San Francisco: Here’s one for the "states are laboratories of Web innovation" file: The folks at Acquia have produced a white paper about the state of Georgia, which shifted its complete Web presence, including 55 state agency websites, over to an open-source and cloud-based Drupal system in 2012.
Drupal is an open source content management system (CMS) that serves up as the spine for innumerable federal websites, together with the White House site. Open source Web tools are often economical and easier to improve than their proprietary counterparts.
A spokesman from Acquia, which managed the changeover, confirmed Georgia is the first state to move completely to Drupal. The change is projected to save the $4.7 million over five years, Acquia said.
Most central agencies are still a long way from moving their entire Web presences to Drupal or similar open source systems, partially as agencies likely to have a much larger Web presence than states that take in more legacy systems.
Georgia.gov partnered with Phase2 Technology to deploy OpenPublic, a Drupal distribution particularly intended for government sites. In 12 months, Georgia.gov accomplished the design and migration of 55 sites to the Drupal platform, becoming the first state government to do a full enterprise, Drupal implementation.
Georgia.gov’s move to an open-source CMS in the cloud makes it simpler and faster to add new online services and offer greater support for mobile devices. Officials guess that the move to Drupal and Acquia Cloud will generate savings of $4.7 million over five years. Additionally, the switch to cloud hosting will let Georgia.gov to free itself from managing at least 20 servers.
Now Georgia.gov can answer to increased demand and unforeseen traffic spikes seamlessly. “If we see something coming up, we just notify Acquia and they ramp up to accommodate the extra traffic,” Nikhil Deshpande (director of Georgia.gov Interactive) said.
Acquia Cloud also allows Georgia.gov to include new sites without hassle. “Now that we have a solid product, we are getting a lot of interest from other agencies who want to onboard. In the last few months, we have already added 15 sites,” Deshpande said.
Drupal and Acquia Cloud have given Georgia.gov a springboard to the future. “We have come a long way, but this is just the beginning,” Deshpande said.
Read more: Drupal Web Development San Francisco