A year of transformation reviewed
Cloud computing supports public sector transformation all over the world. There are many common challenges and solutions, and the benefits are universal: speed, scale, and security. The AWS Institute Year in Review reflects the variety of reforms that governments, and other public sector organisations, have explored and implemented in 2021.
Digital identity drives innovation
Governments around the world implement digital identity (digital ID) systems to improve social services and promote innovation. This AWS Institute report, with the Access Partnership, offers practical insights for public sector leaders who want a well-designed and successful digital ID system. In particular, the implementation of foundational digital ID, biometric-based authentication, and cloud-based infrastructure is emerging as best practice.
Digital identity essentials
National digital identity schemes underpin large-scale public sector transformations to make services more accessible and seamless for citizens. Maria-Ines Baque and Deepti V Dutt, who led implementation programs in Argentina and in India, before joining Amazon Web Services, say that the technology is not the biggest challenge. They explain how sound security frameworks, good communication, and a test and learn mindset are among the essential steps to successful digital identity delivery. Nations can then build better education, healthcare, and financial services on top of these programs. Learn more about building digital identity for 1bn people.
Research in focus
New AWS Institute Executive Education Energy program launches
The first AWS Institute Executive Education program about digital reinvention and energy transition for leaders in the energy sector launched in December in partnership with Rice University's Baker Institute, delivered across two modules.
Energy sector leaders took part in sessions including making a roadmap for building resilience, as well as trusted digital infrastructure, leading digital innovation, and working backwards from the customer.
Be secure in the cloud
Security is the most important part of nation-scale transformation and the challenges include tackling legacy approaches to data protection, say two experienced reformers. Alex Meek-Holmes, government transformation advisor at Amazon Web Services, and Ian McCormack, deputy director, government sector, at the U.K. National Cyber Security Centre, describe why sharing best practice and standards openly delivers better outcomes. They explain how modern technology needs modern approaches to risk and classification, and why they say it is more secure to leverage hyperscale cloud than to build bespoke systems.
Open data drives social change
The U.K. published government data about ethnicity and so accelerated healthcare and education policy change. Zamila Bunglawala, International Director at the Department for Education, and Caroline Mulligan, senior manager in the government transformation team at Amazon Web Services, explain how they implemented this pioneering project. Other nations are using the blueprint to support their own missions.
Transformation inspiration for public service leaders
Leaders around the world face common challenges as they modernize public services. These stories share successful solutions. Buy Better describes how the U.K.government transformed procurement to unblock modernization, and how other nations used the knowledge. Watch the next story, Bias for Agile Action.
Governments share solutions to accelerate their transformation
Governments can use technology that others have developed and made freely available using open source to deliver reform. Read about the ways they benefit from sharing solutions to common problems in this AWS Institute blog, and find out more in the AWS Institute Building for Reuse film.
Austria moves toward government as a service
The pandemic highlighted the need for fast and wide-ranging reforms in the digital provision of public services worldwide. In Austria, the focus is on changing the civil service culture and opening up access to the skills and data needed to provide better services to citizens in a more timely manner.
Christian Rupp, former Federal Executive Secretary, eGovernment Austria, says: “We need a culture of 100 percent online services 24 hours a day. This means provision for digital applications or inquiries through to internal processing, approval, and payment. At the same time, there needs to be secure system access for civil servants working from home and the ability for big data analytics and data sharing across different administrations”.
Leaders share transformation essentials for success
Public service transformation needs strong leaders with the vision to change culture, not just the IT system, according to the U.K. government’s former chief technology officer, Liam Maxwell, now director of government transformation at Amazon Web Services (AWS). Think Big is the first film in the Transformation Essentials for Public Service Leaders series from the AWS Institute. More episodes cover starting small, transforming securely, and using what already works for organizations all over the world.
The carbon reduction opportunity of moving to the cloud for APAC
The Cloud accelerates climate change research
From shark monitoring to glacier melt, data helps us understand climate change's impact on the environment. These six stories, from Tasmania and Peru to the continents of Africa and Antarctica, show how the cloud is helping scientists and policymakers.
