eGovernance, at scale

Government of Telangana is continuously encouraging and adopting the use of Emerging Technologies for Governance. The State Government understands the potential of cloud technology in transforming service delivery to citizens and is therefore targeting to drive large scale adoption of cloud within all its user departments.

A digital illustration in the style of watercolour painting of two clouds attached to electric cables on a blue background representing the sky

Keeping pace with advances in technology, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India had announced the MeghRaj Policy (GI Cloud Initiative) in 2013. The policy provides strategic direction for adoption of cloud services at all levels of Indian Government. It was developed with the targets of improving scale and quality of citizen service as well as to optimize the IT expenditure.

The State, via its Cloud First policy, aims to enable the acceleration of eGovernance plans, transform the speed, scale and quality of citizen service delivery, achieve low cost, high operational efficiency, and also emerge as a leader in Emerging Technologies.

Cloud adoption will provide users with high elasticity, visibility and control over their workloads, with billing or payments being solely based on consumption. A broad range of services can be unlocked to optimize costs, performance, security, and realize benefits such as consumption-based pricing (pay-as-you-go model).

Cloud Adoption in Government

Over the last few years, the Government of Telangana has come to successfully embrace cloud technologies for various projects, including web portals for districts and departments, and ERP applications for organisations such as GHMC and KMC.

Deployment of eOffice application in AWS Cloud

The Government has mandated all government departments to deploy their existing or new applications on the cloud except for confidential data or information that can cause serious damage to the security of the state/country or to the state/national interests.

As part of the Cloud Adoption Policy of the Government, the ITE&C Department is migrating all the eOffice instances in SDC to the cloud environment. The department has migrated Secretariat and all the 33 districts’ e-Office workloads to AWS Cloud. The e-Office case study got published in AWS Global Portal under the India/ South Asia category.

Other Projects

  • T-Chits, an award winning blockchain-based application for managing Chit Fund businesses across the state runs on cloud.
  • Pensioner’s Life Certificate through Selfie, is an example of AI-based facial recognition and comparison, developed using platform services of cloud.
  • Road Transport Authority FEST (Friendly Electronic Services of Transport) uses AI-based facial recognition and comparison, developed using platform services of cloud.
  • DOST (Degree Online Services Telangana) also uses AI based facial recognition and comparison, developed using platform services of cloud.
  • Many PoCs based on emerging technologies are being quickly developed, tested and deployed in cloud environments.

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing has been defined by National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA (NIST) as a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or cloud provider interaction.

Put simply, cloud computing provides a variety of computing resources and services over a network. These services can be remotely accessed and utilized by multiple users of the department on-demand, without the risks of hardware failure.

Cloud Adoption Plan

The following high-level policy guidance helps departments to choose the right
workloads to get started with cloud adoption:

  1. Look at development and test workloads as a learning path to cloud adoption.
  2. Use cloud for entirely new applications. Building new applications on the cloud
    provides all the advantages of cloud right from the get-go.
  3. As cloud skills and maturity develops, look to migrating websites and digital
    properties, analytics, and mobile applications to the cloud.
  4. Move mission-critical applications to the cloud and ensure that the cloud is
    leveraged for its enhanced Disaster Recovery capabilities.
  5. Migrate entire on-premise data centres to the cloud and go ‘all-in’. Thinking long
    term, cloud adoption plans should consider whether there will be a need for data
    centres that are coming up for lease in 6/12/18 months, or others that will require
    a significant technology refresh. Can these workloads be moved to, or built on, the
    cloud instead?

Cloud is the future, and the quicker we adopt, the better. IT, E&C Department
understands that there would be a broad range of challenges – ranging from new
responsibilities, upskilling of department’s technical team, new payment models, and
many more. To facilitate a smooth transition, IT, E&C Department will offer proactive support.

The IT, E&C Department is setting up a dedicated team of cloud specialists to accelerate
cloud adoption across Telangana’s user departments by propagating best practices
and capacity building across functions. The key function of the Cloud Centre of Excellence would be:

  • Assist user departments to comply with Telangana’s cloud mandate.
  • Conduct a series of capacity building sessions for all key stakeholders (including procurement, legal, budget/finance, security, IT, and business leadership) to help those with institutional knowledge understand the cloud.
  • Provide advisory services for budgeting, evaluation, procurement (contracting, payment mechanisms, SLAs etc.) governance and continuous optimization.
  • Provide advisory services– migration plan, to-be architecture, network & security configurations, etc.