Hierarchies of needs in Drupal and the modern CMS

Experience level
50 min

The next war in content management systems is approaching, and it will look nothing like the traditional battles between open-source frameworks like Drupal and WordPress and proprietary platforms like Adobe Experience Manager and Sitecore. Recently, Gartner undertook a significant move towards digital experience platforms (DXPs), citing the increasing homogeneity in the CMS market as one of the key motivations for the new category. But for those of us who aren’t in analyst relations, what does this mean for those of us who still work with CMSs on a daily basis?

One of the identified issues in content management systems today is the fact that the growing number of content delivery channels and the increasing demands from editorial and marketing organizations are only becoming more irreconcilable with each passing day. This trend is exacerbated by the JavaScript renaissance and the continued migration of developers to full-stack JavaScript architectures. Many of us are now grappling with the following common question — even if it is an age-old quandary — what do editors and marketers do in a world where they are increasingly left behind?

In the Drupal community, we’ve both approached this question with exciting and innovative solutions and a level of caution that recognizes the reality of the market we operate in today. Drupal has consistently been innovative when it comes to providing unique features for editors even in the context of decoupled Drupal, as seen in examples like RESTful Panels and Paragraphs-driven API responses. On the other hand, we have seen a doubling-down on monolithic content management with the acquisition of Cohesion DX8 by Acquia.

In this session, we discuss the seeming irreconcilability between the needs of editors, marketers, and developers by taking a page from motivational psychology. During the first half of the 20th century, psychologist Abraham Maslow published a highly influential paper now commonly cited in a variety of fields about how “hierarchies of needs” are intrinsic to human motivation and drive most of our actions toward self-preservation. This is just as true for the needs of editors, marketers, and developers we constantly have to satisfy as we implement not only Drupal websites but also Drupal-driven digital experiences that go well beyond the confines of the web.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this talk that explores not only the future of Drupal but also the outlook for content management systems in general as we continue our paradigm shift away from the website and to the device-agnostic digital experience:

  • The second CMS war is officially here: From WCM to DXP

  • Revisiting “Decoupled site building”: How editable should content be?

  • How the separation of concerns is shifting 

  • The incongruity between editors and developers

  • Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in context

  • The hierarchy of needs for developers

  • The hierarchy of needs for editors

  • The distributed CMS: A content management “stack”?

  • Breaking the barrier between hierarchies of needs

  • Epilogue: Drupal in the context of digital experience management

This session is ideal for business stakeholders, technology executives, CMS decision-makers and practitioners, and editors, marketers, and developers who are interested in the emerging frictions in the CMS landscape and how to grapple with seemingly conflicting yet inextricable needs. This is a sequel to the DrupalCon Vienna session “Decoupled site building: Drupal’s next challenge”.