needed towards adopting the agile transformation in your organization. 

To successfully adopt an agile transformation, you need a plan

To succeed with the agile transformation, you need to clearly understand the fact that why are you making such time and effort to adopt this transformation and what exactly you want to gain from it. It is important to have clarity upon what changes you will have to make so that the desired outcomes can be achieved by your business. For this let’s firstly, understand the importance of preparing a proper business case for adopting agile transformation at your organization. It is important to convince the decision-makers to realize the significance of approaching agility in the work culture with the right business case. Before that, go through what agile development methodology actually means.

Making business case for agile transformation

A business case explains the main objectives of the organization in regards to agile transformation. Generally, adopting agile leads to desired business outcomes but only if it is approached in the right manner. Therefore, it is essential to have some set important goals which will help in the overall growth of the company with agility. Here is an insight into the recommended goals.

Illustration showing multiple arrows forming a circle to explain agile transformation

The first and foremost goal is to meet customer commitments on time. It helps in building trust between customers and the company leading to customer satisfaction. Secondly, it is essential to maintain high-quality products and services as at times companies fail to deliver suitable services as promised to the customers. This further helps in building a good brand reputation for the company. Thirdly, one of the aims of adopting agility in an enterprise is to efficiently reduce their costs and maximize profits. Lastly, the companies expect an early return on investment with agility as by practicing traditional working methods they struggle with long delivery cycles which do not allow them to receive early return on investment. Read this complete guide on agile transformation to know more.

Now, we will get an overview of the transformation hypothesis to help us approach agility in the right way.

A step closer to agility with Transformation Hypothesis

A Transformation Hypothesis describes the real purpose behind choosing agile transformation. Along with accepting agility, companies have to be flexible enough to embrace change in various working techniques. But sometimes it might not sound comfortable for the employees as they are accustomed to working with the same old traditional techniques. So, in situations where employees aren’t confident enough and are faced with certain challenges, the companies should proactively help them to overcome such difficulties and welcome change. Below are some of the concerns which need to be resolved to strongly practice agility in your organization.

Picture showing multiple circles to describe the concerns that are faced while practicing enterprise agility

Culture change isn’t the only solution 

It is observed that adopting agility brings a big shift in the work culture of an organization, so we assume that the culture change alone will look after all the necessary steps and efforts required to successfully implement such a transformation within the company. But in reality, it isn’t so. There is also a need for proper guidance in forming cross-functional teams which have various functional expertise to increase innovation in products and services. To succeed with agility, the company will have to look upon various factors, apart from considering culture as the only means to improve agility.  

Process training alone cannot bring agility

We get to see that employees are given training from coaches to learn new methods and techniques, also expecting them to be capable enough to face any challenges which they witness while practicing agility. But the problem here is, it is nearly impossible to handle technical, governance, and organizational issues by employees with the process education obtained during the training sessions. Such issues need to be resolved by providing essential support to the company employees to tackle such hard situations.

Need for a right ecosystem

To reach the desired level of agility, there is a need for an ecosystem that facilitates continuous improvement to achieve a company’s agility goals and objectives. If a company fails to build the right ecosystem, it will be challenging to sustain agility in an organization for better adaptability and resilience.

Strategize plans according to the size of the organization

One has to strategize plans depending on the size of the organization to sustain agility. For example, the strategy which you will use for transforming a single team will certainly differ from the strategy you plan for a large-sized company having 500 or more employees. In the same manner, if you are leading a group of five to seven people, sending them to training sessions might be sufficient. But if you lead 1000 employees, the planning and arrangement must be executed on a much different level. So, it justifies the fact that the size of the organization is to be considered while adopting agility.

Overcome the challenge of dependency 

Dependencies can bring hurdles in successfully attaining agility in organizations. When we have small teams, it is easier to manage dependencies but if we have multiple teams working towards the same goal, it becomes very difficult to handle inter-team communication and collaboration. So, removing dependencies shall be one of the primary tasks. For smooth delivery of products and services, it is very essential to strategize plans to overcome dependencies and develop agility in an organization.

