NSW gov looks to replace main website hosting platform

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NSW gov looks to replace main website hosting platform

Consolidations, pandemic drive up traffic.

The NSW government is set to replace the cloud hosting platforms underpinning its biggest websites to ensure “seamless scalability and ongoing operation” can continue, following record traffic during Covid-19.

The Department of Customer Service approached the market for a new managed hosting and development services arrangement to support its digital channels, as work continues to consolidate websites.

Efforts to drastically reduce the number of government sites, which numbered 500 prior to the start of the project, have been ongoing since early 2020, with sites progressively migrating to the nsw.gov.au domain.

Now known as OneCX, the project aims to “create a customer-centric digital experience based on customer needs”, whereby information is discoverable through nsw.gov.au, and services and transactions via service.nsw.gov.au.

As the consolidation of sites and services continues, traffic has grown significantly on the two domains, particularly during the Covid-19 lockdowns last year, which frequently saw changes to restrictions as the government sought to reduce spread of the virus.

“There has been significant organic growth of nsw.gov.au, service.nsw.gov.au in recent times and both platforms are expected to grow further in the future,” the request for quotation states.

Data provided by department shows a significant increase in traffic on nsw.gov.au in the lead up to and during last year’s Delta wave, climbing from 32 million page views in June 2021 to 80 million in August 2021, before falling sharply.

In the lead up to the Delta wave, and as the government’s OneCX consolidation project took off, page views across nsw.gov.au and service.nsw.gov averaged 11 million between March 2021 and May 2021.

On service.nsw.gov.au, page views reached 45 million in August 2021, and have since fallen to 21 million. As the “main entry point” for online transactions, the government requires the website to have “high uptime availability... with 24/7 support”.

DCS said it is “looking for managed hosting and infrastructure support, as well as support services to ensure the ongoing operation of these websites and capacity to scale up when required”, ensuring “ongoing operation”.

The new scalable cloud hosting platform – or platforms – would need to support “medium to large-scale run on a Drupal CMS with 24/7 site monitoring and support” for both nsw.gov.au and service.nsw.gov.au.

“Additionally, there is an opportunity to ensure continuous improvement through enhancement services that can be rapidly scaled for ongoing initiatives, such as the OneCX program,” the department added.

Submissions to the request for quote close May 30, with a contract expected sometime in July.

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