When talking about designing products of the future, the late Bill Gates once said:
“Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity – not a threat”
We are inherently preconditioned to view change in threatening and negative terms. However, if we were not experiencing any modicum of threat in our daily lives, in many ways it would be hard to conceive what would drive us. This is true for the inevitable technical change within business.
Following the announcement that Drupal 7 will reach end-of-life (EOL) in January 2025, you may be left wondering what this means for your website?
As technology advances, vendors choose to prioritise newer versions of software, leaving older iterations to reach end-of-life and move out of support. When software reaches EOL, security updates and patches are no longer released, leaving your website vulnerable to cyber attacks and security breaches.
So what does this mean for your business?
With EOL software no longer receiving updates, the security of your website and associated applications are at risk of being targeted by hackers and data being stolen, resulting in damage to your company reputation.
In addition to cybersecurity risks, regulatory compliance is much more important than in past years. Your CMS must comply with regulations set out in laws including the 2018 General Data Protection Regulation Act (GDPR) and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WACAG). Failure to comply with these regulations can result in a hefty fine.
It’s not just security that’s at risk – there are financial implications to using end-of-life technology too. A lack of available support from the vendor can mean that you are forced to turn to contractors and third parties to manage the platform, which can come at a much higher cost.
Finally, platforms that have reached end of life lack vision and a roadmap, so the product will no longer evolve and impact your user experience.
What are your options going forward?
The world of CMS’s continues to evolve. DXPs and suites of products now enable entire end-to-end customer lifecycle management and offer out-of-the-box features such as personalisation and experimentation within a single solution through to agile, headless solutions, that are fast, flexible and highly scalable.
While remaining on Drupal 7 or upgrading to Drupal 10 may seem like the easiest options, now could be the perfect time to reassess your digital strategy and re-platform to a future ready solution.
When deciding whether to re-platform your CMS, there are a number of considerations to factor into your decision, including:
- The flexibility and level of self-service required by your internal marketing and IT teams - and whether you have the correct in-house development resource to support your chosen solution going forward.
- How fast and easy it is for your content editor teams to update and create new content via your CMS.
- Your budget and the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of the proposed solution – how important is best-in-breed versus a high-functioning suite of projects versus a simple site?
- What other platforms are in your digital ecosystem that your CMS needs to integrate with?
- Whether a cloud-based product or on-premise solution is right for your business.
Regardless of your decision, it is important to properly assess your digital maturity and use this information to ensure that your business thrives beyond the end of Drupal 7.
Many businesses that we work with are opting for SAAS platforms that power their business growth through advanced capabilities such as personalisation, content recommendations, customer analytics and experimentation. The key is to embrace change by aligning with a platform that will supercharge your customer experience and provide your business with a strong foundation for growth.
Do you want to be spending your time patching, updating and maintaining your software in endless update cycles or opting for a best-in-class SAAS product that allows you to focus on building out the next generation of customer experience?
We are here to help you evaluate your options and guide you on your digital journey – get in touch to book a complimentary platform consultation.