Modernizing government for the new normal: Advice for building resilience
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that public sector organizations need modern infrastructure, capabilities and controls to overcome the disruption caused by global health outbreaks. Organizations that embraced cloud services proved more responsive. They were able to continue operating remotely and serving their customers and citizens, demonstrating agility, scalability, and speed.
We have seen organizations around the world adopt cloud to respond to and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) is using AWS to build large-scale data lakes, aggregate epidemiological country data, and help healthcare workers treat patients more effectively. In Egypt, to ensure that the 22 million K12 and primary education students could continue to receive education, the Ministry of Education worked with a member of the Amazon Partner Network (APN) CDSM Thinqi to provide remote access to the Egyptian Knowledge Bank site, an online digital library. The site received 7.3 million page views in just five hours after going live. Padok, an APN Partner in France, supported Bpifrance, the French public bank for investment, to set up a platform in just five days for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to apply for financial assistance. Bpifrance normally receives 12,000 credit requests per year via online banking. From mid-March, it was able to process 75,000 requests in just three weeks, with peaks at 8,000 requests daily. In Britain, APN Partner VoiceFoundry is using AWS to help local governments manage increased call volumes due to COVID-19, building a virtual contact center to respond to inquiries from the public while ensuring staff safety by enabling them to work remotely.
In How Governments Can Build Resilience in a New Normal: Emerging Practices from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, a new policy paper from the AWS Institute, we outline how organizations can use the cloud to recover from the disruption that the virus brought, as well as become more resilient for future challenges.
The whitepaper gives practical advice for governments on how to:
- Make healthcare systems more resilient: A strong healthcare system and the ability to use data to contain the spread of the virus will be crucial to governments’ ability to reopen their countries and restart their economies. Using telehealth for remote consultations, providing scalable health advice with chatbots, and making policy decisions based on clear data analytics, are some of the options governments can explore to strengthen their healthcare systems.
- Restart the economy (particularly for small businesses and startups): Lockdowns have brought economies to a halt and proved particularly challenging to SMEs. In addition to stimulus packages intended to shore up support for SMEs, governments may consider incentivizing SMEs to adopt new technologies, open up public procurement through a digital marketplace, take advantage of cloud to help workers find new jobs, and support startups that want to improve public services.
- Reskill the workforce: As unemployment continues to rise, there are also opportunities in industries like government, biotech and pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and logistics. Studies show a continuing lack of IT talent in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. AWS works with governments to equip workers with skills for emerging cloud jobs at scale and we explore a few examples in the paper.
- Use remote learning: COVID-19 showed that the cloud can help teachers scale content and learning systems to learners anytime, anywhere. Educational institutions can and have used the cloud to modernize education, provide support to their teams, and extend access to students wherever they are located.
Learn more about how the cloud can help public sector organizations work through this unprecedented situation in “Open source in the fight against COVID-19” and watch the video panel below on how public sector organizations around the world are using cloud technology to address problems that emerged with COVID-19.
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