This blog post was created in collaboration with Sandy Carter, Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector Partners & Programs at Amazon Web Services.
State and local agencies have spent countless hours and issued countless regulations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, they face huge budget deficits. In the past few months, these governments had to transform the way they work and the way they respond to high volumes of their residents’ requests—all while economic activity curtailed.
Agencies were forced to fast-track their digital transformation plans to accommodate remote work, pushing state Chief Information Officers (CIOs) to the forefront of states’ COVID-19 response efforts. CIOs had to make immediate policy changes with little research available to them.
Now is the time for agencies to shift their focus to resiliency efforts and think about:
- What are the long-term impacts of this crisis?
- How much time and resources have actually been spent, and how to recover?
- How should agencies prepare for the months ahead?
The answers to these questions are fueled by insights and research from industry, education and government partners working together. For example, the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, brings together federal agencies as well as industry and academic leaders to provide access to the world’s most powerful high-performance computing resources in support of COVID-19 research. The Consortium already has over 75 active projects supplied with the compute power they’ve requested online since it launched on March 22.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a member of the Consortium, and has provided technology to the agencies so that they may access information and resources they need during the crisis.
“Cloud technology helps by facilitating data gathering and sharing through data lakes, made available to researchers across the globe, as well as data visualization, which has been particularly important in understanding the prevalence of COVID-19 cases,” said Sandy Carter, Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector Partners & Programs at AWS.
AWS has a wide-reaching AWS Partner Network (APN) that has been critical in helping government agencies invest in effective digital services that meet business resiliency needs, as well as providing them with free resources and software to respond to the pandemic.
Here are a few examples of how APN Partners are supporting public sector organizations with business insights and research to plan and assess the impacts of COVID-19:
- FEMA Response Tracker: : Cartegraph offers any agency looking to measure the time and resources they spent on COVID-19 response free software to do so. Cartegraph for COVID-19 Response, makes it easier to organize data for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reimbursements, manage tasks, track resources, and assign work remotely. Cartegraph, has gotten over 60 requests for their free COVID-19 Response tracker, with nine production deployments to date.
- Guidance for Defense, Security & Justice (DS&J) Leaders: Deloitte released a free resource to provide guidance for DS&J leaders called “Understanding COVID-19’s Impact on the Defense, Security, and Justice Sector,” that details potential long-term impacts on DS&J agencies, key questions leaders should be asking, and practical next steps to consider.
- Monitoring Economic Impact of the Virus: Orbital Insight, a geospatial analytics company, developed a solution that provides analysis from geospatial data, which can currently be used to monitor the economic impact of the virus.
- Document Management SaaS solution: Image API created a solution to process small business bridge loans and paper reemployment applications for a state government. This digital solution can help agencies with the unprecedented volume of requests received. It includes a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) document management solution, so agencies can provide critical support to citizens and residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Free High Server Capacity: ServerCentral Turing Group (SCTG), an IT service management company, is providing server capacity (200+ Cores) at no charge to [email protected], a distributed computing project aimed to help scientists develop new therapeutics to a variety of diseases by the means of simulating protein dynamics. These resources will be used in support of developing protein models for COVID-19 research, and to help develop vaccines and help researchers better understand the virus.
- Insight Sharing from Data Analysis: SCTG is also adding capacity to the [email protected]’s efforts in bringing together citizen scientists who volunteer to run simulations of protein dynamics on their personal computers. Insights from this data are helping scientists to better understand the biology of the virus and is providing new opportunities for developing therapeutics.
- Cloud Funding Program: Strategic Blue, a financial cloud broker, collaborated with academic institutions and tech companies, to develop the Cloud Funding Program, to help continue the battle against COVID-19. The Cloud Funding Program is designed to help researchers and those running community projects, particularly those in education.
Learn more about the full range of APN Partner solutions and how they are providing agencies with the information and resources to plan and assess the impact of COVID-19 on the APN website.