Benefits achieved by adopting agile transformation

Many organizations have received benefits from practicing agile transformation in recent years. They need to put the right agile transformation approach to attain the desired business outcomes with this transformation. The agility in enterprises allows flexibility to adapt new organizational practices and techniques leading to maximization of business value. 

Moving forward, we will discuss some of the benefits which are attained by companies adopting agile transformation in their business. 

Picture formed by various circles describing the benefits of agile transformation

Maximise customer satisfaction

With agility, companies mainly focus on adding value to the customer experience by understanding their requirements and making early delivery of products and services. It helps in evolving customer satisfaction by prioritizing customer feedback to improve the product quality as per their expectations. Enterprise agility allows employees to provide services with expertise, proper collaboration among various teams, and transparency which leads to an increase in customer satisfaction.

Here is an example of Asia Pacific Telco, which adopted an agile operating model to meet customer needs and was successful in increasing customer satisfaction by implementing new ideas and techniques into their work process. Below is the diagram showing the transformation shift towards a positive direction leading to a great customer experience.

Illustration showing triangles formed by small circles to explain benefits of agile transformationSource: McKinsey & Company

Increase employee engagement

Adopting agility facilitates employees the ability to use their creativity to produce better work performance and results. It gives them a sense of ownership to take all the necessary decisions to improve their work productivity and help them feel valued in the workplace. Such flexibility helps in increasing employee engagement to a great extent also empowering companies to reach their desired goals and ambitions. For instance, read how you can build a diverse and inclusive team by leveraging agile techniques.

Raising operational performance

Agility helps in providing various business models to the organizations which further helps in improving the operational performance according to the desired expectations. Due to this agile transformation, the companies are availed with various approaches which help in increasing the speed of company decision making and product development. The target achievement rate can be seen improving remarkably, by the agile companies which prove to be one of the major achievements of a progressing enterprise. 

Growing competence towards changing priorities 

With agility, a behavioral transformation takes place among the employees to reach their highest potential in embracing change and innovation. They learn to handle the changing priorities within the organization in the form of resources re-location to a team who needs support and assistance to survive the challenges which come along with agility. They get comfortable with the changes that take place in their work process and techniques, accepting change for better company growth. 

Enhance project visibility

Project visibility provides a clear vision of a project performance which includes allocating resources, potential risks, and proper distribution of responsibilities. Increased visibility ensures everyone involved in the project understands the objective of the project and their role in meeting the business goals and aspirations. It gives clarity to stakeholders regarding the real-time status of the project. Agility helps in changing any project plan or initiative following customer or stakeholder needs and requirements for better project performance. For instance, read how imbibing agile documentation processes helps improve project management.

Improving Business and IT alignment

Business IT alignment can be regarded as a business strategy that helps in achieving the business objectives leading to improved financial performance. This alignment is necessary to adapt to the constant change in the company and environment due to agility. Therefore, both business agility and business-IT alignment should go hand in hand to maintain company growth and development. For instance, read how the inclusion of agile processes to the testing phases of software development can be immensely beneficial.

Lastly, the most important benefit which we witnessed recently by adopting the agile transformation is the flexibility of working at our convenience during the pandemic of COVID 19. Due to this pandemic, the organizations felt the need for agile transformation rather than sticking to the old traditional transformation techniques which created hurdles in the proper functioning of their business. According to McKinsey’s research with Harvard Business School during COVID-19, agile companies have received better results in comparison to non-agile companies.

Graphical representation of the agile companies' improving performance post COVID 19 crisisSource: McKinsey & Company

Companies sharing their successful journeys with agile transformation

With agility, many organizations have achieved immense success leading their business towards their set goals. Here are some of the companies sharing their success stories which can act as a motivation for everyone to move towards agile transformation. 

