Councils in move for joint Drupal content management system

A London borough is set to join a tender for a shared content management system (CMS) with two neighbours to enable mobile access to its website.

Councillors at London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham are set next week to approve spending of £414,000 of costs for the project, which is being undertaken with tri-borough partners Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster councils.

The councils, which already share a number of services, are proposing to procure a hosting provider to run their CMSs on the Drupal platform to power their websites and intranets. The procurement is proposed to take place through the G-Cloud framework.

A report to Hammersmith and Fulham councillors says: “H&F’s current Tridion website and intranet content management system (CMS) is out of formal support with increasing risk that technical difficulties cannot be fixed.

“Our current CMS cannot provide design that is responsive to mobile phones and tablets which currently account for one third of our users and is rising.”

Officers said that the new platform will also allow new online functionality, including embedded video, integrated translations and social media integration.

It would also enable a move to a single web ICT support team across all three councils.

The move will also enable a redesign of Hammersmith & Fulham’s website, which has been criticised in reviews by Socitm, the representative body for public sector ICT professionals.

Improving the design and accessibility of its website will drive increased web transactions and enable direct annual savings of £57,000 a year from the third year of any move, the council said.

The proposed contract with a hosting provider is planned to last a maximum of 24 months, according to the officers’ report.

“Sharing a common platform, reusing code across the three sites, and having a single support model will take advantage of both economies of scale and of scope,” the report concluded.

“The three councils will all be able to benefit from the pooling of resources and the sharing of developments, hosting and support whilst retaining sovereignty over brand, content and customer service / integration as required.”

Colin Marrs

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