AWS Public Sector Blog

Mission critical cloud: US federal government, on the Fix This podcast

Fix This episode 16: Federal governmentThe fourth episode of the Mission Critical Cloud Fix This podcast mini-series by Teresa Carlson, vice president of the worldwide public sector at Amazon Web Services (AWS), is now live. We dove into how two federal government customers—the Smithsonian Institution and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center—use the cloud to reduce operational costs and find new ways to deliver on their missions. You can stream all episodes on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn, Overcast, iHeartRadio, and via RSS.

Government customers around the globe turn to the cloud to reduce capital expenditure, increase security, and find new ways to deliver on their missions.

For example, the Canadian Digital Service (CDS), an in-house digital delivery unit in the government of Canada, works to improve the delivery of governmental services to Canadians. During the COVID-19 pandemic, CDS needed to scale its Notify system quickly. Notify allows government departments to send important notifications directly to Canadians. The system was operating at a level that was optimized to reach hundreds of thousands Canadians, but now, the system can send 10 million messages per day, with the potential for more.

In Mexico, the Instituto Nacional Electoral (INE) supports all electoral processes across the country. In 2018, INE turned to the AWS Cloud to improve its security and to disclose the results of that year’s election.

In India, Vigyan Prasar of the government of India launched a first-of-its-kind science channel with daily scientific content for school-aged children that can seamlessly scale on demand. Using the cloud, Vigyan Prasar made the new channel’s daily content searchable with frame-by-frame meta-tagging.

And here in the US, from the Department of Defense to federal civilian agencies, the cloud has provided new ways to reach citizens. The Smithsonian Institution recently released 2.8 million images through the Smithsonian Open Access Initiative. To kick off this episode, we chatted with Deron Burba, chief information officer of the Smithsonian Institution and Effie Kapsalis, senior digital program officer, about what role the cloud will play in helping the Smithsonian to bring its rich collections to a global audience. Researchers, students, and the public can now explore, learn, and discover millions of digital assets—all from the comfort of their home. Priceless artifacts like the Apollo 11 Command Module can be viewed and explored virtually, an exciting step forward to delivering on their mission of increasing and diffusing knowledge.

After catching up with Deron and Effie, the team explored how NASA has adopted the cloud at scale with Joe Foster, cloud computing program manager at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Joe helps teams across NASA adopt the cloud more quickly, even when a project doesn’t have in-team cloud expertise. From detecting decreased emissions amid the COVID-19 pandemic to heliophysics (the science of the Sun) NASA uses the cloud to better understand the earth and beyond. Today, with over 60 projects running on the cloud, Joe walked us through how the agency has been able to increase opportunities for experimentation and save millions of dollars.

To hear from more customers and learn about the work AWS does with the public sector globally, register for the upcoming AWS Public Sector Summit Online, taking place on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. There will be a day of virtual sessions, moderated chats, a keynote, and interactive experiences.

Stay tuned for the final episode of the Mission Critical Cloud series, where we’ll take a closer look at how the cloud helps healthcare organizations and providers from research to direct patient care.

Stream all Fix This episodes on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherTuneInOvercastiHeartRadio, and via RSS.