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Powering a political movement through cloud infrastructure with The Australian Greens | Thoughtworks
The Australian Greens

Powering a political movement through cloud infrastructure

Powering a political movement is no easy task. It is even more challenging when you are working within the constraints of an outdated and inflexible technology infrastructure.

The nature of The Australian Greens’ operations means that there are large demand spikes during key events throughout the year, such as elections. Physical servers with limited capacity made it difficult to support these sudden surges in demand, resulting in outages and performance issues for users.

The Greens worked with Thoughtworks to develop and execute a cloud migration strategy to address this issue. Moving to the cloud allowed the organisation to automatically scale and retract their services to meet the needs of the business without the cost (and waste) of additional physical servers. This also empowered their volunteer developers to rapidly create and deploy new applications.

Together, we identified a single service as a pilot and created a modern infrastructure. Utilising best-practice infrastructure-as-code and containerisation, we worked to migrate this single service to the platform. This exercise provided an opportunity to validate our assumptions and upskill the team’s cloud capabilities before migrating the remaining services.

Agile ways of working meant that previously internalised knowledge was shared amongst the team, and gaps in understanding could be identified and addressed. This empowered the Greens’ technical team to complete the bulk of the migration independently.

Agile Practices meant that the whole team were across the domain, the technology and what they needed to do to solve the problem together. That is so powerful.
John Twyman
Systems Liaison Coordinator, Australian Greens.

Transforming the organisation from co-located servers to a cloud-native infrastructure has created space for innovation and an experimental mindset. When stakeholders or volunteers have an idea, it can be spun up and deployed without lengthy technical processes. IT is an enabler of disruption, not a blocker.

Alongside this mindset shift, The Greens have also achieved more uptime and a higher level of reliability. This is due to building a modern resilient platform with redundancy and self-healing services.

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