Technology

Ontario – Building 21st Century Government on the AWS Cloud

By using AWS, the Government of Ontario is able to make government information and services accessible to everyone. This video interview with Zeena Abdulla describes their journey to the Cloud.

The Government of Ontario, Canada’s largest province with about 14 million people, looks after everything from healthcare and education to transportation and the environment. With the mandate to provide citizens with services clearly, quickly, and reliably, the Ontario Digital Services team turned to AWS to experiment with its website, Ontario.ca.

By shifting the website to the AWS Cloud, the site stopped going down, they had a disaster recovery solution, and auto-scaling capabilities, all without requiring an expensive infrastructure purchase.

Zeena Abdulla describes how despite the size of the province, the Ontario Digital Service actually started very small with a limited budget, a constraint that led them to explore the use of AWS.

To begin with they knew very little about the service, and through trial and error they mastered the technology and this empowered their technology experts. Zeena says:

“If you want to be a 21st century government, working in the open, sharing, working iteratively, experimenting are the key skills you need. This is the future, and a team that is really small and may not have the craziest skill sets can actually do pretty mighty things with the right tools, and that would be my message to other governments, to other public servants, just believe you can do great things.”

 

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Editor of the DigitalGovernment.io site.

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