Ericsson

Ericsson aimed at improving the delivery of products within the stipulated time leading to an increase in customer satisfaction. To achieve this target, they adopted agility in 2008. They implemented cross-functional teams which could focus on specific projects along with building effective communication across several teams. Instead of individual targets, each team worked towards both organizational and group goals to receive desired results. After making such changes with the help of agile transformation, Ericsson could successfully achieve speedy development, faster customer feedback, and generate higher revenue according to desired company standards. 

Bank of America

In late 2012, the agile transformation in global markets at Bank of America began. Merrill Lynch, the director of global markets technology at the Bank of America expressed that their main aim was to improve the time to deliver better company solutions and also reduce key person dependencies across his technology team. They adopted Scrum (a specific Agile methodology) also providing an environment to the employees where they could experiment by taking risks to bring exceptional work results. The cross-functional team formation too was encouraged to turn business ideas into working products for achieving company targets. After a year of consistent efforts, they finally succeeded in meeting their business goals with agility.

LEGO 

LEGO attained success by adopting agile transformation in early 2018. They adopted this approach in their two large digital departments. After such adoption, they witnessed various improvements in several areas like market engagement, digitalization, and reduction in project delivery time. This further brought a sense of motivation and satisfaction among the employees. So, with this transformation, LEGO could set a successful journey of embracing change. 

To get more insight on a company's smooth agile transformation, you can go through this book-   “Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change” which will give you an idea about a company in the entertainment industry who got excellent results by adopting agility in its work culture. This will be a good read.

Here is a video presented by Scrum Alliance about IBM’s wonderful experience of learning, implementing, and overcoming challenges with agile transformation. Without any further wait, take a look at their exciting agile transformation journey.

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Final thoughts

Agility is an approach to drive performance and provide endless innovation to organizations. Adopting this transformation can break the old traditional working methods enabling to achieve tremendous growth and advancement in business. So, the organizations will have to step out of their comfort and strive for something new which can deliver exceptional business outcomes.

May 28 2021
May 28

Malcom Forbes, the publisher of Forbes Magazine once said, “Diversity: the art of thinking independently together.” This quote gives us a very strong message that diversity in ideas and opinions can work for the benefit of the society at large. So, when we talk about diversity in open source, we get to see a similar scenario, where people are encouraged regardless of their gender, race, age, class or nationality to express their ideas, innovations and skill sets in a single platform to enhance better performance and results in their respective careers. 

Here, I would like to draw your attention towards some of the insights of this vast topic i.e. diversity in open source. With the help of this article, I would like to give you an idea about the community contribution towards open source followed by the various challenges encountered by the community in building a platform welcoming diversity.

Let’s begin by discussing the important role of community in open source.

Power of Community in Open Source

Open source gives you the opportunity to bring up your unique ideas and innovations independently in front of the whole world. You get full freedom to share your skills regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, exceptionalities or geographical area and so on. In this manner, the open-source community is built up by the contributions made by people from every nook and corner of the world. Here, we will have to understand the fact that community can be regarded as the backbone of open source. With the help of the community, one can strengthen the open source ecosystem by active participation and contribution.

Now, let us get a better understanding about the open source community with the help of a contributor funnel created by @MikeMcQuaid below:

Three icons on right representing people, horn and tools, and a down arrow mark on left explaining the diversity, equity and inclusion in open source  Source: Open Source Guides

The above diagram shows three categories of participants in the open source community. Like the users, contributors and maintainers. These participants play an important role in the progress of the open source community. You will be surprised to know that every user can become a potential maintainer. It is possible by making the experience of each stage of the category easy and hassle free which indeed will encourage every user to take more responsibility and become an active maintainer of the community. 

Here, the question which now comes is, how can you maintain a healthy community? Let me give you an idea of how you possibly can build up a trust-worthy community which will contribute with best endeavour. So, the first and foremost thing to do is, welcome the participants and make them feel valued in the community. After they step in, give them clarity about your work with the help of a README which will provide them full transparency regarding your project. As documenting everything about your project with a README is always a must for better understanding which is also supported by GitHub’s 2017 Open Source Survey. Thereafter, you can let the participants start their contributions by handling simple issues which will boost up their confidence and help them get more involved at work. This further gives you a chance to share the ownership of your project with them making them feel more accepted in the community. While doing that if anyone comes up with any queries, you should always be ready to answer them at the earliest. 

Your community can be a great place for the contributors to learn from each other’s experiences and expertise. Therefore, it is your responsibility to expand your community by sustaining the right people and letting go of the ones who unnecessarily create a toxic environment for everyone. You should stand strong for your community giving equal value to everyone’s opinion and ideas. In this way, you can build a prosperous and healthy community for all. 

What’s next? Let’s now take a look at some of the tweets supporting community contributions to open source.

Contributing to open source is easier for some than others. There’s a lot of fear of being yelled at for not doing something right or just not fitting in. (…) By giving contributors a place to contribute with very low technical proficiency (documentation, web content markdown, etc) you can greatly reduce those concerns. — @mikeal, “Growing a contributor base in modern open source

The truth is that having a supportive community is key. I’d never be able to do this work without the help of my colleagues, friendly internet strangers, and chatty IRC channels. (…) Don’t settle for less. Don’t settle for assholes. — @okdistribute, “How to Run a FOSS Project

While it’s important to create a sense of belonging for the members of an open source community, it is equally important to encourage diverse minds to be a part of the community and become more and more inclusive. Let’s look at a research report conducted by the World Economic Forum that highlighted the importance of diversity and inclusion at workplace. This report explains that when all the employees, managers and the entire organization work under well managed diverse teams, they tend to perform better than homogeneous teams in terms of their usual productivity. Therefore, the practice of diversity, equity and inclusion should be encouraged by the open source community too. This can be seen in the below diagram:

Graphical representation with curves explaining diversity and inclusion at workplaceSource: World Economic Forum

Challenges while Promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Open Source Communities

In the past few years, the open source community has witnessed some challenges while promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. Let us discuss today some of the most important challenges by taking help of some genuine survey reports.

Not enough contributions from female and non-binary coders

According to a 2017 GitHub open source survey, 95% of contributors of open source projects were male, whereas only 3% of contributors were reported to be female(1% defined as non-binary). The US Bureau of Labor Data says that only 21.2% of professional developers are female.  

Here comes a diagram from 2019 DigitalOcean developer survey to show that the participation of male in open source is comparatively more than female:

Table explaining diversity, equity and inclusion in open sourceSource: DigitalOcean

Next, let’s look at another diagram where the participation of young developers, both male and female are shown in comparison to older generations of contributors regarding their experience in open-source.

Table explaining diversity, equity and inclusion in open sourceSource: DigitalOcean

From the above diagram we can understand the fact that when the younger generation both male and female join the open-source community, they don’t find any hurdles in terms of guidance or required resources. But as we know that the older generation of contributors mainly comprises of male due to gender diversity. So, they do not preferably contribute to the change needed in the community towards gender inequality. As a result, the young female contributors experience injustice and are deprived of opportunities. Therefore, the cycle of male preference in open-source continues.

The sad state of women in a male-dominated world

To get a deeper understanding about the reasons for lack of diversity in open source, let us look into another seminar paper which was written as a part of the lecture Free and Open Technologies, held by Christoph Derndorfer and Lukas F. Lang at TU Wien, Austria, during the winter term 2019/2020. This seminar paper talks about a case, Katie Bouman. 

In April 2019, the first visualization of the black hole was revealed. After this, another picture went viral which was of a young female computer scientist, named Katie Bouman. She is a postdoctoral fellow at MIT and a member of the team running Event Horizon Telescope, contributing with her algorithm to capture this image. Her team consisted of 200 researchers. But solely, Bouman was made the face of the black hole project by the media. Bouman tried to clarify this confusion but was made a role model as she was a woman working in a men-dominated field. On the other side she received immense hatred and even her Wikipedia page was said to be deleted. So, with this case you get an idea about the diversity problem in open-source.

