“By shifting our public facing websites and supporting infrastructure into AWS, we’ve proven that ADHS can be more agile and flexible with the help of Cloud technologies. This realization has opened up new ways of thinking for how we use our IT infrastructure, which has already resulted in creative and productive results.”
-Raghu Ramaswamy (Chief Technology Officer)
The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) is an agency within the State of Arizona with a mission to promote, protect, and improve the health and wellness of individuals and communities in Arizona. The agency operates various programs in behavioral health, disease prevention and control, health promotion, community public health, environmental health, maternal and child health, emergency preparedness and regulation of childcare and assisted living centers, nursing homes, hospitals, other health care providers and emergency services.
The agency is committed to providing the public and the media with health information in a timely, accurate and helpful manner through its website (www.azdhs.gov) and is continually striving to make this resource a friendlier, easier way of accessing the vast array of programs it provides.
Arizona State Hospital (ASH) had several web applications hosted in the State DataCenter. The apps had to be relocated out of the Datacenter due to aging infrastructure at the and end of life hardware at the Datacenter.
AWS was picked to be the new home for the apps for reasons not limited to, better Return on Investment (ROI), reduced capital expenditure, reliable and state of the art infrastructure, OnDemand availability of compute resources, regulatory and compliance needs specially HIPAA, PHI and PII, elasticity and scalability, less to manage with manages services.
In addition to failing infrastructure at the DataCenter there were also issues with the security of the apps with respect to limiting the exposure and the threat landscape of the apps. A lot of the servers, running public facing web applications were placed in the public subnets exposing them to security threats from the internet.
ADHS had the business needs to improve the capacity, performance, scalability and security of its systems infrastructure and applications to better support its customers – both internal and external to the agency. In addition, it was becoming more and more difficult to acquire the necessary CapEx budget to maintain its technology environment. And finally, another ongoing challenge was the inability to accurately estimate the amount of computing power and storage they need.
In order to address their challenges, ADHS had the following IT objectives:
- Outsource commoditized services to lower costs and reduce the risks of maintaining the current decentralized infrastructure through public/private partnerships;
- Increase the quality, capacity and velocity of state services by leveraging a modern, enterprise platform;
- Increase the maturity and reduce risk with comprehensive application rationalization and standardization;
- More aggressively leverage shared IT services and proactively manage enterprise risk; and
- Focus IT’s role primarily on supporting their line-of-business applications.
To meet its objectives, ADHS engaged with Zuggand to determine the readiness of the organization to move to the Cloud, which ultimately AWS was selected as the platform. As part of the engagement, Zuggand performed a high-level assessment of DHS’s technology infrastructure, software applications, data, security, operations and personnel using its standard methodology. In addition, Zuggand and ADHS completed a Proof of Concept (PoC) to ensure that AWS was the right solution for the agency. And finally, Zuggand and an ADHS Cloud Center of Excellence team worked together to migrate the majority of ADHS’ infrastructure and applications to AWS.
- Cloud Discovery: ADHS Cloud readiness assessment. The project involved Zuggand doing a high-level assessment of ADHS’s technology infrastructure, software applications, data, security, operations and personnel using its standard consulting approach.
- Extranet Re-architecture & Migration: Migration of ADHS extranet to AWS. The project involved re-engineering the business process and re-architecting the application to take advantage of managed and higher-level services as much as possible thereby improving the operations and bringing efficiencies to the agency.
- Medical Marijuana Verification System Migration: Migration of ADHS Medical Marijuana Verification System (MMVS) to AWS. This project involved successfully migrating the MMVS workload to the newly architected and shared AWS environment for the primary purpose of hardening the workload’s security posture.
- Electronic Birth Registration System: Migration of ADHS Electronic Birth Registration System (EBRS) to AWS. This project involved successfully migrating the EBRS workload to the newly architected and shared AWS environment for the primary purpose of hardening the workload’s security posture.
- State Hospital Application Migrations: Migration of multiple ADHS Arizona State Hospital (ASH) applications to AWS. This project involved successfully migrating the ASH workloads to the newly architected and shared AWS environment for the primary purpose of meeting regulatory and compliance requirements.