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AWS Public Sector Symposium Canberra 2023: A Partner’s Perspective on Innovation and Challenges

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  • Post published:September 6, 2023
  • Reading time:3 mins read

The 2023 AWS Public Sector Symposium in Canberra was a refreshing experience. As the CISO of AWS partner who is deeply invested in supporting and enabling the public sector, I attended this year's conference, focusing on networking with my fellow partners and developing an understanding of the current landscape, the challenges, and the opportunities in this with the public sector.

The energy at this year's symposium was palpable. The huge variety of sessions, interactive product and capability demonstrations, and customer stories showcased the depth and breadth of AWS cloud solutions, and the innovative approach partners took in creating solutions. What struck me was the level of sophistication and ambition on display and the willingness of creators to not only showcase their achievements but also share the process and ingenuity behind their creations.

Our public sector organisations aren't just dipping their toes into the cloud anymore – they're diving in headfirst to tackle some of the most complex and impactful challenges facing our communities, and the AWS partner network is at the front line helping.

Some of the most exciting takeaways from the conference were:

  • Our public sector leaders invest in and leverage data analytics and machine learning to improve service delivery, enhance citizen engagement, and address critical issues like public health and safety.

  • Organisations are embracing cloud-native technologies to modernise legacy systems, increasesing operational efficiency and enabling quick response to changing needs.

  • Cloud-based services have become an essential tool in the fight against the multitude of modern-day challenges. They enable our public sector organisations to reduce their footprints, optimise resource utilisation, and build more resilient infrastructure.

The symposium provided me with an invaluable platform for networking. Connecting with government officials, fellow CISOs, IT professionals, and fellow partner organisations, I had numerous conversations that sparked new ideas and collaborations. This kind of exchange is essential for us as partners better to understand the specific needs of public sector customers and tailor our solutions to address those needs effectively.

While the mood was overwhelmingly positive, the symposium didn't shy away from addressing the many challenges facing public sector cloud adoption. As a CISO, data security and privacy remain my top concerns, as reflected in many presentations. Our public sector organisations are grappling with navigating complex regulatory environments while ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of sensitive information. With the increase in reported cyber breaches, our public sector enterprises must lead the way in defending and responding to cyber threats.

Another common challenge that we all face is the skills gap. The rapid pace of cloud technology and innovation requires a workforce with specialised expertise. While many public sector organisations invest heavily in training and upskilling their staff, finding the right talent remains a significant hurdle. This is where we, as partners, must make ourselves available, providing essential advisory and technical expertise supporting public sector innovations.

Despite these challenges, the opportunities for AWS partners within the public sector are immense. By collaborating with our public sector customers and providing appropriate, tailored solutions, we can play a critical role in enabling the transformation of government services and improving the lives of ordinary Australians.

The AWS Public Sector Symposium Canberra 2023 was a testament to the growing momentum of cloud adoption in the public sector. As AWS partners, we are responsible for staying at the forefront of these trends, understanding government organisations' unique challenges, and continuing to innovate to provide solutions that effectively address those challenges.

Greg Pointing

I am a seasoned executive advisor with over three decades of cross-industry experience, a testament to my adaptability and versatility. I leverage strategic partnerships to offer vendor-agnostic guidance, ensuring that my advice is always tailored to the unique needs of each client. My expertise lies in helping public and private sector leaders optimise their business and technology strategies.