Supporting the modernisation of state infrastructure and speeding up the adoption of cloud services in the public and private sectors of Cyprus are the main aims of a Memorandum of Understanding signed on Tuesday at the Presidential Palace between the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Deputy Minister Kyriacos Kokkinos said after the signing ceremony that collaboration with Amazon Web Services opens up a new era of opportunities for the country, enabling and facilitating cloud adoption across government and industry.
“Leveraging on AWS experience, best practices and expertise, Cyprus aspires to modernise IT infrastructure and policies relevant to the provision of cloud computing services in the areas including, but limited to, security, open data and procurement, as well as enable a cloud-ready workforce and foster cloud-enabled businesses”, he added, stressing that the goal is to accelerate holistic digital transformation, a key lever for a diversified, more sustainable development model that can drive economic growth, international competitiveness and social prosperity.
According to the Deputy Minister, AWS will work closely with the Ministry to provide a technical boost to its workforce through a wide range of upskilling and reskilling training activities, as well as to deploy several government modernisation initiatives, starting with pilots in areas such as smart citizen services, big data and artificial intelligence, as well as “Smart Cities” solutions.
“We set the foundations for an elevated partnership aimed at accelerating our transition to a cloud-driven government and a dynamic digital economy, through modernization, capacity building, innovation and entrepreneurship”, added Kokkinos, characterizing the MoU as “the first step in a long-term, mutually beneficial collaboration, that can contribute significantly to advancing Cyprus’ posture as an emerging regional technology and innovation hub, able to cater to the needs of international ICT businesses.”
On behalf of Amazon Web Services, Director of Europe Public Sector Cameron Brooks said that AWS is part of Cyprus’ digital transformation as the nation ushers in a new area of innovation, with entrepreneurs, public sector organisations and enterprises alike, sharing the vision of a modern digital society.
“Through this MoU we commit our support to this vision, offering initiatives that will foster innovation, help grow local start-ups, support IT modernisation and build digital skills for future generations,” he added.
Brooks also said that a cloud-enabled workforce equipped with the latest and digital skills will be the foundation on which Cyprus can continue to build towards its digital transformation goals, adding that “our AWS education and training programmes are uniquely placed to identify digital reskilling opportunities, providing access to hundreds of hours of self-paced training and resources, as well as online and in-person collaboration and networking opportunities. We are pleased to bring these programmes to Cyprus and aim to kick start AWS cloud education programme very soon”.
In addition, Brooks stressed AWS’ commitment to sustainability. “Energy and the resulting carbon emissions are material issues to our business and are important to our customers and other stakeholders," he said, adding that "AWS cloud and digital technologies are actively enabling key sectors to decarbonize and become more sustainable."
According to Brooks, "independent studies show that businesses in Europe can reduce energy use by nearly 80% when they run applications on AWS cloud instead of operating in their own data centers."
"Our renewable energy teams are making significant progress towards a 100% renewable goal and we are on track to achieve this by 2025, five years earlier than our original goal,” he noted.
The AWS executive said that the company sees this MoU “as a start of a partnership that will see the government of Cyprus realise its digital transformation goals."
"We look forward to working with both private and public sector entities across Cyprus as the nation moves closer towards the vision of a modern, digitally enable society,” he noted.