The digital city starts here
How open government works well for Buenos Aires
Florencia Romano, undersecretary of open government & accountability of the government of the City of Buenos Aires, says the city's pioneering approach engages citizens and makes public services easier to use. (Spanish with English subtitles.)
The cloud has a green lining
Renewable energy is changing the way that technology is powered and is one of the factors that this expert panel examines as they explore why moving to the cloud cuts organizations' carbon footprint. Adam Turner, food and rural affairs sustainable technology lead at the U.K. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Kelly Morgan, research director of data center infrastructure and managed services at 451 Research, and Ken Haig, energy and environment policy head for Asia Pacific and Japan at Amazon Web Services, discuss the challenges and opportunities in this GovInsider podcast for AWS Institute.
Southeast Asia's Cloud Story: impact, inclusivity, and growth
Cloud technology has played a crucial role in empowering people across Southeast Asia by making services, including finance, accessible to traditionally under-served communities.
Podcast series explores the cloud's impact on Latin America
The Estado Digital series explores how technology can solve social and public policy challenges in Latin America. It includes stories in important sectors, such as the Salud Digtal episode, which explores how countries are moving towards digital delivery of services, especially telemedicine, and the way artificial intelligence is used in diagnostics and patient care.
AWS Institute events
EVENT & VIDEO
Turning to technology
The COVID-19 pandemic nudged governments in Latin America to experiment with new technologies to boost administrative and service-delivery capacity. To address urgent public health and economic needs, officials responsible for digital innovation took center stage, spurring the rapid adoption of telemedicine, distance education technologies, e-payments, virtual legislating, remote justice, and contact tracing.
EVENT REPORT & WEBINAR
User focus must be inclusive
Focus on user needs, and inclusive design, supported successful transformation of benefit payments and health service delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic, said leaders from the state of Rhode Island, U.S., and the Scottish government. Speaking alongside digital technology experts from AWS and IBM at Putting people first in digital government services: a transatlantic conversation, they illustrated how the pandemic drove public service modernization to warp speed. Watch the AWS Institute and World Affairs Council of America public webinar.
EVENT & BRIEFING
Nine steps to digital identification
Senior policymakers from eight countries at different stages of their digital ID journey shared lessons and identified common challenges about digital identification at a Tony Blair Institute for Global Change and AWS Institute private roundtable. Nine key lessons, from building public trust to using international standards, are shared in this briefing, with participants' permission.
EVENT & VIDEOS
Call to increase digital competitiveness
Watch these three short films from USMF to find out how fintech entities are tapping in to Mexico's talent pool; why the physical border should be made smarter; and how regulation needs to change to promote economic growth.
Fresh focus on climate change
An open event to explore how the cloud has already played a part in carbon reduction and how it will support national sustainability and climate change goals in October brought together speakers from DBS bank, the Economic Development Board of Singapore, and global technology companies. Cloud infrastructure could be the key to meeting climate goals, reported Eco Business.
EVENT & REPORT
Supercharging digital transformation
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. 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. The analysis behind the public discussion and paper also produced recommendations for accelerating transformation.
EVENT & REPORT
The challenges of digital transformation in Costa Rica
The Council for the Promotion of Competitiveness think-tank launched ‘The challenges of digital transformation in the public sector in Costa Rica’ on June 29, a study prepared with the support of the AWS Institute. The authors, Costa Rica's former minister and vice-minister of science, innovation, and telecommunications, Luis Adrian and Edwin Estrada, have proposed nine recommendations for policy makers to consider.
EVENT & REPORT
Time to update legacy IT in healthcare
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. Independent think-tank, Reform, facilitated the session in March, 2021, 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.
Read the Reform paper.
AWS Institute Executive Education
AWS Institute offers a complementary Executive Education program to equip senior public servants and elected officials with the knowledge to lead digital transformation. You will be part of a small cohort learning from global thought leaders and practitioners. The three-module program fosters peer-to-peer learning and support and offers a library of master class lectures.
What participants say
"I enjoyed the session, it addressed pertinent issues that we are grappling with in the public sector. It was ... practical ... for policy and decision makers.”
Executive Education program participant from South Africa
"The lecturers are big names and ... presented valuable information for application in the public service.”
Executive Education program participant from U.A.E.