THE federal government has reaped 50 per cent in savings for a key website just weeks after embracing open-source software and using Amazon Web Services’ cloud computing platform.
More agencies are expected to follow the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority’s lead as the first external agency to adopt the new govCMS content management system early next year. Australia.gov.au, which has 2 million visitors per month, was the first public site to use govCMS, which is based on the Drupal open-source platform. Finance.gov.au will be next with hundreds of government websites eligible to use govCMS to host unclassified, non-sensitive information under a public cloud framework.
The Finance Department engaged digital services firm and Drupal specialist Acquia to roll out govCMS as part of a four-year, $24 million agreement.
Acquia holds the relationship with AWS which has chosen to host govCMS in Australia. Canberra was open to govCMS being hosted overseas as it didn’t manage websites which required login access or any form of registration.
The government’s chief technology officer, John Sheridan, said hosting costs for australia.gov.au had been halved since making the move to Drupal and Acquia. “We’re already realising savings because this is hosting australia.gov.au and will host finance.gov.au at a cheaper arrangement than we were paying previously. “We’ll save money initially on those hosting (arrangements). “The savings were 50 per cent of what the previous cost was,” Mr Sheridan said without revealing specifics. He said the website information could be hosted anywhere in the world as it dealt with non-sensitive data. Mr Sheridan expressed confidence that departments and agencies would embrace govCMS as it offered efficiency and value for money.
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