AWS and Google Cloud Selected by Japan to Build Government Cloud
Published · Nov 03, 2021
Japan’s Digital Agency has chosen Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud to help reform online administration with cohesion and user experience in mind. The organization aims to update Japan’s infrastructure in light of issues partially reinforced by the ongoing pandemic.
The Agency, which began operating earlier this year, is part of a reform kicked off by Prime Minister Yoshihide. He has tried to curb Japan’s reliance on paper, manual administration, and fax machines before.
Fax machines are a particularly contentious issue in the country. Some officials and workers even rally for their continued use.
Another problem that’s long plagued Japan’s administration is that each municipality and ministry has its own system. This makes it difficult for citizens to find the correct site. Often, it is not apparent which is the right one, so they waste time entering their credentials repeatedly.
The Agency hasn’t disclosed whether Japanese agencies bid for the contract. However, as Nikkei points out, they’re partly responsible for the problem. Apparently, they tend to prioritize designs that lengthen engagement at the cost of user experience.
The Agency hopes that by recruiting two of the foremost cloud providers, it’ll be able to unify its systems, improve user experience, and cut redundant overlaps.
The budget for government cloud computing until the end of Q1 2022 is roughly $17 million. At first, the new system will run the Agency’s website and eight municipalities for a trial.
The coronavirus pandemic highlighted the inefficiency of the current system. Applications for government relief and transfers of funds took much longer than they could have with an efficient centralized system.
Going for full cloud implementation promises a lot of utility and security. Cloud storage provides secure, centralized access. Meanwhile, cloud backups offer protection against human and accidental threats.
Moreover, this will allow agencies to share information for the purposes of procedures like background checks easily. It will also eliminate the need to store the same information in various places with varying levels of security.
Amazon Web Services is having a stellar year. Before this deal, it won a contract project to provide cloud infrastructure to the UK’s top spy agencies.
The Digital Agency should provide more information in early 2022. So far, the plan looks like a net positive for all involved.
Garan is a writer interested in how tech reshapes the environment, and how the environment reshapes tech. You'll usually find him inoculating against future shock and arguing with bots.