What is an AWS Foundational Technical Review (FTR)?

Any SaaS business should be putting a high importance on optimising and securing their AWS environments, making them operationally efficient and to use best practices. This helps safeguard your infrastructure, your business and your customers.

The AWS Foundational Technical Review (FTR) process highlights areas of risk and offers clarity about how improvements should be prioritised, and passing a review unlocks the ability to enrol in initiatives around AWS Competency and Service Ready Specialisations.

It’s also a pre-requisite of applying to the AWS ISV Accelerate Program, which helps drive visibility with AWS Sales and AWS Account Managers, bringing co-selling opportunities and a reduction of AWS Marketplace listing fees.

You can apply for an FTR if you are registered with the AWS Partner Network (APN) and have enrolled in the Software Path.

An AI generated panoramic view of a digital foundation block in cyberspace.


So what is it?

It’s a subset of questions from the Well-Architected Framework that focus on architectural and operational practices.

Let me break down the key areas:

Security - This covers IAM best practices, vulnerability management, VPC and network security. Good security is table stakes for hosting cloud services.

Resiliency, backups and recovery - Disaster Recovery, outage planning, meeting availability targets and fault testing - how you respond to problems is as important as trying to prevent them.

Amazon S3 bucket access - Almost all AWS customers use S3 in some way, so its security must be managed carefully since it’s so ubiquitous. Getting it wrong could make a juicy headline.

Cross-account access - Configuring cross-account access is fiddly, obscure and frequently creates security holes. Following best practice helps make sure those holes are never made in the first place.

How sensitive data is managed - Your customers trust you with their data, so it’s crucial for your reputation to keep it safe.

Regulatory compliance - If you’re subject to compliance standards, such as ISO 27001 or SOC 2, having the correct processes for dealing with them is critical.


The main goals of performing the review are to:

Identify potential risks, issues or areas for improvement. Once identified they can be roadmapped, helping your teams deliver value.

Ensure alignment with AWS best practice. Bring extra clarity to the design of new features, and bake security into your development and operations early.

Optimise costs and improve operational efficiency. Have more time to develop your services to the quality that your customers expect.

Increase visibility within the AWS ecosystem. An approved FTR means being added to the AWS Partner Solutions Finder, gaining the ability to join various Partner Programs, permission to use an official AWS badge for promoting your services, and helping you qualify for the AWS ISV Accelerate Program.

Let us help you

You can perform the FTR yourself, but working with an AWS Consulting Partner has several advantages:

  • Expert guidance and best practices
  • Third-party validation
  • Broader expertise
  • Time and resource efficiency
  • Recommendations and producing a roadmap
  • Offering ongoing support and guidance

AWS Consulting Partners have wide experience dealing with SaaS businesses, so analysis will be efficient and any recommendations made will be relevant to you.

For example, we worked with Akoova to help them pass their FTR on the first attempt, spending less time than if they had gone the self-service route - you can read more in the Akoova customer story

The review process

A review typically involves an initial consultation, followed by a period of data collection, a self-assessment sheet, a Well-Architected review, workload analysis and meetings with stakeholders.

How long the review takes depends upon the complexity of the AWS environment and it’s important to get the right stakeholders in the room so information can be collected rapidly.

A report will be presented to you that contains recommendations and next steps.

This may identify areas of high risk, and the time required to remediate these will depend on the complexity of the workload.

This is why working with an AWS Consulting Partner can be so important - their expertise will reduce the amount of time required by your own teams and you won’t be waiting for AWS Solution Architects to get back to you.

Full send

When you submit the FTR it’s looked at by AWS certified professionals who will review the information, and if everything checks out - you’ve done it!

Please remember that not all AWS Partners with an approved FTR will qualify for the AWS ISV Accelerate Program - they must meet specific criteria.

Further, AWS Partners who pass must repeat the process every two years to retain its benefits.

Further details about the FTR process can be found on the ISV Accelerate Program page.


The FTR provides a comprehensive roadmap for improving your AWS environment, and a pass can bestow great marketing advantages.

Improving your security and compliance posture, optimising costs, utilisation and efficiency - these are worthy goals that set you up for operational success.

Then there is the prospect of qualifying for the ISV Accelerate Program which will help you reap the rewards of co-selling opportunities.

Multiply the value of the process by working with an AWS Consulting Partner - leaning on their expertise, responsiveness and ongoing support.

It’s a journey with a great destination - let us help get you there.

Listing your SaaS solution on AWS Marketplace opens doors to growth and success. By pairing it with an AWS Foundational Technical Review from an AWS Partner, you ensure that you have the confidence to deliver a robust, secure, and high-performing application to your customers.

This blog is written exclusively by The Scale Factory team. We do not accept external contributions.

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