AWS Institute is where public sector leaders access expertise and practical knowledge to help them modernize citizen services at speed, scale, and securely.
We deliver think-tank style events and Executive Education programs that bring world-class transformation experts together with mission leaders. We share thought leadership and practical case studies.

Events, Programs, and Case Studies

AWS Institute Events

AWS Institute hosts private and public events across the world, often in partnership with leading non-governmental organizations and independent think-tanks.

Executive Education Programs

The Executive Education Program in Government Transformation equips public sector leaders with the confidence and expertise to transform services for their citizens, whatever the size of their organization or stage of cloud adoption they are at.


Research & Insight

Cloud technology is helping governments transform services and we work with academics and NGOs to share knowledge and best practices through a range of reports and whitepapers.

2021 Themes

Whether you are Getting Started with Cloud, Building Responsive Government Services, Innovating Securely, or a combination of these themes, AWS Institute delivers useful insight and real-world examples.

Latest Insight


Time to update: Moving away from legacy IT in healthcare

AWS Institute_Reform_Legacy_Hackathon_March 2021

Legacy IT, and what to do with it, is a common issue facing leaders who are trying to modernize services such as healthcare. Healthcare innovators, clinicians, and administrators worked together to consider solutions.

Read the report. 

Independent think-tank, Reform, facilitated a session in March to focus on the legacy IT challenges facing the English National Health Service. Attendees identified three policy challenges associated with legacy transformation: management of risk, supporting people (skills and ways of working), and ensuring value for money.

Managing risks

Attendees agreed there could be issues with expressing the risks associated with using technology, both in terms of remaining on legacy technology and of migrating to newer technology. Articulating these risks in non-technical terms, referring to the impact on patients wherever possible, would help address those issues. Real case studies, anonymized, of what not to do - and of failure - are needed, as well as relevant guidance and resources to help organizations migrate well.

“The more a legacy migration program is delayed, the further the impact on patient and healthcare practitioners in terms of missed benefits of digital transformation,” - Reform

Mapping legacy IT, which has generally “grown organically, creating a jigsaw of systems within organizations, and the interdependencies between these systems are poorly understood,” would also help healthcare leaders understand their IT risk better, including those without an IT background. Systems such as Wardley Mapping, a technique that the AWS Institute Government Executive Education program covers in depth, would be an example.

Attendees acknowledged that healthcare organizations might have concerns about the risk involved with transitioning from one IT system to another. The group believed migration should be incremental to help mitigate this risk: “Organizations need to think about [legacy migration] in terms of the broader organizational transformation, and not simply do a lift and shift of old structures.”

An important success factor would be to express IT risk in the same terms as clinical risk, and giving it a monetary value, to help non-IT board executives truly appreciate the potential cost of failing to manage legacy IT.

Supporting people, skills development, and ways of working

The report noted that there can be challenges in the public sector with recruiting and retaining enough people with the right skills, including those required specifically for managing legacy IT. Attendees suggested a range of solutions, including creating in-house training for staff at all levels to increase digital literacy, which in turn could improve decision-making.

Ensuring value for money

NHS organizations could develop case studies and cost-benefit analyses to help their teams make the business case for legacy migration projects, attendees suggested. For example, identifying business problems that could be solved through legacy migration creates a clear rationale and could increase board-level buy-in, as could articulating the return on investment of a legacy migration project.

Public sector IT, including in the healthcare sector, historically has been funded from capital budgets (capex), leading to a tendency towards longer projects and lock-in of more traditional IT, instead of more incremental transformation through Software as a Service products, which are funded from operational budgets (opex).

The report concluded that healthcare organizations could become “more informed buyers”. This means asking suppliers for discounts and for practical support to transition legacy IT; asking for break clauses; inspecting existing contracts for ‘terminate for convenience’ clauses; and planning incremental improvements with iterative funding.



Briefing Paper

Southeast Asia's Cloudstory: Impact, inclusivity, and growth

How the Cloud Helps Cities Become Sustainable and Inclusive

Cloud technology has played a crucial role in modernizing and empowering communities across Southeast Asia. This whitepaper outlines the ways in which cloud infrastructure has made a significant positive impact in many parts of society, it also acknowledges its challenges.

