Kloia joins to AWS Public Sector Program
AWS Public Sector Partner Program (PSP)is an initiative to support the project on public sectors including government, non-profits, public education and space. PSP also validates AWS Partners who have Public-sector experience. Kloia has been accepted under this program by our existing footprint on Public Sector companies.
In this article, I will not repeat the program details but rather will emphasize the challenges and requirements for any partner who is considering to be entitled under this program. The following statements are all my personal experience and may not be relevant for you or for your organization.
Pre-requirements to work with Public Sector:
- TrustPublic sector is more sensitive to trust. Imagine how sensitive data and information is present in those projects. For that reason, the public sector usually requires additional security clearance compared to other sectors. For instance in UK, Government projects need Security Clearance which requires you to be a resident for some certain period in the UK with proven experience.
- ReferenceThis comes to a chicken-egg problem but having an existing reference on a Public Sector customer is always an advantage for succeeding in the tenders.
- Onsite > RemoteThe reality of certain public sectors requires you to be more onsite rather than working remotely. Some government authorities or agencies may not even give you remote access and may ask you to work onsite, which means your team should be ready for commuting!
Challenges working with Public Sector:
- TendersAn invitation to tender is a formal procedure for generating competing offers from the different potential AWS partners looking to obtain an award of business activity in works, supply, or service contracts. While this process is not unique to the Public Sector, the duration, approvals, paperwork and procedures are quite more detailed and procedural compared to other sectors.
Imagine a tender which takes ages to finalize and at the time the final decision is given, the technologies and solutions offered are already becoming legacy.
- BudgetingTraditional approach to tenders is usually requesting a turnkey project quotation. The reality in software development projects is already converging to a Time&Material approach rather than scope oriented approach. There are still tenders that are expecting a turnkey project proposal which challenges the bidders to make estimations for the quoting.
- LegacyPublic Sector companies or agencies are in service for a long period, unlike a regular company who usually has a limited history. Being in service for such a long time also may mean that there are more legacy systems compared to a company which was founded within the last decade. This brings the challenge to work with legacy systems which usually comes with its manual processes. Even automating or modernizing those legacy systems will bring the challenge to be confident of that particular technology stack.
All of the pre-requirements and the challenges that I have mentioned above may be also a part of your current project, which is not a public sector. I tried to emphasize that in the public sector those exist more than the other sectors upon my experience.
Although those pre-requirements and challenges may be conceived as a negative side of the public sector, there are also interesting side to be in a public sector project:
- LoadThe customers or consumers of a public sector company or agency are usually mass. Sometimes you may be targeting all citizens of a country. This also brings the option to be a part of an architecture which needs to scale. This experience is not always possible for all businesses.
- InnovationIf your project is part of a university project, there is high possibility that this is an research project, which probably will includes experimental techniques and approaches.
We consulted the AWS infrastructure as a part of a COVID research project at Oxford University and we learned a lot regarding the research methods and academic environment during our Oxford visits.
- Intrinsic MotivationPublic sector projects are usually done for a good purpose, for public, health or free service for the citizens. We usually felt the responsibility to be a part of such a project because we know it will be used, rather than a commercial project which we do not know whether it will survive or not in long term because of the commercial reasons.
Derya (Dorian) Sezen
Derya, a.k.a. Dorian, ex-CTO of an amazon.com subsidiary, is currently working as Cloud and DevOps Consultant at kloia.