Accelerating E-government with AWS

The Flemish Government is the executive branch of the Flemish Community and the Flemish Region of Belgium.
This case study concerns the “e-forms” project from the Agency for Facility Services. This project was part of the E-government initiative from the Flemish Government.

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Customer Profile

Flanders, as being an autonomous region in Belgium, has its own Flemish Parliament, Government of Flanders and Flemish administration.
The Flemish Parliament consists of all the Council members directly elected in the Flemish Region. In total, there are 124 members. Ten of them have seats in the Senate: they are the “community senators”. The Flemish Parliament votes on decrees: these are the laws of the Flemish Community and the Flemish Region.
The Government of Flanders exercises the executive power and consists of consists of 9 ministers, who are in the office for a 5-year term.

The Challenge

Due to the critical work stopping nature of failure the solution needed to be deployed in a very highly available manner backed by a managed service support contract:

  • The application must be deployed using automation so that if needed it can be re deployed in a repeatable manner, and to ensure that the system has been setup per the exact requirements the infrastructure as code must be peer reviewed by both Cloudar and the customer.
  • The application must be updateable by the development partner at any time without interruption to production or involvement from any operations team.
  • The application must be able to support communication between both AWS and on-premise environments.

Our Solution

The solution designed by Cloudar for The Flemish Government was developed with High-Availability, Scalabality & Security in mind:

  • AWS OpsWorks managed stacks for maximum flexibility in configuring the Adobe Experience Manager application across nodes in a repeatable manner.
  • All Amazon Elastic Block Store volumes make us of Key Management Service to encrypt data at rest.
  • AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) was used to ensure that instances had only access to permissions required for their task.
  • Cloudtrail used to monitor the IAM actions taking place on the account.

 

We also made use of a number of AWS technical partner solutions:

  • CloudCheckr© was used to ensure the setup complied with AWS best practices and to ensure ongoing compliance once the solution was in production.
  • Site24x7© was used in conjunction with AWS CloudWatch to ensure optimal performance across all environments.
  • Adobe Experience Manager as content management system (CMS) and digital asset management (DAM).

The Result

  • The E-forms project is now providing government employees in Flanders a auditable manner to share documents and to combine data in pre-existing data banks with forms that need to be filled.
  • Secure manner and the ability to access and share any document anytime from anywhere offers un paralleled agility to the teams using the tool.
  • Architecture that is expandable based on the number of users, and that can easily integrate with other systems (either on AWS or other platforms).
  • Infrastructure as code for maximum change traceability and repeatability.
  • Deployment using CI/CD enables the development teams to adapt the product at any time without interaction with an Operations team.
  • The VO is able to roll out the solution to connect departments to the system regardless of whether they run on AWS or on premise.

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