govCMS has had a great year. We’ve grown significantly, welcoming 16 new agencies to the community and 65 new websites have gone live. Our forward work program is shaping into a very busy and exciting 2018.
We started the year off with our first govCMS camp. The two day event had more than 20 participants from the public and private sector come together to work collaboratively to fix bugs, improve accessibility of certain modules, conduct usability testing, make workflow enhancements and a lot more. The project groups worked using agile methodology to build, test and refine until they found the best solutions possible within the time constraints.
In July, we received the ‘Recognition of Excellence’ award at the Canberra OpenGov Leadership forum. We would not have been able to achieve this award without all the hard work and contributions made to the platform by the community.
The year was filled with countless presentations and showcases on govCMS and Drupal. Tom Cochran presented to the community and we presented at DrupalGov. We hosted two large community meetups throughout the year. At the meetup in June. the Department of Defence presented on how they used a central site to push content to their other sites, which resulted in a streamlined process for content updates. The Department of Health also presented on how they are using govCMS and the UI-Kit in conjunction.
The second meetup, govCMS looking to the future, was our biggest govCMS community event to date. This was the first time we had invited the private sector and it was great to see everyone working together on table activities and building lasting connections. Some of the key themes of this event was government as an API, agencies sharing content and creating a single source of truth that could simplify the updating process.
In the second half of the year govCMS released an Alpha govCMS Drupal 8 distribution. A few of our customers are currently participating and assisting in the development towards beta and eventually go-live.
In Boston USA in October, the Department of Environment received the Acquia Engage Award: for Public Sector which was fantastic global recognition for the data visualisation innovation behind the Australian State of the Environment report 2016 . The CKAN module is now available to all agencies on govCMS and being reused and extended for a number of exciting projects in 2018.
Finally, 2017 saw the launch of the govCMS Drupal Services Panel which was created so government agencies could buy Drupal services using a simplified contract management arrangements. The panel makes it easier for agencies to build, maintain and support Drupal sites.
We’ve already started work on what will be a busy 2018. Currently, we are seeking industry comment on the draft Statement of Requirements for the contract for govCMS hosting services. Feedback from all existing govCMS customers is very welcome and can be provided until Friday 19 January. We plan to approach the market in early 2018 through a Request for Proposal.
As the year draws to an end, its time to kick back, relax and stay cool over the summer holidays. We hope you have a safe and happy holiday and we are looking forward to seeing you in the New Year.