AWS Public Sector Blog

5 steps state and local governments can take to build a cloud adoption foundation

cloud computer

You’ve made the decision to migrate to the cloud and are ready to initiate the adoption process, but where do you begin? What foundational elements are necessary to ensure your cloud adoption is successful and sustainable?

These are important questions to consider as state and local governments are increasingly turning to the cloud amid tighter IT budgets and shrinking revenues. However, cloud adoption is more than simply shifting from one technology to another. It involves transforming an entire business into a more agile, responsive, and innovative organization. There are many physical, environmental, and human elements that need to be considered and aligned to pave the way for real innovation.

Take the following steps to start building the foundation needed for successful and transformational cloud adoption:

  1. Define what “cloud” means to your agency. The cloud provides a broad set of infrastructure services, from compute and storage to networking and databases. Defining your specific business requirements helps agency stakeholders understand how it relates to your use case.
  2. Establish cloud-first policies. When considering new technology, establish policies rooted in the cloud so new systems aren’t disconnected and cloud services can be the primary enabler for IT modernization.
  3. Set clear security requirements. Identify your security requirements early to make sure the cloud solution fits your needs.
  4. Modify your traditional procurement model. Shift the traditional request for proposals (RFPs) from sourcing individual equipment components or IT services toward more outcome-based business solutions. This allows for new technology, like the cloud, to be considered and doesn’t box in your needs.
  5. Train staff, establish the right tech principles, and adopt. Building a culture of innovation is essential to make the best use of the cloud. This involves training existing staff, hiring builders, creating a structure that supports rapid growth, empowering small teams, and experimenting early and often.

Agencies that have experienced successful cloud adoption

For example, several state and local government agencies have turned to Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide cost-effective, scalable, secure, and flexible infrastructure including:

  • Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS) is enabling case workers to securely access and enter social service data from their tablet or smartphone in the field using the cloud. This also reduces operational costs and improves data integrity.
  • Los Angeles County achieved 60 percent cost savings and a 17 percent reduction in calls with an improved contact center powered by the cloud.
  • West Virginia State Police increased its child protection efforts by building a crime database in the cloud. This not only helps investigators process case information in seconds instead of weeks, but it also enables data sharing, which helps them rescue vulnerable children faster.
  • The city of Kansas City, Missouri is able to predict where potholes are likely to occur and pinpoint vacant buildings that need attention using analytics, database, and data streaming services through the cloud.

Getting started

These steps enable broad cloud adoption but they represent only the foundation. Adoption is an ongoing journey and state and local governments should be prepared for continuous learning to overcome unique hurdles and use the cloud to solve their top challenges.

Learn more about building a solid cloud adoption foundation in our Initiate eLearning series and let us know in the comments what cloud adoption best practices you’ve found to be the most successful.