Ambita Speeds Development Tenfold, Cuts Costs by 40% by Migrating to AWS


Ambita is a Norwegian technology company that provides land information services for property buyers, vendors, real estate agents, solicitors, lenders, insurance companies, and government agencies. These customers use Ambita’s digital services to access property and housing information from the Norwegian Land Registry and Housing Cooperative Registry. “Nearly every real estate transaction and most loan applications in Norway run through our system,” says Jarl Totland, development manager for Ambita.

To innovate and support business growth, the company wanted to migrate applications out of its data center environment, which was increasingly cost-prohibitive and did not support the company’s new DevOps model. “We were at a point where we were going to have to invest a lot in hardware,” says Fredrik Halmøy Wisløff, chief technology officer for Ambita. “To stay competitive, we needed to focus on customer solutions and innovations instead of infrastructure management. We wanted to migrate to the cloud to gain the agility we needed to support our DevOps approach and increase development.”

Buildings under construction with cranes and a blue sky

“By migrating our land information services applications to AWS, we have identified ways to reduce our operational costs by at least 40%.”

Fredrik Halmøy Wisløff

Chief Technology Officer, Ambita

Migrating Critical Applications to the AWS Cloud

Ambita chose to migrate its application environment to Amazon Web Services (AWS). “We have been on a DevOps journey for the past eight years, and we knew AWS would help us be more agile,” Totland says. “AWS was the best choice for us because of the new services constantly being added.”

The company migrated its full application environment to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances, storing terabytes of land information services data in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). Ambita uses Amazon Aurora to host its customer-facing databases. “Amazon Aurora is a great example of a serverless service that has a big impact for us,” says Totland. “It is much easier for us to maintain than our previous on-premises database technology.” Ambita has also started using Amazon Athena to help its DevOps team analyze application data.

Reducing Operational Costs by 40%

With AWS, Ambita has been able to reduce costs. “By migrating our land information services applications to AWS, we have identified ways to reduce our operational costs by at least 40 percent,” says Halmøy Wisløff. “Reducing our capital expenditure was one of our primary motivations for moving to AWS. As a modern organization, it was ridiculous to still buy hardware on a three-year deal. That concept doesn’t make sense anymore from a cost or development agility perspective.”

Accelerates Innovation and Development Tenfold

Ambita can now better support its DevOps approach because of the agility of AWS. As a result, the company develops applications and features faster. “For us, the biggest value of migrating to AWS is the increased speed of innovation and development we’re experiencing now,” says Halmøy Wisløff. “Our teams are now creating feature prototypes up to 10 times faster. We are spending more time exploring how we can deliver new services to our customers, creating things that don’t exist today.”

Delivering New Features

By developing faster than before, Ambita can launch services more easily. Totland says, “Our accelerated development has led to new features such as a graphical user interface that helps customers search for property information and sort it through a map.” Halmøy Wisløff adds, “In our data center environment, we would have spent weeks setting up new servers to support development. Using AWS, our developers set up APIs on their own and started building features immediately.”

Complying with GDPR

In addition, Ambita is using AWS to support its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and financial services compliance efforts. “Data privacy and protection are essential in our industry. Before migrating to AWS, our banking customers required thorough documentation of our architecture to ensure compliance,” says Totland. “We conducted a comprehensive compliance review based on our AWS architecture, and that gave our customers a lot of confidence in our data privacy capabilities.” Ambita is using the AWS Well-Architected Framework to demonstrate a compliance trail.

In the coming months, the organization expects to implement new AWS services such as artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. “We are exploring AWS services that will support our research efforts,” Halmøy Wisløff says. “In many cases, we extract data from physical property information documents to make it available in a structured format for analysis, and services from AWS help us do that efficiently. Running our business on AWS is a competitive advantage. With the pace of innovation on AWS, it feels like we’re on a high-speed train, and we will be faster than our competitors.”

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About Ambita

Based in Norway, Ambita is a technology company that specializes in land information systems. Its solutions streamline the information flow between public organizations and other stakeholders in the real estate market. More than 20,000 professionals use Ambita’s land information applications.

Benefits of AWS

  • Reduces operational costs by 40% for land information services application
  • Speeds application development tenfold
  • Delivers new features more easily
  • Ensures compliance with GDPR and financial services regulations

AWS Services Used

Amazon Aurora

MySQL and PostgreSQL-compatible relational database built for the cloud. Performance and availability of commercial-grade databases at 1/10th the cost.

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Amazon Athena

Amazon Athena is an interactive query service that makes it easy to analyze data in Amazon S3 using standard SQL. Athena is serverless, so there is no infrastructure to manage, and you pay only for the queries that you run.

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Amazon Simple Storage Service

Object storage built to store and retrieve any amount of data from anywhere

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Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud

Secure and resizable compute capacity in the cloud. Launch applications when needed without upfront commitments.

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