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DfT embraces open source platform and cloud-based hosting

Will wonders never cease? The chief scribe’s jaw dropped wide open when he heard the latest open source news from the depths of Whitehall, particularly as its content runs counter to the usual UK public sector open source news theme. Read on…

According to OSOR, the UK’s Department for Transport (DfT) has signed a new contract to support its migration to a more flexible and cost-efficient cloud-based open source platform.

The contractor, Kainos, a software company based in London and Northern Ireland, provides advisory and maintenance/support services for the open source platform which runs in a cloud-based environment.

Sioned James, the DfT’s Head of Digital Communications, said: “The main driver was to reduce expenditure, increase flexibility and support the Government drive towards open source and software re-use. Kainos supported us by conducting an independent review of the solution options. We had an idea of what we wanted, but needed expert advice and assurance.”

Migrating to the new OS platform has freed the DfT from the annual cost of an enterprise software licence, while the cloud-based hosting environment offers the flexibility and cost efficiency of being able to scale resources up or down in response to peaks and troughs of website usage.

Ms James added: “We have already moved the Driving Standards Agency onto the same platform and now have the option to do this with other DfT Agency content, including campaign and stand-alone websites, enabling us to make further savings.”

Read the original press release.

Update 13/09/2011: The H reports today that our old friend WordPress forms a significant element of the DfT’s open source platform.