AWS Public Sector Blog

An IT infrastructure to meet our new reality: What you missed at the AWS Public Sector Summit Online 2020

At the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Public Sector Summit Online, Max Peterson, vice president of international sales for the public sector, spoke about our new reality responding to a global pandemic—and how customers who have taken steps to transform digitally are already benefiting from their progress. Through the lens of customers’ and partners’ experience, Max shared lessons learned and how to apply these lessons to your cloud journey during his keynote address. Those four key lessons? Move fast, have an agile platform, keep innovating, and think big. Read on for more from the keynote.

Moving fast: The need for speed

Moving and innovating at speed is a prerequisite to transforming your organization. COVID-19 made clear how those who move fast can be prepared to respond to unexpected changes, and organizations already using the cloud can quickly shift. Alef Education, an EdTech in the Middle East, was able to quickly scale and provide remote access to their learning solution for tens of thousands of students. Comune di Codogno in Italy used Amazon Connect to build a call center in less than a week to route calls directly to staff to quickly respond to questions.

AWS Partners can help increase the pace of innovation. CDSM Thinqi worked with the Egypt Ministry of Education to connect students to an e-learning platform, which received more than 7.3 million page views in its first five hours after launch. Since schools closed in March, it has hosted millions of users each month.

Keeping community members safe: Juniper

Nonprofits often use the cloud to reduce the burden of IT and focus their funds on the resources needed for their mission. Eve Currie, the executive director of planning and strategy for a nonprofit aged-care provider in Western Australia called Juniper, shared how her organization did just that. When COVID-19 hit, Juniper had to act quickly to protect caregivers and community members. By using the cloud, Juniper was able to maintain service quality, avoid disruptions, and keep community members safe.

Have an agile platform: Agile delivery of citizen services

Organizations who have successfully navigated the pandemic have delivered citizen services in an agile and flexible way. In telemedicine, digital technology has had a big impact. Singapore-based Doctor Anywhere quickly expanded telemedicine services to other countries in the region.

Becoming a flexible organization also means more effectively spending every IT dollar. Hello Sunday Morning found that demand for their sobriety app soared amid the pandemic lockdowns and an increase in alcohol consumption. Their app, Daybreak, which provides help for those critical social health services, was able to scale up immediately—without impacting budget.

Investing in a modern, well-architected, secure, cloud-based system: Smart Selangor Delivery Unit (SSDU)

How can the cloud allow an organization to flex in the face of unexpected events? The Selangor State Government of Malaysia had already started to build in the cloud when the pandemic hit. The work they had completed helped the state to quickly deliver important new services to address the COVID-19 crisis. Dr. Mohammad Fahmi Ngah, managing director of SSDU, shared how they invested in a modern, well-architected, secure, cloud-based system to allow them to be more agile, while also improving security.

Keep innovating: Commitment to continuous innovation

Eliminating the limitations of legacy IT infrastructure and technology can give public sector organizations the flexibility to experiment with delivering services in new ways.

In March, AWS launched the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative, committing $20 million USD in AWS Promotional Credit and technical support for research into diagnostic solutions. The Diagnostic Development Initiative is supporting dozens of projects, including a project to address the COVID-19 testing gap by modeling virus mutations and inferring the likely number of undetected transmissions. Researchers are also analyzing chest X-rays with machine learning on AWS to detect pneumonia caused by COVID-19. This means faster results compared to other COVID-19 tests available today.

Beyond medical research, AWS continues to offer programs and opportunities for public sector organizations to experiment with the cloud. Governments, school districts, and nonprofits can apply to the City on Cloud 2020 competition—now open for global governments around the world. Participants share how they’re making a positive impact for citizens, solving a problem, or enhancing their cities for a chance to receive AWS support to bring their project from idea to reality.

Enabling workforce readiness: Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT)

Part of building for impact is developing a workforce ready and able to build on the cloud. In Egypt, AWS worked with MCIT to design a workforce development and skill-building program with machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. The Deputy Minister for Administrative Development, Digital Transformation, and Automation, Khaled El Attar, shared how this investment in the workforce is needed to realize the full potential of the cloud.

Think big: The art of the possible

When organizations move beyond legacy service delivery and become focused on experimenting, big things are possible. In recent months, organizations had to find new ways to communicate with their constituents—even at ten times the regular volume. This meant exploring modern call centers and employing tools like chatbots and automated voice response systems on the cloud.

AWS Partner Smartronix worked with 14 state governments in the U.S. to modernize unemployment insurance benefits systems. In the state of West Virginia, a cloud-based contact center went live in less than three days. Automation tools like Amazon Polly, a text-to-speech service, helped manage initial call flow by providing callers with basic information. Ninety-six percent of calls are handled by an interactive voice response system, enabling the state to meet demand.

In healthcare in Latin America, AWS Partner Whyline is using AI to reduce overcrowding and congestion in hospitals by allowing patients to view wait times and join the queue remotely. In Singapore, nonprofit We Care Community Services shifted counselling sessions to video calls and enabled providers to work remotely – doubling the volume of therapy sessions provided to patients.

Bringing it all together: Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC)

In India, Dr. Sanjay Sood, associate director for health informatics at C-DAC, collaborated with AWS to launch a patient-to-doctor telemedicine solution for India’s entire healthcare delivery system in just 19 days. He shared his journey, an inspiring example of how all four principles discussed—moving fast, being agile, committing to continuous innovation, and thinking big—can deliver mission-driven results.

Following this keynote, leaders in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, and Africa shared local news, announcements, and customer stories. Register now to view those talks on demand.

Also, read up on more news from the various regions, including the announcement of a new Cloud Innovation Center with the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) and the story of University of Bahrain going all-in on AWS.

Thank you to everyone who attended the AWS Public Sector Summit Online. It’s not too late to register to access sessions available on demand.