govCMS and GOV.AU Beta: a joint approach to improving online service delivery

In this joint blog post, CEO of the DTO Paul Shetler and Australian Government Chief Technology Officer John Sheridan explain how govCMS will be a critical part of the GOV.AU Beta.

As the Australian Government’s digital transformation gathers pace, it’s not surprising that agencies are wondering how it affects them.

There has been particular interest in one of the DTO’s major projects, GOV.AU, and how this relates to existing platforms, including govCMS.

Understanding GOV.AU

DTO CEO Paul Shetler said that GOV.AU is not a technology solution and it’s not a replacement for other technologies; it’s a service design approach.

“The vision of GOV.AU is to create a place where users can find anything to do with the Australian Government, without having to visit multiple different websites.

“Users won’t need to understand which agency is responsible for which services or information, in order to get the job done - they’ll just be able to visit GOV.AU.

“Of course, this is a huge task that we’re exploring one step at a time. At this early stage, we’ve created an Alpha prototype to provide an indication of what this might look like.

“If you haven’t already you can view that Alpha online and provide feedback at gov.au/alpha.”

Complementary products

Australian Government Chief Technology Officer John Sheridan said govCMS was designed to provide a solution to agencies that would reduce the cost of maintaining their websites.

“govCMS removes the burden of website content management and hosting arrangements, leaving agencies with more time to focus on the content and services they provide to end users,” said John.

“govCMS provides a responsive and accessible starting point for websites, using a common platform built on open source code and operated through sharing and reuse.

“The platform is available now and can be used by all agencies.”

How govCMS will help deliver GOV.AU

Paul said govCMS is the technology solution that will underpin the GOV.AU Beta and will be the platform used by agencies to author and prepare content for the site.

In the near future, agencies will author content using govCMS and it will be published on the GOV.AU Beta website.

“For those agencies already familiar with govCMS, it will make adding and updating content in GOV.AU a really straightforward process with a minimal learning curve,” said Paul.

Helping agencies prepare for change

John Sheridan says, “If you’re already using govCMS, you’ve already started the journey to change. While moving to GOV.AU will require extensive work around user research, design, and content reduction and improvement, you’re already using the best available content managment platform.”

Paul said work had already begun to help agencies prepare for the future.

This includes:

  • exploring how we can use the API-enabled content hub feature in govCMS to publish information to GOV.AU,
  • planning to more widely adopt design patterns coming out of GOV.AU Beta’s development work, and
  • creating better connections across our community so when the time comes for change, we can share the load and tackle challenges together.

Should I stop any progress in re-platforming to govCMS?

“The short answer is no. Keep going, because GOV.AU will be designed to use the content stored in govCMS, and govCMS will be a part of any end solution,” John said.

Have you got more questions on GOV.AU? Leave your comments below, or provide feedback via the Alpha protoype at gov.au/alpha.

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