Open Source Collaboration in Government: The Missing Piece

Sara Olson, Marketing Analyst
#Atrium | Posted

Here’s one solid, undeniable fact of life in 2015: every public organization needs a web presence. Traditionally, people looked to the web for information, but increasingly they want to interact with agencies online, to be able to execute transactions, and get connected to real people - not an unresponsive page. The web has become a two-way street, flowing both ways between governments and their constituents.

Many people in various roles at government agencies need the capability to publish information (what we like to call content) online. The tricky part becomes ensuring consistent messaging and branding across all digital properties, especially when the content is provided and posted by potentially dozens of employees in different departments.

Doug Marcey demonstrates Atrium at DrupalCon LA

To further complicate matters, that messaging must remain invariable as the agency participates in real-time conversations with constituents. Online interaction is constant: in the comments on posts, behind-the-scenes on intranets, and most obviously on social media platforms. It is a good idea for agencies with high social visibility to move the governance of that network in-house to make those conversations easier to manage while ensuring consistency.

In fact, bringing all forms of collaboration - internal and external communications, content workflow, and messaging - together on a single, secure platform is the ideal move for any government agency. However, building large collaborative websites is expensive, so you’ll need to find a way to get started that doesn’t break your budget. That’s where open technology - particularly Atrium - can play a big role.

Atrium: The Missing Piece

As government is increasingly expected to become more open and accessible, transparency and collaboration with constituents should be at the forefront of every public agency’s digital strategy.

We developed Atrium, Phase2’s Drupal-based collaboration platform, to be an ideal solution for government agencies. Out of the box, it provides the building blocks needed to structure efficient content production, including document publishing, workflows, discussions, and more. With easy tools for content contributors and site users, Atrium allows for easy information sharing, communication, and branding across all digital properties.

As of our latest update, Atrium now supports full encryption at rest, providing very high levels of data security. It can be easily hosted in an environment that fits your security needs, making it the perfect fit for government agencies which require FISMA compliance. These agencies can rest assured their content is secure while they confidently tackle government’s biggest engagement challenges, supported by both Phase2 and an active open source community.


In essence, a pre-configured solution like Atrium allows you to focus on the issues that are truly important to your agency, rather than spend precious time and money on setting up the basics.

Want to learn more about how Atrium can be (and already is) used for government? Join me for a discussion-based webinar on Tuesday, July 21, at 12:20 EST. We’ll explore how public agencies can shape their digital strategy to better serve an increasingly engaged citizenry - and how Atrium will help them get there. Register here.


Sara Olson

Marketing Analyst