Women need to be empowered within open source communities 

Then we have one more report named “Towards a More Gender-inclusive Open Source Community” published by the Institute of Development Studies at the (DIAL) Digital Impact Alliance. It brings light into the circumstances of gender diversity. This paper shows how women can be supported and an inclusive community can be built.

This report says that there has to be some changes in facilities for women to empower them to contribute actively in open-source. Let us see how can it be done:

  • Resources: In order to excel in one’s career aspirations, one should be given the right amount of resources which can be used to reach the desired goals. Similarly, talking about women in open source, they should also be provided with the opportunity of learning various skills required to enhance their knowledge and contributions. They should be given a friendly working atmosphere to come up with their ideas and plans in the community.
  • Institutions: This comprises the different social environment one gets in life in the form of family, educational institutions and the society at large. It is usually seen that a woman is less likely to get the necessary support from her family in terms of education and other facilities. Growing up when they want to pursue their career and also look after their family life, they are stopped from doing so and are left to take tough decisions of choosing one over another. Therefore, a change in the society’s perception is needed to encourage women to manage their both family and career with dignity and respect.
  • Agency: This comprises the ability of a woman to become a good leader and a decision maker. When it comes to open source, there is less encouragement towards women to prove their capabilities compared to men. So, such injustice has to be abolished for equal and fair chances.

As a part of the above mentioned report, one interview was conducted among women who were contributors working  as programmers and multi-taskers. It’s definitely high to empower and encourage more women to participate in open source ecosystem going by the number of women who were in the open source projects at the time of interview.

Table showing number of women in open source communitiesOpen source organisations and communities in which women contributors were active at the time of interview | Source: DIAL

Time, money, and recruitment from demographically homogeneous communities are obstacles too

In a report by GitHub, in association with The Case Foundation, Nadia Eghbal states that one of the reasons why there is a lack of diversity in the open-source community compared to the technology sector, is because the open-source contributors need time and money to contribute initially which at times can be very difficult. The open source ecosystem must be enhanced by the inclusion of diversity, believes Lorena Mesa, an engineer at GitHub and the Director and Vice-Chair Elect of the Python Software Foundation. Justin W. Flory, a member of the RIT LibreCorps and UNICEF, an open source initiative said that the early leaders of OSS recruited contributors from homogeneous communities leading to diversity issues which can be seen till the present. He further stated, “I look at what we're going through now in this emergency of emphasis on communities, on diversity inclusion, and I feel like there is no other way to describe it then as a feminist movement in free software.” Learn how good leadership and inclusion within the open source communities can make a world of difference.

Neverending myths about open source have to vanish

Now, a contribution is made by Nithya A. Ruff, the Head of Comcast’s Open Source Program Office about some misconceptions which people have about open-source. So, here it goes. The first misconception is that you need to be a programmer in order to join the open source community. But it isn’t true. Open-source is also a platform for various other industries other than technology. The second myth is that the culture and norms of the open source community is easy to navigate. But in reality it isn’t so. You will find a lot of feedback where the new contributors reveal that they don’t get the necessary co-operations from the community members. The third misunderstanding is about the fact that you can’t be a casual contributor but you rather have to work under an open-source project for your entire life-time. But the truth is, you can work according to your convenience and be a short time contributor.

Here are few tweets supporting the above discussions:

Tweet showing a person's face on left and text on rightTweet showing a person's face on left and text on right


So, the above myths can also be termed as challenges towards a more diverse open-source community. Therefore, necessary steps should be taken to overcome these adversities.

