Department of IT and Telecom (DITT) being the nodal department for IT infrastructure had the responsibility of managing the websites of different government entities. While there were many common features to these websites, they were built using different technologies and therefore, maintenance was difficult costly. In the present case, the 24 websites of the Dzongkhags and Thromdes were developed on different technologies with different designs and functionality. The transfer of webmasters assigned to each website resulted in a lack of knowledge transfer and the sites were vulnerable to hacking and virus attacks due to lack of necessary security updations and code maintenance.Solution
DITT had decided to create a centralised system built on a single technology which would enable easier maintenance of the 24 websites. They had chosen Drupal as the technology for this. Drupal is an Open Source Web Content Management System. Incidentally, it is also one of the preferred technologies for the Government of India and many other governments across the world. The detailing of the system was done in consultation with us. We later developed the system for them and the DITT has already started deploying their websites on this system. An example can be found here. http://thimphu.gov.bt
A Drupal technology-based central site generation platform will be created with functions and features necessary for the 24 websites as identified requirements gathering. This will reside at DITT servers and will be operated by its personnel. As many sites can be created from this platform using a single click operation. This will generate instances of the original site loaded on the platform with a common set of features and can be later mapped to the respective domain names of the Dzongkhags.
As pointed in the problem statement, the primary challenge of maintenance of the site will be handled as below. The site generation platform will be manned by DITT. All security updates and code maintenance will be done on this and it gets automatically updated in the websites generated from it as each website has its origins in the platform. The webmasters managing each site are given provision to customize the site with new colours, logos, and layout structure so as to make their site unique. Thus while being unique, all the sites stay homogenous in terms of their information structure, ease of use and backend operation. This also ensures that a one-time training will enable them to operate any website in spite of transfers.
The project was implemented in the offshore - onsite model. While the development of the system was done in our offices in Trivandrum, Kerala, the platform was built and deployed at client location by us visiting the client location. To manage anticipated load and for future scalability, load balancing was done so that the 24 sites are always up by serving the request from one of the 3 dedicated servers.
The project had a tight timeline as the whole operation had to be completed by May 11th and before the change of guard by mid-June, the 24 new sites has to be up in terms of content migration as well. As per the initial project plan and agreement, the first site was delivered on May 11th and the remaining are being readied by the DITT team.
Final Delivery and Objective attainment
The department is now able to manage the 24 sites centrally and able to add new features. The training was provided to empower the different stakeholders to operate the system along with detailed manuals. We also provided 1-year online support for the systems implemented along with the local partner.