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. 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 after our work with Georgia.gov, what has the outcome been? GTA’s web platform’s operational budget declined from $1.5 million in 2012 to $513,000 in 2015 – that’s 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.
Today, the Georgia.gov platform includes 80+ websites with about 430 active content managers. Drupal made content managers’ lives much 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, enabling the team to turn their attention to rolling out new features.
Since Phase2 and GTA rolled out the new platform, GTA’s main focus has been collaborating with agencies and serving Georgia’s citizens. With Phase2 taking charge of the technical implementation, the GTA team could focus on leading strategic initiatives, making Georgia’s web presence user-centric, content driven and mobile friendly. User conversion statistics (including page views, unique users, and total sessions) indicate Georgia.gov’s visitors almost doubled since 2012.