Open source meritocracy and the significance of diversity and inclusion

Now let’s also look into some of the information depicting the truth about inequality and favouritism within the open-source community. Women were seen compromising their health when in the year 2015, a heart transplant was available to only 20% of women compared to 80% of men. Apple launched its first Health Tracking App in 2014 which omitted a woman’s menstrual cycle that should have been one of the major concerns regarding a woman’s health and wellness. Amazon was seen removing its AI recruiting tool which was designed to select applicants based on resumes submitted to the company over a 10 years time period that mostly came from men.  

So, apart from the above mentioned challenges of diversity in open-source, you will find many other such discriminations based on socioeconomic status, nationality and so on. In cases like this a question comes to my mind, what if meritocracy was practiced in open source? It could help the community in finding the right participants with merit, intelligence, creativity and skills who were truly deserving. With meritocracy, the open-source could experience diversity, equity and inclusion within the community. This ideology is also supported by huge companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Netflix. More on the impact of large companies on open source here.

Meritocracy does not consider the reality that tech does not operate on a level playing field. — Emma Erwin and Larissa Shapiro, Mozilla.

Statistics show that 78% of companies run all of their businesses with open source software. So, looking at the ratio, it is a must that all the companies working in open source software should follow the rules and regulations and include contributors encouraging meritocracy within their community. If not all, but some are taking initiatives in giving opportunities to the people around the globe looking forward to being a part of open-source. Here is an example: Outreachy is a program which organises a three month paid internship with free and open source software projects for people who experience favouritism and are under-represented  in the technical industry where they are living. 

After discussing the challenges of the open source community, let’s now peep into the topic, ‘Code of Conduct’ which cannot be avoided. 

Is Code of Conduct Enhancing Diversity in Open Source?

Code of conduct can be a medium of communication among the contributors of the open source community. It helps people to know about the set rules, regulations and practices that are to be followed in order to maintain the professional conduct of an organization. 

For open source projects, The Contributor Covenant was created by Coraline Ada Ehmke who is a software developer and an open-source advocate. This contributor covenant works for safeguarding the rights of the members of the community from experiencing misbehaviour and ill treatment. So, it is followed by prominent companies like Apple, Google, Salesforce, Linux, Creative Commons and many open-source projects as well. It has become an essential part of the open source community. We have with us an example where Eric S. Raymond, one of the founders of the Open Source Initiative was banned for violating the code of conduct by his misbehaviour. But alone CoC can’t stop discrimination happening in the field of diversity in open source. There is a need for better authority and management which can strictly look after the matter. 

Wonderful Stories from Open Source Communities Embracing Diversity

The Open source community can be termed as a social movement which is diverse. It is a community model which is designed to help aspiring people contribute to the world their ideas, innovations and unique talents. Here we have some examples of extraordinary open source contributors:

1. Drupal

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are valued by Drupal as there is a separate team to monitor their active participation and implementation. Drupal celebrates the pride month every year by changing its logo on social media platforms. This is observed inorder to thank the members of Drupal for welcoming and supporting LGBTQ+ into their community.

logo of Drupal Association with drop shaped icon on left

When the world was once again reminded, through the George Floyd incident, that the 21st century still witnesses the violent incidents of racism, the Drupal Community joined hands in raising its voice against such brutal attacks. The statement given by Drupal is as follows:

(We stand with people across the globe in condemning racism, racist behavior and all abuses of power. We grieve for the black community, which has endured another unspeakable tragedy in a long history of injustice)

Drupal believes in the ideology of getting better quality results or performance out of diverse working groups in the community. The Drupal Diversity and Inclusion Contribution Team aims at increasing the contributions to the Drupal projects by the people who are underrepresented or devalued in the Drupal community.

logo of Drupal Diversity and Inclusion contribution team in the shape of a droplet in blue

The diversity problem was handled by Drupal in a very smart way, by introducing Drupal conferences and workshops. These platforms gave exposure to the underrepresented groups to speak and open up their views, perceptions and ideas to a larger audience increasing their confidence level. A speaker training workshop was hosted on September 21 and 28, 2019 with Jill Binder by the Drupal Diversity and Inclusion Group to inspire people around the world. 

The Community Working Group(CWG)  also conducts workshops for the community leaders to provide them the necessary tools, resources and knowledge to build a friendly and flourishing community. To get a better idea of conducting successful conferences, CWG follows feedback from past workshops like Teamwork and Leadership workshop conducted at DrupalCon Nashville. Such workshops are of two days duration. The first day was spent by discussing the needs or necessities and challenges faced by the community members. It was followed by the discussion of utilizing the nudges appropriately and building a positive environment within the community. Then the second day, they talked about emotional intelligence and finding ways to resolve conflicts. There was also a case study challenge, where various groups were assigned tasks of resolving conflicts which were seen in Drupal or other open-source communities. These workshops proved to be beneficial for the community members. 

Drupal encourages healthy conversations to maintain a positive ambience within the community. Even though people try to maintain a peaceful environment, sometimes due to differences in opinions people tend to hurt each other’s feelings. To resolve this issue, an idea was discussed at a Community Working Group (CWG) workshop at DrupalCon Seattle. For the Drupal community, the CWG Community Health team has been working on a communication initiative which comprises a series of de-escalation templates labeled as “Nudges”.

Five icons attached to semicircle representing diversity and inclusion in Drupal


There are five nudges which the community members can utilize when they come across any such uncomfortable circumstances within the Drupal community. Every nudge gives a clarity about why a certain comment towards a member can be harmful and it also provides some relevant links like the Code of Conduct and Values and Principles.

Below are the nudges. Take a look:

  • Inclusive language (gendered terms): Use of gendered language is prohibited. Such language impacts the community negatively as it encourages gender inequality within the community.
  • Inclusive language (ableist terms): Use of  ableist language can hurt the sentiment of people with disabilities. Therefore, one is abstained from using such language within the community.
  • Gatekeeping knowledge: When a community member expects a new community member to know everything about the project without giving the required guidance and questions his/her contributions and ideas, then this nudge can be used. The new contributor shall be supported by helping them learn the necessary concept and topic.
  • Cultural differences: The members coming from different backgrounds, speaking a culturally specific language are undervalued for their contribution by the other members as they are unable to speak the global language common for all. While translating one has to be very careful as expressing something exactly the same in a different language might at times sound rude and uncomfortable.
  • Escalating emotions: Every community demands mutual understanding and proper communication inorder to build a healthy environment for all. So, while working together every member should be given equal amount of respect and dignity without any discrimination. The Drupal community further takes care by providing resources to the members at the time of conflict.

Give a look at what Dries Buytaert, the founder of Drupal, wants to share about gender and geographic diversity statistics of the recent years. It is as follows:

Gender Diversity’s position was closely observed by Dries Buytaert as it is one of the biggest challenges of the open-source community. A slight progress was seen in terms of contribution but still wasn’t enough to be celebrated as a victory of gender equality. Let’s take a look below:

Bar graph with blue, green, and black vertical bars showing statistics on contribution by different genders of drupal communitySource: Dries Buytaert's Blog

Here we have the top 20 countries from which contributions are made in Drupal. The below diagram says it all:

Bar graph with blue, green, and black vertical bars showing statistics on contribution by different countries for drupalSource: Dries Buytaert's Blog

With the above explanations, we get to know that the efforts are made to improve gender and geographic diversity. But it isn’t enough. Therefore, better practices and strategies have to be made in order to reach the desired results. Learn more about Drupal's role in encouraging diversity and inclusion here.

2. Red Hat

Red Hat is one of the leading open source provider companies which actively takes initiative in building an open source community filled with innovation and productivity of better technology. They believe in the collective contribution of every skilled participant irrespective of gender, race, class or nationality within the community. One of the initiatives it took to encourage diversity was by including Women in Open Source Community Award in 2015. This ceremony was organized to appreciate and honor women for their outstanding contribution towards the open source community.  

