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While every organization’s path to the cloud will be unique, there are common patterns, approaches, and best practices organizations can implement to streamline the process. AWS is here to help you achieve your goal every step of the way.

Early planning, communication, and buy-in are essential. Understanding the motivations (time, cost, availability, etc.) is key and will be different for each organization. When defining the migration model, organizations must have a clear strategy, map out a realistic project timeline, and limit the number of variables and dependencies for transitioning on-premises applications to the cloud. Throughout the project, it is important to build momentum with key constituents with regular meetings and reporting to review progress and status of the migration project to ensure commitment while also setting realistic expectations about the availability timeframe.

For more information, download: A Practical Guide to Cloud Migration

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Defining the scope of your cloud migration or cloud application development project is key to success. By minimizing the project scope, public sector organizations can reduce development and administrative costs, as well as achieve time savings. Steps to get you started on your path to the cloud:

  • Define terms related to the project
  • Involve the right people in defining the scope
  • Accurately define processes
  • Define process boundaries explicitly
  • Outline high-level interfaces between processes
  • Conduct a health check on the process interfaces
  • Realize that certain aspects of the project still make it too large to manage
proof-of-concept

The overall objective of a POC is to check the viability of your solution. This will allow you to determine whether the solution addresses your objectives and meets your needs.

start-small

Start with a project that will involve a limited number of users. This will allow you to control and manage the service development and production process more efficiently and effectively.

min-viable

Releasing a minimally viable product and then iterating based on feedback can be an effective process when designing citizen services. With this approach you still guide the development, but an iterative process allows citizens to provide feedback to help shape the functionality before it is locked down.

A successful cloud strategy involves all key stakeholders, including:

stakeholder-1
stakeholder-2

This ensures that there is a clear understanding of how cloud adoption will influence existing practices and provides an opportunity to reset expectations regarding:

expectations

For more information, download: Cloud PMO Best Practices

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benefits-of-cloud

Once all key stakeholders understand the benefits of cloud, work backwards from these benefits to build a portfolio of cloud products and services.

culture-of-innovation

Educate staff through cloud adoption framework workshops so those with institutional knowledge can learn how to use cloud technology. This will accelerate buy-in during the cloud adoption journey and foster a culture of innovation.

pmos

Cloud Centers of Excellence or Project Management Offices (PMOs) can institutionalize governance, compliance, and automation across government agencies. They make it easier to incorporate best practices and/or industry standards for cloud computing, while federally mandated regulatory requirements are captured.


AWS provides rapid access to flexible and low cost IT resources. With cloud computing, public sector organizations no longer need to make large upfront investments in hardware or spend time and money on managing hardware.

A pay-as-you-go model reduces investments in large capital expenditures, allowing you to pay only for capacity used. In addition, you can reduce the OpEx costs involved with the management and maintenance of data. This frees up budget to quickly act on innovative initiatives that cannot be easily pursued when managing CapEx.

Our TCO calculators allow you to estimate the cost savings when using AWS and provide a detailed set of reports that you can use in executive presentations. The calculators also give you the option to modify assumptions that best meet your business needs.

Ready to find out how much you could be saving in the AWS Cloud?

A pay-as-you-go model reduces investments in large capital expenditures, allowing you to pay only for capacity used. In addition, you can reduce the OpEx costs involved with the management and maintenance of data. This frees up budget to quickly act on innovative initiatives that cannot be easily pursued when managing CapEx.

labor

Start with a project that will involve a limited number of users. This will allow you to control and manage the service development and production process more efficiently and effectively.

network

How much bandwidth do you need? What is your bandwidth peak to average ratio? What are you assuming for network gear? What if you need to scale beyond a single rack?

availability

Do you have a disaster recovery (DR) facility? What was your power utility bill for your data center(s) last year? Have you budgeted for both average and peak power requirements? Do you have separate costs for cooling/ HVAC? Are you accounting for 2N power? If not, what happens when you have a power issue to your rack?

dc-space

Will you run out of data center space? When is your lease up?

capacity

How do you plan for capacity? What is the cost of over-provisioning for peak capacity? What if you need less capacity? Anticipating next year?

servers

What is your average server utilization? How much do you overprovision for peak load? What is the cost of over-provisioning?

Although the cloud can provide significant savings, costs may increase as you transition from an on-premises infrastructure to cloud-based services. It is important to plan the migration to coincide with hardware retirement, license and maintenance expiration, and other opportunities to reduce cost.

Cost considerations in TCO calculation for transition budgeting include items such as:

tco-labor

Start with a project that will involve a limited number of users. This will allow you to control and manage the service development and production process more efficiently and effectively.

tco-process

Penalty fees associated with early termination of contracts may be incurred (facilities, software licenses, etc.) once applications or infrastructure are decommissioned

tco-technology

Duplicate environments will be required to keep production applications/infrastructure available while transitioning to the cloud platform

The AWS Free Tier is designed to enable you to get hands-on experience with AWS cloud services. The AWS Free Tier includes services with a free tier available for 12 months following your AWS sign-up date, as well as additional service offers that do not automatically expire at the end of your 12 month AWS Free Tier term.


The AWS infrastructure is designed to provide optimum availability while ensuring customer privacy and segregation with secure, scalable, and cost-efficient solutions for the federal government, state and local governments, and education.

compliance

Manage authority and accountability across the cloud environment through a shared responsibility model. Compliance provides for alignment with internal policy as well as third-party assurance frameworks in the design and deployment of workloads. You can be confident in your deployed security and compliance posture through your compliance validation activities. Integrate the practices for IT governance with the practices for overall governance of the organization to ensure that there is compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

For more information, please visit: AWS Cloud Compliance.

cloud-governance

Ensure business and IT are collaborating in cloud governance and establish repeatable processes and templates for deploying applications to AWS while maintaining organizational control over applications.

Leading governance practices include:

  • Understanding required compliance objectives and requirements (from relevant sources)
  • Establishing a control environment that meets those objectives and requirements
  • Understanding the validation required, based on the organization’s risk tolerance
  • Verifying the operational effectiveness of the control environment
  • Determine practices for the governance of IT in partnership with the rest of the organization
  • Delineate clear roles, responsibilities, and authority to achieve the objectives that have been defined within the overall IT strategy
  • Organize and execute activities required to deliver IT products and services
  • Standard operating procedures should be in place to provide consistency
  • Enforce service level and operational level agreements
security

Security is one of the most important advantages of cloud technology and AWS has made substantial investments in extensive security capabilities. All AWS users benefit from a higher level of security with industry compliance standards. These security features are provided as an indelible and essential part of the service, at no extra cost.

Public sector organizations need to define and document its strategy for IT security as it makes the journey to the cloud. Create a strategy that articulates the security principles necessary for the organization to evolve and operate safely at peak efficiency. The strategy should also provide a set of catalytic actions and metrics to guide the implementation roadmap. Steps to creating an effective strategy include:

Leverage industry best practices on security and audit. Provides assurance that AWS has effective physical and logical security controls in place.

Educate customers on cloud security basics. All key stakeholders should understand cloud basics, such as their roles and responsibilities in the shared responsibility model. Work towards standardizing the security approval process as part of the broader cloud governance model.

Engage with AWS Professional Services and solution architects. Security engagements are part of a comprehensive approach to security control selection, workload compliance validation, and building security operations that capitalize on the cloud’s agility, TCO, and security innovation.