Download the paper. 

Briefing Paper (Spanish)

Peru Digital: The Road to Transformation

Peru Digital: The Road to Transformation

The Peruvian government has set a digital transformation agenda. This paper, created in collaboration with AmCham, reviews the journey so far and suggests future steps.

Download the paper.

Supercharging government transformation in Peru

The global pandemic transformed people’s expectations of government as they accessed services digitally, from schooling and healthcare to welfare. Governments that had already set a digital transformation agenda, such as Peru, are now in a position to accelerate their journeys because the pandemic turned the important into the necessary. Citizens who can order meals and taxis on their phones expect to be able to interact with their public services in the same way.

These were some of the views that a panel of experts discussed as they considered Peru’s Digital Transformation Journey, hosted by the AWS Institute and AmCham Perú in March 2021. Modernizers could address challenges such as government bureaucracy by drawing on external support (such as GovTechs and CivicTechs, startups that serve governments and nonprofits), as the OECD’s Head of Digital Government and Data Unit, Barbara Ubaldi, suggested. However, as IT procurement regulations designed in the 1990s continue to block transformation, these need to be reformed. One solution could be to follow other governments who use contracting vehicles for cloud technology, suggested Andrés Calderón, author of Digital Peru: the Road to Transformation.

Looking ahead, digital transformation will enable governments to improve policy decisions because significant amounts of data will enable better insight. Digital government will become smart government, said Carlos Santiso, Corporate Director of the Comisión Andina de Fomento’s Digital Innovation in Government team. The analysis behind the public discussion and paper also produced recommendations for accelerating transformation.


Case Studies

Democratizing Education

Kiron Open Higher Education (Kiron) was founded in 2015 with a mission to democratize education for refugees and underserved communities and is a winner of the City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge. Kiron's Kate Muwoki explains how cloud technology helps her organization meet its mission.

Kiron provides refugees flexible learning pathways with AWS

Innovation in Higher Education

Even before COVID-19, the Western Governors University was 100% online. Scott Pulsipher, President, explains how cloud technology supports every aspect of its innovative competency-based education that is designed for under-served communities.

Western Governors University used cloud to innovate for students

AWS Institute Research

Briefing Paper

How technology helps cities become sustainable and inclusive – APJ Edition

As city populations expand, so does the imperative to make sure that urban infrastructure and services can accommodate growth. This paper examines how cities in APJ are adopting innovative technology to meet rising demands on public services and infrastructure.

Download the paper.

Briefing Paper

Enabling financial inclusion in APAC through the cloud

The paper explores financial inclusion in Asia Pacific and the role of cloud computing in supporting more accessible, cost-effective, and flexible delivery of fintech.

Download the paper.

Briefing Paper

The risks of the digital status quo

When considering digital transformation, governments tend to focus on the potential drawbacks of digital transformation and overlook important risks arising from the failure to adopt new technologies. Read this report on the risk of the digital status quo and how to mitigate it.

Download the paper.

Briefing Paper

Building Resilience in a New Normal

This paper provides a set of best practices for governments to consider as they restart their economies, reskill their workforce, and strengthen their healthcare systems.

Download the paper.

Briefing Paper

Going Cloud First

The cloud is allowing emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region to leapfrog innovation and deliver better and faster services to their citizens. 

Download the Cloud First Playbook.

Reference Guide

Building Digital Skills

This paper offers strategies to help governments build a diverse and tech-savvy workforce, capable of driving digital transformation.  

Download the paper.


Briefing Paper

How technology helps cities become sustainable and inclusive

As cities become home to the majority of the world’s population, leaders are turning to cloud technology for solutions to the challenges they are facing – from traffic to public health crises and natural disasters.

Download the paper.

Briefing Paper

Strategies to spend smarter and deliver better

Governments are seeking innovative ways to deliver better services at lower costs. Success requires addressing structural, operational, and cultural barriers to technology adoption.

Download the paper.

Briefing Paper

Canada’s Evolving Regulatory Framework

Digital transformation in the global banking industry requires Canadian financial services regulators to consider how to update rules and procedures created for traditional banking and financial services to reflect new realities—increasingly conducted online and in the cloud.

Download the paper.