Red Hat observed a very sensitive matter of using inappropriate language by software programmers which at times affected the sentiment of some participants. The usage of terminology like ‘master’ or ‘slave’ was the major concern. Chris Wright, chief technology officer at Red Hat confirms that Red Hat is building a team to examine its documentation, code and content to find out the improper language and replace it with the right ones. Some of the changes are as follows:

  • Master branch will be renamed as ‘main branch’
  • Whitelist to be renamed as ‘allowlist’
  • Blacklist to be changed to ‘denylist’

3. Mozilla

Mozilla is one of the communities who is open and easily accessible to everyone looking for meaningful contributions towards the vast open source community who is constantly seeking growth. Diversity has been one of the interests of this community and they have always taken the necessary steps towards it. 

In 2018, the code review process was made equal for all without any gender bias by this community. To improve diversity within their staff they published a blogpost in the year 2019. Here is the progress they made:

  • There was an increase of women in technical roles from 13.2 percent to 17.4 percent in their community.
  • Out of all people managers, the women representation has increased from 36.0 percent to 39.1 percent and in terms of executive leadership roles, the graph has raised from 33.3 percent to 41.2 percent within December 2018.
  • The representation of minorities rose from 6.9 percent to 7.9 percent in 2018, but the target of 8.9 percent couldn’t be achieved.
  • From underrepresented minority groups, Mozilla hired 12.4 percent people and also a rise in people of colour from 35.2 percent (2017) to 36.2 percent (2018).

In cooperation with Kubernetes and companies like Red Hat, Mozilla gives importance to the execution of codes of conduct so that proper communication and professional conduct can be maintained within the people of diverse nature. Most importantly, it raises funds for open source projects.

4. The Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation focuses on broadening the practice of diversity and inclusion, building a more welcoming space for people from diverse backgrounds and expertise. This association commits towards constructing a bias free environment by taking few initiatives as follows:

  • Initiative of Inclusive Naming
  • Advancing diversity and inclusion in Software Engineering
  • Availability of free online courses
  • Diversity and Inclusion in Events
  • Live Mentorship Series
  • LiFT Scholarships

Out of all these, advancing diversity and inclusion in Software Engineering is something that can catch one’s attention. The Linux Foundation announced the Software Developer Diversity and Inclusion (SDDI) project on 26th October 2020. Through SDDI, exploration and utilization of best research procedures, the diversity and inclusion in software engineering could be increased.

5. The Apache Software Foundation

The Apache Software Foundation started a project named Apache Diversity and Inclusion with the mission of constructing a community valuing diversity and inclusion giving exposure to a wide group of people seeking career path/ professional advancement.

homepage of Apache diversity showing textual information on their mission and vision for encouraging diversity and inclusion in their project development works


6. The Academy Software Foundation

The Academy Software Foundation stands against the injustice and inequality happening in the open-source community. It aims at removing all the barriers which creates hurdles in the process of growth and development of potential contributors all over the world.

To set your basics right and make your open source project more diverse and inclusive, Open Source Diversity is a good place to start. From identifying projects which support underrepresented groups like WikiProject Women in Red (for increasing the women representation in Wikipedia) to finding mentorship programs like Write/Speak/Code (visibility for women and non-binary coders through thought leadership), Open Source Diversity has it all!

Conclusion

To completely abolish the challenges of diversity, equity and inclusion in the open-source community is not easy. But there is no end to consistent effort and endeavor. So, it is important to be fully aware of the situation and work towards the collective goal as a team around the world. Therefore, let’s never forget, ‘Diversity leads to Prosperity’. 

About Drupal Sun

Drupal Sun is an Evolving Web project. It allows you to:

  • Do full-text search on all the articles in Drupal Planet (thanks to Apache Solr)
  • Facet based on tags, author, or feed
  • Flip through articles quickly (with j/k or arrow keys) to find what you're interested in
  • View the entire article text inline, or in the context of the site where it was created

See the blog post at Evolving Web

Evolving Web