By Teresa Carlson, Vice-President, Worldwide Public Sector, Amazon Web Services
Image: REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader
- Cloud technology refers to the delivery of technological resources on demand via the Internet.
- During COVID-19, cloud technology became a lifeline for governments needing to provide urgent services from emergency hotlines to online education.
- With cloud technology, governments can acquire technology from cloud providers on an as-needed basis, and quickly respond to their citizens’ needs without needing to buy and maintain their own data centres and servers.
COVID-19 forced governments around the world to deliver vital public services in unprecedented ways, and to experiment with digital technologies on an unforeseen scale. As citizens turned to their public healthcare providers, educational institutions and other public sector organizations for help during the crisis, they often collided with overburdened and outdated IT systems. However, many public service providers quickly adapted to this soaring demand for help and information, and implemented innovative solutions that helped people access critical resources.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides cloud services to public sector organizations around the world, and witnessed first-hand how they stepped up to the challenge. The pandemic sparked public sector innovation in the form of small pilots and large-scale transformations. Though they were the result of an emergency, many of these ideas have the potential to effect lasting change far beyond the crisis. This is particularly the case for public sector solutions built on the cloud.
The term “cloud computing” refers to the on-demand delivery of technological resources via the Internet with pay-as-you-go pricing. Instead of buying, owning, and maintaining their own data centers and servers, organizations can acquire technology from cloud providers on an as-needed basis. This allows an organization to quickly access resources – from servers to machine learning services – on demand, which can drive down costs and speed up an organization’s pace of innovation.
The following examples offer a glimpse of cloud technologies we may continue to see across the public sector as the world returns to normal.