An enterprise or a government agency would typically hire Drupal consultants once a decision has been made to adopt Drupal as a major platform and content management system (CMS) of an existing or yet to be developed website or knowledge management system (KMS). Drupal’s open-source nature allows both large IT consultants and small-sized software consultancy firms to deal with issues related to the implementation, support, maintenance, and upgrade of Drupal-powered sites.
Actually, an organization does not need third-party assistance in deciding whether a Drupal solution should be adopted, this is a rather strategic decision to be made in-house, but following a positive decision the involvement of a reputable Drupal consultant can help avoid common implementation and post-implementation issues. Of course, some pre-implementation analysis should take place in order to secure better eventual deployment of Drupal core, as the standard release of the CMS is widely known, and add-ons provided by third-party software developers. At that stage, a specialized Drupal consultancy firm can offer valuable advice on the platform’s deployment, its configuration, and customization through modules contributed as freeware by Drupal software developers worldwide.
Although Drupal is considered a platform that is relatively easy to administer and maintain by novice users and non-experts, it is highly recommended to take advantage of consultancy services offered by IT advisors who have the expertise to provide proper initial configuration and customization of a Drupal-powered site and familiarize site administrators with advanced methods to administer and maintain the system. In the case of governmental agencies, hiring an external IT consultant could be mandatory under the respective legislation related to procurement tenders.
The above two reasons to hire Drupal consultants are related to a third-party’s ability to provide expertise and guidance that is lacked in-house but a rapidly growing number of enterprises employ IT consultants to benefit from outsourcing of certain IT services. Growing IT costs and unfavorable economic conditions in the West have forced numerous enterprises to outsource part or all IT services to IT service providers elsewhere, achieving not only cost reduction but also boosting overall efficiency, and gaining valuable knowledge in the process. Obviously, outsourcing is taking place also in countries that are not in the Western Hemisphere for the very same reasons; namely, to improve efficiency, balance corporate IT budgets, and gain access to expertise that is otherwise unavailable or unaffordable.
Thus, hiring a Drupal consultant can be advantageous in a broader context where the main drivers behind such a decision could be economic fundamentals as opposed to the explicitly analytical services provided by IT consultancies during the pre-implementation stage. Furthermore, an experienced Drupal consultant would be able to draft a strategic concept how a Drupal-based site should be expanded over time, bearing in mind that Drupal is distributed under the open-source GNU license, which is quite different from other commercial software licenses. A post-implementation development and support strategy is required to expand the site successfully, as well as to highlight the necessary measures to introduce and maintain a certain level of security and access control, for example.
Drupal is naturally multi-user and multi-site enabled, which means that administering a complex Drupal-based system can be a real headache for inexperienced site administrators. Although Drupal core supports user roles and allows access restrictions by IP or email addresses, the drafting and implementation of a thoroughly worked out hierarchical access and role-based structure would usually require IT consultancy involvement and advice to produce viable results. Actually, this is regarded as a disadvantage of Drupal by some authors who selectively decide not to mention that literally all and every complex CMS requires attention to be paid to details and configuration options with which the average user is feeling rather uncomfortable, and for good reasons.
The post-implementation stage of any project is no less important than the pre-implementation because there is where the visible part of the project is running and attracting attention of customers and internal users. If an organization lacks the internal resources to assess thoroughly where improvements should be introduced, hiring Drupal consultants to enhance overall user experience can also be a good move.
About The Author:
Rajesh S Ullal is a SEO/SMM expert who shares his ideas on Drupal implementations. If an organization lacks the internal resources to assess thoroughly where improvements should be introduced, hiring Drupal consultants to enhance overall user experience can also be a good move.