Ericsson was recently chosen to play a lead role in a public-private partnership project to build a hybrid cloud for Estonia’s public sector. Based on the full Ericsson cloud stack, the project will improve services ranging from tax reporting to online healthcare, all in a DevOps environment combining public and private infrastructure in a secure and trustworthy manner.Since becoming the first country in the world to allow online voting in 2005, Estonia has been in the forefront of digitization in the public sector (they are ranked No. 1 in digital services in the EU). In order for vital services to be delivered efficiently to its citizens and to realize the full potential of its digital efforts, Estonia must have the right kind of platform: a platform similar to those adopted by modern businesses such as Uber, Airbnb, Ebay, and others), which is designed to host applications that make our lives easier and more convenient.
A modern government IT platform
What qualities must such a modern government IT platform have? It must be:
- Built to scale: One way for governments to build scale is to invest in massive infrastructure capacity that can be used for both government and private entities. However, this is expensive and runs the risk of being under utilized, typical of any old-fashioned IT server system. Another potential alternative is to build and operate IT infrastructure in a distributed manner, in which governments can invite private entities to provide infrastructure capacity in a regulated manner, just as they have done with telecom infrastructure.
- Open and supportive of a multi-cloud environment: Such a platform needs to enable both public and private entities to directly interact with each other in an easy, open, citizen-friendly, and transparent way—just as with any public cloud. All the services can be normalized across multiple clouds, which enables easy public-private partnerships from a citizen standpoint.
- Ecosystem-centric and transparent in rolling out services: In order to stay innovative and to bring top-level scientists from both the private and public sector on-board, the platform needs to be simple and easy to use. A traditional tendering or procurement process hinders the pace of on-boarding and needs to be automated to introduce new citizen services faster and more securely. In such an ecosystem, any private or public entity is able to deliver a consumption-based service to citizens merely by integrating its APIs with a consumption-based public partner ecosystem. This also enables the government agencies to utilize experts who are top in their fields, because the experts can become part of the ecosystem easily.
- Secure and trustworthy via data sovereignty, guaranteed integrity, and data governance:Infrastructure security is fundamental. Apart from mitigating any risks around security and resilience, any modern IT platform must provide substantial auditing capabilities by which end-to-end security and trustworthiness are guaranteed. Ensuring the guaranteed integrity and sovereignty of citizen data is the key enabler to a trustworthy platform.
- Cost effective: Such a platform must use available resources (hardware, software, and operational resources) efficiently. It needs to be energy efficient and provide the best possible TCO.
The above attributes are fulfilled by the Ericsson hyperscale cloud stack, which is based on components that can help modernize any public-sector IT infrastructure. These components include both policy-enabled platform as a service (PaaS) services and hyperscale disaggregated hardware, while a blockchain-enabled signing infrastructure ensures a trusted environment. Put together, these let you take full advantage of the economics, scale, and speed of any public cloud infrastructure.
Read more on our portfolio at http://ericsson.com/hyperscale. And if you're interested in exploring our ideas in more depth, please read this Ericsson Business Review article by industry pioneer Jason Hoffman, Head of Product Area Cloud Infrastructure at Ericsson.