Government Lens - Government Lens

Government Lens

Publication date: January 10, 2024 (Document history)

This whitepaper describes the Government Lens for the AWS Well-Architected Framework including general design principles, best practices, government-specific guidance for the pillars of the Framework, and an additional chapter for government service outcomes. The Government Lens is based on other domain lenses, such as the Financial Services Industry Lens. This whitepaper is designed to be used by anyone responsible for, or involved in the design and delivery of government services, including service and product owners, architects, engineers, policy staff, and program managers. A government service might include multiple workloads.


Government customers have a special set of legal, legislative, accountability, and trust requirements. These requirements need to inform architectural and delivery considerations for solutions that support government services. Government policies and services often have a significant impact on society, which creates a strong but understandable culture around responsible risk management. Governments everywhere are prioritizing and investing in high veracity, modern, and omni-channel citizen-centric services that meet the special requirements of government. To improve agility in a rapidly changing world, they also are creating reusable and modular architectures.

The Government Lens helps people understand the special context and requirements of government and how to best deliver meaningful outcomes on AWS. This lens drives architectural qualities that layer government-specific best practices for progressive enhancement as a service design assurance function. For example, government customers can use the new service outcomes chapter as an indicator of readiness for government service launches, and to inform AWS Enterprise Support event management.

The Government Lens should be applied as an expansion to the AWS Well-Architected Framework. The output of both the AWS Well-Architected Framework review process and this Government Lens is a report containing applicable best practices and if they are in use at the time of review. Government customers can use these outputs to improve the impact and outcomes of their services, and to engage with their own governance mechanisms in a meaningful way.

It is important to note that every government operates in a unique cultural and historical context, which means different expectations, needs, mandates and even a different perspective about the role of government in that society. Anyone responsible for delivering services in government must make sure to learn and understand the special context of that government customer to apply what is appropriate from this Lens. The Government Lens is informed by frameworks from the AWS global experience working with government customers.

Custom lens availability

Custom lenses extend the best practice guidance provided by AWS Well-Architected Tool. AWS WA Tool allows you to create your own custom lenses, or to use lenses created by others that have been shared with you.

To determine if a custom lens is available for the lens described in this whitepaper, reach out to your Technical Account Manager (TAM), Solutions Architect (SA), or AWS Support.