AWS Government, Education, & Nonprofits Blog

Not All or Nothing: How to Make Progress without Breaking the Bank

The implementation of highly scalable, easy-to-deploy technology is transforming the public sector, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Organizations begin their cloud adoption journeys in many ways. Some start with pilot projects and others jump into mission-critical programs, but they are all starting with an existing infrastructure. Adopting cloud doesn’t mean scrapping it all and starting over.

First, let’s define hybrid IT architecture. A hybrid IT architecture allows organizations to simplify the migration and management of applications by integrating on-premises environments with a commercial cloud. This means that a move to the cloud does not necessarily mean ripping everything out – it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Customers may choose to implement hybrid operations with AWS in order to be secure, scale, and take advantage of the breadth of services and the depth of features available in AWS.

At our 2016 AWS Public Sector Summit, we hosted a panel that explored how organizations are using cloud while building on their existing technology and lessons they’ve learned along the way. Check out some of the advice straight from our government customers, James Graham, Director Enterprise Content Management (ECM) & Enterprise Data Management (EDM), U.S. Department of Treasury and Dan Thomas, Chief Engineer, DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority, as well as key APN partners on how to begin your path to a hybrid IT architecture.

  • Determine key drivers. For most organizations, you should determine what your key drivers are. Does cost matter most? Agility? Security? Speed? These drivers will decide what makes sense for your organization and whether you invest in physical hardware or make the decision to go to the cloud.
  • Be pragmatic. Figure out what you want based on your key drivers. If speed is your goal, then pinpoint where you want to move fast and where you don’t need that speed. If you are operating on premises, it may make sense to continue running in your own data center for awhile, but if you want the self-service agility benefits of the cloud, then it may be time to start moving applications.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment. The cloud can give you the extra agility to experiment, even in a highly regulated industry. A hybrid approach allows you to make changes to interfaces and product offerings, and iterate more quickly. Cloud can give you the extra agility you may not have on premises.
  • Look at capacity and capability. If you need to burst capacity, going to the cloud may be the best way to burst, especially if you have a seasonal or one-time demand. And when you have new requirements, you can see if that capability can come from the AWS Marketplace instead of requiring a home-grown application.

Watch more of our session videos from the AWS Public Sector Summit here. And watch the AWS Public Sector Summit Highlights video below.

If you are interested in simplifying the migration and management of applications by integrating your on-premises environments with the AWS Cloud, please visit our “Hybrid Cloud Architectures with AWS” page for more details.

And if you will be attending re:Invent, then make sure to check out the hybrid sessions below: