Drupal is quickly gaining momentum at the state government level. A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the inaugural â€śDrupal Dayâ€ť at the Georgia Technology Authorityâ€™s (GTA) headquarters in downtown Atlanta. I was invited to Drupal Day because Phase2 Technology, Mediacurrent, and Acquia partnered together to migrate 65 Georgia state agency sites off of Vignette and over to Drupal. The event was put on by the GTA to expose Georgia state agencies to Drupal and educate agency technology leaders about Drupalâ€™s powerful content management features and elegant technology framework. It was packed with roughly 80-90 attendees filling up three conference rooms and lots of interest in finding out how and why Drupal made its way into the GTA.
The GTA teamâ€™s presentation was a testament to the value Drupal brings to an organization and a microcosm of the thinking and reasoning behind many government agencies worldwide moving to Drupal. We were lucky enough to have one of the team members film the dayâ€™s presentations. The presentation that intrigued me the most is titled â€śWhat is Drupal?â€ť and gives a brief overview of Drupal and the selection process the GTA underwent. Their process was thorough and included evaluation of many proprietary systems (including Sharepoint, Sitecore and CrownPeak) and open-source systems (Alfresco, WebGUI and Wordpress to name a few). If you donâ€™t have time to watch the presentations, hereâ€™s a recap of the main decision-making factors that led the GTA to Drupal:
Why Drupal for state government?
As most in the Drupal community are aware, the U.S. Federal government has embraced Drupal and several U.S. state-level entities have followed suit. As larger migration projects continue to occur in levels of government below Federal, such as the GTAâ€™s (the largest to date at the state level), I expect exponential demand for Drupal service providers to increase over the next 2 to 3 years. Not only will these Drupal websites need to be built, theyâ€™ll also need to be supported and maintained. Furthermore, I expect to see many of these websites begin to leverage innovative concepts and technologies such as RDF and responsive design, creating a better overall user experience regardless of the device used for viewing them.