The NSW Government is set to replace the cloud hosting platforms that underpin its largest websites to ensure that “seamless scalability and continuous operation” can continue, after record traffic during Covid- 19.
The Customer Service Department has approached the market for a new managed hosting and development services arrangement to support its digital channels, as work continues to consolidate the websites.
Efforts to drastically reduce the number of government sites, which numbered 500 before the project began, have been underway since early 2020, with sites gradually 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”, in which information can be discovered via nsw.gov.au, and services and transactions via service.nsw.gov.au.
As the consolidation of sites and services continues, traffic has increased significantly on both domains, particularly during the Covid-19 shutdowns last year, which frequently led to changes in restrictions as the government sought to reduce the 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,” DCS said in the RFQ. last week.
Data provided by the department shows a significant increase in traffic to nsw.gov.au before and during last year’s Delta wave, rising from 32 million page views in June 2021 to 80 million in August 2021, before plummeting strongly.
Prior to the Delta wave, and as the government’s OneCX consolidation project kicked off, pageviews on 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 “primary entry point” for online transactions, the government requires the website to have “high availability…with 24/7 support.”
DCS said it is “looking for managed hosting and infrastructure support and support services to ensure the continued operation of these websites and the ability to scale as needed”, ensuring “continuous operation”.
The new scalable cloud hosting platform(s) – or platforms – should support “medium to large scale execution on a Drupal CMS with 24/7 site monitoring and support” for nsw.gov.au and service.nsw.gov.au.
“Additionally, there is an opportunity to ensure continuous improvement through improvement services that can be quickly adapted to ongoing initiatives, such as the OneCX program,” the department added.
RFP submissions close May 30, with a contract expected sometime in July.