Georgia Saving Millions with Open Source Technology [Aug. 2, 2013]

Submitted on
Friday, August 2, 2013
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Government Technology

By Brian Heaton

A switch to Drupal’s OpenPublic and cloud hosting has made website administration more efficient and cheaper for state agencies in Georgia.

The Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) will save the state approximately $4.7 million over the next five years by using an open source website content management system and hosting data in the cloud.

State government agencies in Georgia made the move to Drupal’s OpenPublic platform and cloud storage from Acquia in October 2012. This eliminated multiple servers and the costs associated with maintaining them. In addition to helping the state’s bottom line, the change also has helped limit the downtime of state agency websites.

Georgia’s online properties were previously managed on two separate versions of an older content management system, with agency websites spread across 20 different servers. With resources stretched thin, sites began experiencing stability and performance issues in 2011, which spurred state leaders to look at streamlining the system.

Nikhil Deshpande, director of GeorgiaGov Interactive, a section within the GTA that manages Georgia.gov, said transitioning to an open source platform and the cloud ensures state agency portals are operating at peak efficiency and able to withstand Web traffic spikes.

“Being a government, there are sometimes occasions where something happens and people go to your website to look for an update or whatever they need,” Deshpande said. “And in that case, if you aren’t able to sustain that level of traffic, then obviously you’re going to have an outage. So we needed to leverage the agility and instant elasticity that cloud hosting provides.”

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