Acquia: Thinking ahead in federal IT

Today’s guest is Tom Cochran, chief digital strategist & vice president at Acquia.

Cochran’s experience is vast – so wide ranging that he was named the director of Digital Platforms at the White House.

Head shot of Tom Cochran
Tom Cochran, chief digital strategist & vice president, Acquia

This position let him to the private sector and then “boomeranged” back to the State Department where he lead the charge for digital transformation. After a couple of years he transitioned to the public sector and selected Acquia as the place that could best use his skills.

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Acquia used an open source system called Drupal as the basis to improve information technology in the federal government.  During the interview Cochran talks about content management systems and some of their strengths and weaknesses.

He stresses that traditional content management systems focus on handling documents and not necessarily on workflow for multiple users.  He argues cogently that Drupal is a way to accommodate that onerous task with the flexibility of open source.

His company provides tons of ways to learn about Drupal.  These include over 600 videos on YouTube and tons of training on agile methodology.  Their website offers free agile training for federal executives as well as certification for understanding Acquia.