Public sector government customers can be grouped into two camps, the technologists (e.g. CIO/application development/IT service delivery) and the business owners (e.g. CEO/agency function or mission owners). By necessity, the IT team tends to focus and initiate cloud adoption based on lower operating costs, increased security, agility, and operational stability. The mission owner, in addition to cost concerns, is more likely to engage on the digital transformation that citizens are increasingly expecting. Partners are seeking opportunities to leverage the “new-normal” of the cloud to sell solutions to PS customers. Governments see economic development tied to the cloud marketplace and want to replicate commercial pace of innovation, develop local skills, and local business ecosystems.
AWS has surpassed the stage of defining what the cloud is and how cloud benefits government’s ability to efficiently and securely deliver services to citizens. AWS has successfully addressed and positively resolved fundamental questions such as “is cloud really secure.” Citizens are demanding more from government in terms of security, availability, agility, and accessibility at pace with commercial innovation. Government agencies are increasing aware of the need to disrupt and digitally transform their IT service delivery programs.
- Cyber Forensics: What if regional and local law enforcement community had low-cost, solution neutral, storage of all forensics data/assets that met regulatory requirements?
- Correctional: What if jail management could be improved via low cost technology?
- City Transportation: What if common data lakes existed so vendors could build applications to facilitate transportation services anywhere in the world?
- Agricultural: What if low altitude, drone based, spectral imaging could be easily available to the agricultural community to improve yields at the lowest levels or resource use?
- Digital Economy: What if all costs including taxes, donations, peer to peer payments can be done with a touch, a scan of your face, or your voice?
While AWS PS is focused on public sector end customers (i.e. government and non-profit, including Education) this by no means diminishes the critical role played by AWS Partners/ISVs and other commercially motivated solution providers in addressing the problems and opportunities (i.e. challenges) faced by end customers. The CIC challenge process will engage with the full range of technology and solution providers (e.g. GovTech, VC, and entrepreneurial assets). This is the ‘business of government.’ The AWS Partner network and Marketplace are fully leveraged across the public sector. The CIC challenge mechanism will consistently engage (‘pull’) with Partner and other innovative commercial assets to solve public sector focused challenges.
Yes, the goal is to create a global network of CICs that can share challenges and iterate on outcomes. Hopefully the CICs generate many opportunities for collaboration with like-minded groups globally.
The CIC is not intended to create IP for AWS and is not provided for in the agreement.
A key objective of the CIC is to share as much information as possible in order to promote repeatable cloud success at the lowest cost. At the same time the IP rights of all participants must, and will, be respected. AWS does not intend to create any proprietary IP or take ownership of IP developed in the course of challenge activities. The challenge goal is to share results, lessons learned, and when appropriate prototype solutions. Commercial vendors with proprietary technologies are integral to most solutions and their participation is required. Any technology that comes into the CIC with pre-determined IP ownership will of course be respected.
Any PS institution that brings respect and trust among it’s’ peer government institutions as a source of technical innovation and problem solving across a broad spectrum or relevant PS service domains. This can include a recognized PS polytechnic university, a government agency or center focused on problem solving through the digital transformation, or any other government institution to whom fellow government agencies turn to in search of guidance in problem solving through digital transformation and the authority to perform as such.
The Sponsor may wish to name the initiative in a manner more suitable to their context and/or connect it to an ongoing activity or center. For instance, one Sponsor has named their CIC the Digital Transformation Hub. CIC is the AWS name for the service but Sponsors have the flexibility to tailor the message. They key is that AWS and Sponsor share the goal for digital transformation.
The Managing Sponsor leads their own CIC Program. The CIC Program begins with the identification of a key PS sponsoring agency or institution with the breadth of access and trust among its peers to act as the digital transformation lead.
AWS works with a sponsoring PS agency or institution to engage with all elements of government to lead each through their own set of digital transformation challenges to achieve strategies, plans, proofs of concept, and working pilots.
The CIC Program teaches PS end customers how Amazon approaches identifying products, services, and solutions that delight our customers and sustain our pace of innovation. The program is based on Amazon leadership principles beginning with customer obsession. The program adapts our internal methodology of ‘working backwards’ from the customer to define products and services that delight our customers – in this case citizens and PS service providers.
Cities and regional governments are looking for ways to invent and simplify their legacy service delivery models and supporting service infrastructures. They have seen the benefits in pace of innovation occurring in the commercial sector. They want to understand how they can move to similar methods of DevOps development, agile durable infrastructures, and in the process reduce their cost in operating and maintaining legacy systems. This is a digital transformation that requires rethinking many aspects of how government systems are designed and the way services are delivered.
Example public sector services include ensuring municipal benefit systems deliver benefits to eligible citizens, enable municipal planners to respond to man-made or natural disasters, or ensuring that there are enough busses on the road to ensure that the city’s daily travelers can get to and from work. While these services exist today, the challenge is to deliver these services in an environment where citizens are expecting government to keep pace with advances in mobile access technologies, improvements in usability (including for persons with disabilities), and do so despite limited IT budgets, security and regulatory compliance, and aging IT infrastructure.
Cloud Innovation Centers or CICs (pronounced ‘kicks’) serve as a hub for public sector community driven “challenges” that will address, over time and across geographies, the critical Poblems/opportunities facing governmental organizations, including education and non-profits. The CIC is a public-private collaboration between the Sponsor and Amazon. The CIC public-sector Sponsor identifies digital transformation challenges, the problems or opportunities that matter to their community, and provides subject matter expertise and CIC leadership. AWS brings Amazon’s innovation process, skilled cloud expertise, and global solution reach-back to assist Sponsors in identifying their best solutions for the challenges presented by their end user community.
AWS public sector has the goal of minimizing IT costs, increasing technology choices, spurring economic development, and accelerating implementation of replicable public-sector cloud successes to improve digital experiences for students/citizens globally. CICs are a great way to engage customers that have shared challenges. The Amazon innovation process is simple and is itself an innovative approach to address challenges. CICs help identify and share digital transformation success stories and solutions that address the full range of public sector challenges.
A challenge is an end customer defined problem or opportunity that can be at least partially addressed on the cloud. The AWS CIC team leverages Amazon innovation process to refine the challenge in a way that can be addressed pragmatically. An innovation community, the people that will work to address the challenge, is formed during the challenge process.
An end customer is typically the public sector agency, non-profit, or educational institution responsible for delivering some service to citizens or students. Depending on the scope of services included in the challenge, the customer could be the citizen receiving services from government or the first responder receiving up to the second knowledge of where the threat is located or where to evacuate a neighborhood to avoid the anticipated storm surge.