Government of Bermuda
Bermuda is a British island territory in the North Atlantic, located off the east coast of the United States, with an economy largely based on international business and tourism.
www.gov.bm - As the highest-ranking population with Internet adoption in North America, the Government recognizes the value of having a strong and sustainable online presence to serve the Island’s citizens and industries, for now and for years to come. Their mission, to facilitate innovation and technology, meant they needed to be able to effectively engage with residents and businesses, share resources, seamlessly access a large number of internal applications, integrate with third party systems, and provide high-value services as efficiently as possible. The Government knew that its existing portal was not meeting their needs. It was government department-centric and used a variety of platforms and methodologies to generate content. They were looking for a new approach. Based on their market research, they were looking for a citizen-centric design, with an emphasis on providing significant value to its residents and businesses, that leverages leading-edge technology to transform their business processes.
In his November 2015 Speech from the Throne, The Premier and Minister of National Security for the Government of Bermuda, the Hon. Michael Dunkley, stated that “the Government promises to replace the old website and create an online presence that is user-friendly and accessible.” Following their Request for Proposal (RFP) process, OPIN Software was selected to build the foundation for their new portal.
The Government’s old web portal was fragmented, had no analytics to understand and measure usage, and utilized multiple web technologies. The various departments used different authors and authoring tools, resulting in issues and inconsistencies with user experiences, “look and feel,” maintenance and updating practices, governance, authoring methods, and workflow. Internal hosting was also problematic, resulting in frequent server crashes and a website that was often unavailable to the public. And the siloed and outdated solution meant that citizens and businesses had multiple login credentials, submitted many of their forms via mail or by fax, and were unable to provide payments for all goods and services online.
The Government had an ambitious schedule they needed to meet. With work starting in early December 2015, the foundations of their technology-based service hub needed to be up and running by April 1, 2016. The four months of condensed work depended upon an accelerated development cycle, a team effort comprised of OPIN and Government personnel, and rapid-fire decision making to meet their timeline and effectively address their needs.
The criteria for the project centered around laying down a solid foundation for a scalable solution on a single, stable platform that can be used for future years of development and expansion. The technology needed to transform and streamline the Government’s online business processes, integrate with external assets and software systems, and “make a splash” while reaffirming the public’s faith in technology and how they would use it.
- Develop the foundations of a transformative web-based business hub that leverages technology to connect and serve Bermuda’s citizens and businesses
- Build a fully responsive solution that works seamlessly for mobile, tablet, and desktop devices
- Make the solution accessible, to WCAG accessibility standards
- Provide intense and effective sitewide search capabilities
- Provide user focused content, structure, and navigation
- Ensure content is dynamically driven and there is a focus on analytics
- Ensure ease of use for all site editors independent of their level of technology understanding
- Allow for manual migration from multiple platforms by site editors
- Provide distributed authoring capabilities
- Include effective SEO tools
- Provide a better user experience for both internal editors and public users
- Incorporate a consistent “look and feel” between all areas of the website
- Use leading edge technology with consideration for seamless future upgrades
- Use Drupal 7, portal-wide, as the consistent content management system
A Drupal 7 installation using Acquia Enterprise Cloud hosting was used to lay down the foundation for a truly scalable solution on a single stable platform. The responsive, multi-site set up includes advanced search capabilities, the ability to build innumerable additional subsites, and for future enhancements and functional expansion. From a user experience point-of-view, the solution includes a streamlined navigation, the ability to obtain information in three clicks or less, and a feedback button on every page to assist with identifying new content and functionality requests. The topics based format means that information is no longer centered on departments, but is now focused on user requests. For internal editors, the simple, intuitive interface allows for easy updating and page generation. To meet the tight timeline, 2-week all-hands-on development sprints were used. Members of the Government’s information technology department were integrated into the OPIN development team to assist with testing as the site was built. This facilitated with meeting the tight timeline and streamlined knowledge transfer, as the Government team was using a hands-on approach to learn Drupal. This also gave them the ability to move forward independently following the first phase launch, and to use the OPIN team to their full advantage as technology experts.
The first phase of this 5-year project was delivered on March 31, 2016 - on time and on budget. It has given Bermuda a solid foundation for building, expanding, managing, and promoting the Government’s online activities. The Government is intent on continuing to bring in new assets, including those that are currently external to the site, and on overhauling how they do business with their citizens. Bermuda is proud to innovate its services delivery alongside Singapore and Estonia, by gathering, storing and manipulating all of the country’s data in a consistent, secure and centralized way. Acquia’s Enterprise Cloud Hosting not only provided a seamless development, staging, and live environment, it continues to provide unlimited future expandability and the ability to effectively respond to spikes in traffic. The Insights Reports communicate valuable and essential security and performance audits, and the 24/7/365 Acquia support and site monitoring assists with continuous improvements. The Government of Bermuda is a happy client. Government stakeholders and site visitors have reacted positively to the first phase of work. The user-centric approach has been welcomed. Using the established foundations for technical and knowledge-sharing solutions, the internal team is empowered to expand and enhance the platform. The relationship between OPIN and the Government team continues as we work together to provide additional functionality and upgrades to the portal, helping them continue to modernize and transform their services delivery.
OPIN provided an excellent service and the Bermuda team is extremely proud of the end product. We have a world class website, www.gov.bm, which came in on time and on budget