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Federal Government Moves Websites to Drupal and AWS, Saving Taxpayers Money in the Process

Now that the government’s websites will be migrating to the new Drupal-based system on Amazon’s cloud computing platform, federal spending on hosting looks set to fall.

Adam D 19 December 2014

Drupal’s reputation as the world’s most customisable CMS has finally preceded it.

The Australian federal government recently embarked on a project to migrate all the websites under its wing to GovCMS, a content management system that’s been specially customised using open-source Drupal software on the Acquia platform. GovCMS will be hosted on Amazon Web Services’s cloud.

And in a twist of events surely unanticipated by ordinary taxpayers, even before the official launch of GovCMS, which is expected in February 2015, the switch to Drupal and AWS has already started saving the government—and taxpayers—a bit of money.

The federal government has already enjoyed 50 per cent in savings on one of its major websites. As more websites are moved over to the new system, cost savings are expected to rise significantly. At present, the federal government is all smiles about the move to GovCMS due to the efficiency and cost savings they have enjoyed thus far.

According to John Sheridan, the federal government’s CTO, the shift to Drupal and AWS means it now costs half as much to host Australia.gov.au as it did before.

He has also expressed confidence in the overseas hosting arrangement, since the data being hosted is non-sensitive.

The first site to make the move to GovCMS was the hefty Australia.gov.au, which receives about 2 million visitors each month. Following close behind is Finance.gov.au, which is expected to make the move sometime in the near future.

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority is the first external body to announce the adoption of GovCMS and expects to make the switch in early 2015.

While skeptics tend to raise an eyebrow at the activities of the federal government, this time, it seems, they’re doing something right. The shift to GovCMS has generated considerable interest in Drupal and AWS, which are gaining a reputation for offering some of the most cost-effective, feature-packed solutions on the market.

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