Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Party time for GovCMS as it hits 102 sites, well ahead of target

It's party time at the Department of Finance as GovCMS continues its growth surge, from 78 sites less than a month ago to 102 sites this week.

This means the Drupal-based platform is tracking 70% ahead of its 2016 targets, demonstrating how successful a well-engineered and supported digital platform can be in government if well designed and supported.


While some of the growth may have come from agencies shifting away from GovSpace, which shuts down next year, part is also coming from state, territory and local governments who are beginning to consider the platform seriously.

While mandating a single webCMS and platform might be a step too far for Australian governments, the approach of providing a cheap and effective platform, with full standards support, a growing developer base and interoperability of plugins and modules (which can be reused across agency sites), is providing a strong 'pull' effect.

This 'pull', rather than a 'push' (mandated) approach to service design is one that government can also apply to citizen and business services, so I'm hopeful that the GovCMS experience is demonstrating to agencies how the carrot can be more powerful than the stick.

Given that even the Digital Transformation office has now fallen into line, after the DTO initially considered building its own WebCMS for the Gov.au site, GovCMS has been a massive success for government in Australia, and for the Department of Finance in particular.

GovCMS is supported by Acquia, the commercial entity created by the developers of the open-source Drupal platform, with a variety of local development partners involved in the development of specific agency sites.

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