Drupal 8 Powers Multiple Sites for FinServ Network
As one of the leading professional services networks in the world, this organization serves many Global Fortune 500 companies with an employee headcount at the large enterprise level. Finding the best ways to connect a complex digital ecosystem is a persistent goal.
The professional services network IT team partnered with Mediacurrent developers on a Drupal 8 and Acquia Cloud Site Factory platform for internal business groups to quickly deploy new sites. Mediacurrent’s Design and Digital Strategy teams came on board to maximize user engagement on the new platform.
As a result of this Drupal project, the professional services network is expanding the way they use and contribute to open source software. These efforts have created a competitive advantage for the firm to drive innovation and improve time-to-launch for digital solutions serving various business groups.
- Architected a single enterprise-ready Drupal 8 platform that has been used successfully across multiple business units.
- Reduced average deployment time for new sites from a year to only a few months.
- Increased agility by reducing technical team resources needed to launch new sites.
- Strengthened security and enforced brand consistency on a common codebase.
- Shared Drupal codebase, including install profiles, modules, themes, that are used in both Acquia SiteFactory and Acquia Cloud-based Drupal projects.
- Supported a data-driven decision-making approach through a custom Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager configuration including a custom data layer and custom dimensions based on SSO claims.
Why Drupal 8?
- Faster speed to market with open source
- Out of the box core features:
- Responsive theme layouts and images
- Configuration management to all saving config to code
- RESTful web service
- Design and technical customizability/flexibility
The professional services network IT team sought a new platform to manage websites for internal business groups. They needed a solution to achieve high levels of customization for new sites. It was not only important for the new platform to support their needs as a large enterprise, but also to transition the firm to an Agile project management process.
The IT team was challenged to handle the security of all their users and offer centralized website governance, with the vision of empowering non-technical team members to create and maintain new sites. The search for a scalable, cost-effective alternative to proprietary software led to open source Drupal 8. They recognized that creating this platform would require proactive and strategic planning, deep knowledge of enterprise Drupal 8 development, and the support of a cross-functional agency team.
The professional services network partnered with Mediacurrent to connect processes, strategy and code. Mediacurrent built a Drupal 8 platform as a quick-start tool for the business groups to create new sites. Leveraging the Acquia Cloud Site Factory (ACSF) platform, we partnered with Acquia and the professional services network’s internal development team to design and develop a set of Drupal install profiles and shared codebase that adheres to the ACSF standards and is maintainable and extendable by the client team.
The Site Factory platform springboarded the launch of many new Drupal sites for multiple business units within the organization. Mediacurrent’s Digital Strategy and User Experience talent ensured measurable engagement for new sites. An agile project management approach kept the professional services network’s internal business groups aligned with the IT team’s larger goals,
Significant efforts were made on behalf of both teams to contribute back to the open source community.
Security & Integrations
With Drupal 8’s support for RESTful web services and customizability, the professional services network can easily integrate their trusted tools on a new site. Integrations with company developed solutions (like a customized content search tool) and third-party applications (for example, various software used to capture performance and customer experience insights) add robustness to individual sites. Meanwhile, a shared codebase enables the professional services network to integrate with SSO login requirements, while allowing easy configuration for various business unit needs — an extra layer of security.
Aligning Tools & Tech
The new Site Factory platform offers a set of out-of-box editorial features and enhancements beyond core Drupal 8. Multiple install profiles were set up to handle different use cases, improving site governance. With complete control over the codebase and the ability to spin up new sites on-demand, the professional services network has effectively created their own open source SaaS.
Mediacurrent took a holistic approach to development, delivering the requirements of specific business units in a way that also provided more functionality for platform users as a whole. For example, when a business unit wanted the option to expire temporary sites, we advised that platform generic text be used on the settings page. As a result, everyone on the platform can leverage the site expiration feature.
Drupal = Extensibility
Strategy for a “Search First” Intranet
Built on the new platform, the professional services network’s risk management and ethics and compliance intranet project showed the Drupal platform in action.
The departments are responsible for managing risk-related concerns and challenges within the organization. The group had a big goal (connect 50,000+ employees with the resources they need to better assess risk) and a short timeline (nine weeks) to discover, design, and launch the intranet. To change the behavior of users from “ask first” to “search first” required a user experience design built on audience insights, with established KPIs to measure success.
Mediacurrent’s UX solution includes a streamlined content strategy with an intuitive navigation menu for users who prefer to browse and a prominent site search option. Additionally, a tool was created for users to quickly navigate a large directory of support staff with the strategic intention of connecting employees to the support they need with any given challenge they face.
Development & Training
A deep knowledge of Drupal 8 enterprise web development was critical to build the platform and expand it to meet evolving business requirements. Mediacurrent developers put knowledge learned from the DrupalCon conference into practice, innovating platform architecture with the latest contrib tools.
Customized training from Mediacurrent (including navigating the differences between Drupal 7 and Drupal 8, training on DevOPs, Software Development Life Cycle, and automated testing processes, in addition to Google Analytics support) gives the professional services network the skills and knowledge to grow digital solutions stemming from the new platform.
Top Drupal 8 Modules
- Guardr (distribution): Guardr was selected to ensure enterprise grade security through the best practice selection and configuration of Drupal security related modules.
- Drupal Media Entity modules: The platform uses a number of Media Entity related modules that are key to content editor and end user experiences. These related modules are used for images, videos, Twitter, Tableau Dashboards, Qualtrics, and more.
- Paragraphs (module): Paragraphs was selected to provide an enhanced content editor experience, providing the most flexibility for content order and placement while supporting a consistent front-end presentation that meets brand requirements.
- simpleSAMLphp Authentication (module) and OpenID Connect (module): simpleSAMLphp Authentication and OpenID Connect modules are used as the foundation to integrate SSO with the Site Factory Platform and the professional services network’s internal SSO requirements.
- Thunder Admin (theme): Content editor experience is key to the new platform and Thunder Admin Theme provides some great out of the box enhancements. The development teams built on top of this work but creating a subtheme specific to the organization’s brand guidelines and other improvements to assist Drupal content editors and site builders.
- Permissions by term (module): Some business units require advanced permissions for nodes and entities. Permissions by Term provided the flexibility and foundation for an access control system that works across multiple use cases.
- Config Actions (module): The specific and flexible functionality Config Actions provides to developers allows for an easier and more concise way to deploy config changes and overrides in a way which largely benefits platforms where configuration synchronization is not available, such as with Acquia Site Factory.
Drupal has cleared a path for this big 4 accounting firm to better align its people, processes, information, and code. The story continues to unfold as the professional services network fosters a culture of giving back to Drupal while driving adoption of the platform for internal business units across the firm. With Mediacurrent as a partner for development, training, digital strategy, and design the journey—unleashing what’s possible with open source—has only just begun.