Between applying for a business license or arranging to take a driving test, almost every citizen in Georgia interacts with the suite of Georgia.gov sites at some point in their lifetime. But before 2011, rapidly increasing operation costs, major editorial inefficiencies, and low user conversion rates hindered the state’s 45 agencies from effectively serving their citizens.
Five Years with Drupal
The Georgia Technology Authority teamed up with Phase2 to move 55 websites from a proprietary system hosted at the state’s data center to a Drupal platform hosted in the cloud. Five years later, Director Nikhil Deshpande of GTA discussed Georgia’s return on investment at DrupalCon New Orleans:
Platform Operational Costs Declined by 65%
One of the major successes discussed in Nikhil’s talk was an operational budget that declined from $1.5 million in 2012, to $513,000 in 2015 – a 65% reduction in operational costs! Much of the cost savings came from lowered hosting costs: moving to the cloud reduced the hosting budget from $456,000 to $120,000. This switch saved GTA from what would have been a 10% increase in hosting costs annually. In addition, the move eliminated licensing costs, and costs associated with support staff decreased by nearly 75 percent.
Dramatic Efficiency Improvements
Today, the Georgia.gov platform includes 80+ websites with about 430 active content managers. Drupal made content managers’ lives easier by drastically reducing the time required to add and edit content. The average update times dropped from 10-15 minutes per edit on the previous platform to just 1 minute per edit on Drupal.
GTA developers benefited from efficiency improvements as well. Instead of treading water, the team was able to turn their attention to rolling out new features.
Users are First-Class Citizens
Since Phase2 and GTA rolled out the new platform, GTA’s main focus has been collaborating with agencies and serving Georgia’s citizens. The GTA team has been focusing on making Georgia’s web presence user centric, content driven, and mobile friendly. Georgia.gov’s visitors have almost doubled since 2012.
See You at GOVTalks!
Twice a year, the GeorgiaGov Interactive team hosts a conference series called GOVTalks. The purpose is to help Georgia agencies create great websites and user experiences, and each series features a new topic in web trends and technology. Next month Jordan Hirsch, Phase2’s Director of Digital Strategy, will keynote at GOVTalks, describing the importance of omni-channel for government.