In less than a decade, the world has moved from a time with no Facebook to a time in which mobile phones and tablets are the platforms of choice. In fact, 45% of adults own a smartphone and 30% own a tablet, and many of these people are using these devices for everything- work, social, etc. For this reason, many state and local governments are discovering that to serve the public well, they have to engage them where they are- online and on the go. Also, with the rise of social media, government agencies are working to engage and connect with the public through Twitter, Facebook and other channels.
With that said, many government agencies are now realizing that their legacy CMS systems, installed before Facebook, cannot keep pace with mobile content. So what are they doing about this? Organizations, such as Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) are moving to open source Drupal and Acquia Cloud to support their website, Georgia.gov. As the official site of the State of Georgia, Georgia.gov serves as the “front door” to more than 55 state agency websites. Before transitioning to the cloud, they were running a 10-year-old propriety platform which required constant monitoring to ensure the sites were live and servers were not going down. Needless to say, it was largely inefficient and required too many resources (in a time when they needed to be doing more with less).
As they searched for a new platform, Georgia.gov put together a list of solid requirements (something every organizations should do to determine what is non-negotiable). The agency wanted a cost-effective, enterprise-level system that wasn’t going to require a lot of upkeep or maintenance. The new platform also needed to be easy to use for everyone, regardless of skill level.
GTA officials estimated that by moving to Drupal and Acquia Cloud they will generate savings of $4.7 million over five years. Moreover, they are saving time and enabling employees to work on more mission-driven tasks by freeing itself from managing at least 20 servers. Lastly, by switching to Aqcuia Cloud they are able to support mobile content, keep up with the digital end-user, engage citizens and add new services without a lot of work.
Georgia.gov is one example of many that are making the switch. However, selecting a new CMS can be difficult as there are a number of questions agencies need to ask. To learn more about how you should select a new CMS, you can download Acquia’s new ebook, which offers insights and recommendations on how to select a new CMS that will deliver on the promise of open government. I encourage you to check it out by downloading here.
A bit more info about this project was recently posted to the Drupal.org case studies site: