Upgrading from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 will mean more than 200 new features and enhancements that will benefit both your marketing team and your developers. At a little over a year old,

“This is the time when people focus on learning Drupal 8 and its new features. This is when the modules that extend and enhance Drupal need to be ported to Drupal 8; and this is the time when Drupal shops and builders are deep in the...sales cycle it takes to sell Drupal 8 projects. This is often a phase of uncertainty but all of this is happening now, and every day there is less and less uncertainty.”

Forrester outlined four imperatives to establish a new competitive advantage as your business progresses into its digital future, and how Drupal can help you develop them.  They are:

  • Turn big data into business insights. Data is important, but what’s more important is being able to analyze it to derive actionable insights for your business. Drupal 8 provides a stronger foundation for enabling companies to collect data and deliver better data-driven web, mobile, and social experiences.
  • Embrace the mobile mind shift. Providing targeted mobile experiences in the right context at the right time is critical, especially when cultivating customer loyalty. Drupal 8 is built with mobile-first initiatives in mind, enabling responsive experiences across devices and supporting mobile apps.
  • Transform the customer experience. Transformation is the process of adapting the user’s experience so that they get the most out of it when, where, and how they want to. Drupal 8 helps administrators make changes quickly, effectively, and efficiently to deliver engaging customer experiences.
  • Accelerate your digital business. How fast can you move in a world that’s evolving faster than anyone can anticipate? Having the ability to stay ahead of your customer’s needs is critical. Drupal 8 is an engine for innovation, not just a tool for building static sites and pages. It recognizes that digital is more than just marketing -- digital is your business.

But the benefits of upgrading from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 aren’t just for website users, administrators, and marketers. It takes an already terrific content management framework to new heights with a focus on content presentation, new ways to create data structures, build APIs, multilingual capabilities, and the delivery of mobile accessibility out of the box.

In addition to the fundamental benefits of Drupal Core, Drupal 8 has many specific new features and upgrades “that make it a more user-friendly, responsive, flexible, and integrable platform” for your team:

  • Authoring is the cornerstone of the enhanced administrator experience in Drupal 8. In addition to a WYSIWYG editor, it provides in-line and in-context editing directly on the page. This is a huge advantage for people who need to manage content on a website, particularly simple edits, especially those who may not be technically inclined.
  • Flexible Content Delivery is another primary feature of Drupal 8. The power of using Drupal as your content management platform really emerges when it enables you to create and deliver content as a service to any channel, device, or application, or when you integrate content from other sources into Drupal. In the emerging API economy, Drupal is the engine that will empower businesses to maximize this currency.
  • In the growing ecosystem of connected digital services, integrations are increasingly important for both your marketing team and your business as a whole. Drupal 8 provides the foundation for content and digital experience management because it enables integrations with leading marketing technologies. It gives your business the freedom and flexibility to choose what technologies you want to employ, from marketing automation to email software.
  • Translation and localization are much easier with Drupal 8, as the platform natively supports options from the authoring side, and the customizable interface features dozens of languages. It can also support your business processes around language translation and localization -- for example, integration with external translation service providers.
  • Drupal 8 is built to be fully responsive out-of-the-box. You can use the platform to deliver enhanced experiences on any device, or anywhere else that your business’ content and data need to flow -- today and in the future.

Snowbot recently published the following infographic, which helps to visually illustrate these points (click to enlarge):

The Top 5 Features of Drupal 8

Many new programming concepts and paradigms have been adopted by Drupal 8, which will make it more standards-compliant than Drupal 7. This involved removing older, more Drupal-specific ways of doing things, and embracing more widely known standards and technologies. And future developments will likely proceed in separate branches rather than waiting for a single large release.

Finally, and perhaps the most prominent and exciting feature of Drupal 8, is the Drupal community itself. It’s the hundreds of thousands of developers who contribute code and support to the community, ensuring that the open-source platform will continue to evolve to respond to the needs of your business. As well, agencies, such as ImageX, that specialize in Drupal development and migration can help prepare and guide your organization along the upgrade path.

If you’re considering the upgrade to Drupal 8 and want to discuss the differences from Drupal 7 and how they can benefit you, reach out to us today!