How did govCMS come about?

As we mentioned in a previous insights article, Malcolm Turnbull, who was then the communications minister, mandated that all Government departments were to be online. He also created the Digital Transformation Office, an executive agency, to coordinate the process.

With many federal, state and local departments around the country moving online simultaneously, it was observed that the majority of these departments were developing very similar websites. Many departments were going through the process of creating tenders, finding agencies, developing requirements specifications and in turn developing their websites, which when compared to another department 2 kilometres down the road, were almost identical.

This represented an exciting opportunity to create efficiencies and save the Government a substantial amount of money. Through the development of a single platform that would meet the needs of large percentage of these departments, a vast array of savings could be made across the board.

govCMS was born and Acquia was chosen as the Government’s digital partner to help move the public sector online.

What options are available? How do I know if govCMS will meet my department’s needs?

govCMS comes in two flavours and if one isn’t right for you, then the other one almost certainly will be.

Option 1 - Software solution

Known as Software as a Service (SaaS), this option offers an easy-to-use set of commonly used functionalities that you can use on your website.

If your website needs to primarily as an information tool for people to find out about your department, then this option sounds like it is for you.

Using the govCMS system, you can create a website with the following functionality:

  • Homepage with rotating image banner
  • Informational pages
  • News and events pages
  • Media releases
  • Contact page

Benefits of this option:

  • Price - it’s the cheapest option and great for departments without a large web budget
  • Security - the software is penetration tested and is constantly being patched to stop hackers
  • Features - as other departments request new features, they will be added to the software, increasing functionality as time goes on
  • Convenience - it just works. If there any bugs are found, they are fixed right away

Sounds amazing. How about the other option?

Option 2 - Platform-only solution

Platform as a Service (PaaS) is the more customisable version, for those departments needing more functionality than is currently available in the software solution.

If your department requires a lot of features or more complex configurations, then this option is more likely to meet your needs. It will be more expensive, as your site will need to be individually built by a web development agency, however you will have a lot more control of the way the site functions.

This option is perfect for larger departments with complex workflows and business rules, as well as sites that require specialised functionality, for example a customised search or the facility to accept payments online.

Benefits of this option:

  • Flexibility - any functionality that you can think of can be developed
  • Control - you are not locked into only the select set of features that are available in the Software option
  • Still robust - just like on the software model, your site will be housed on a managed hosting environment
  • Still secure - your site will require extra effort to test each time an update is made, but it will still be regularly patched

I think the Software (SaaS) option is right for our department, but we just need an extra piece of functionality that is not listed

You are not alone and there is an offering catered just for you.

Your requested functionality may be able to be built upon the existing Software platform. This means that you do not need to pay the extra costs involved with the Platform-only option, but rather just the additional development costs to build your specific functionality.

The great thing about this is that your functionality may just be added to the core features of the software, meaning that the your requested functionality will be available for other departments at no added cost to them!

This means that you may be able to split the development cost with other departments requesting the functionality.

It also means that it is highly likely that much of the functionality that was included in your CMS was already requested and paid for by another department earlier down the track. Bonus!

Looking for more information?

No problem, get in touch and we’d be happy to talk you through all of the options available.