|By Jill Tummler Singer||
|February 3, 2014 08:15 AM EST||
The below is summary of my comments provided on Wednesday, January 29, 2014, at the Alfresco Content.Gov event in Washington, DC.
In my 27 years of federal service, I've watched the growth in federal records and the implementation of new executive orders and regulations aimed at improving records management across the federal space. There are immense challenges associated with litigation, review and release, tracing factual evidence for analysis, managing information legal proceedings, and overseeing a plethora of authorized and unauthorized disclosures of classified and/or sensitive information.
Federal records management professionals are true, unsung heroes in helping our nation protect information while also protecting the civil liberties and privacy of our nation's citizens. The job has become increasingly more difficult in today's era of "big data." Records management and information management in the 1980s was hard and that's when we thought big data was hundreds of gigabytes. As we consider today's generation of data, four (4) decades later, federal records professionals are charged with managing tens of thousands of gigabytes-petabytes and zettabytes of data. It's an especially daunting task.
Three principles for records management are critical to future success for the federal space:
- Capture on creation;
- Manage and secure through the workflow; and
- Archive responsibly.
Point 1: Capture on Creation
The federal workforce creates content every second of every day. The content is created in formal and informal ways. It's an email, a meeting maker, an instant message communication, a voice communication, a VTC session, PowerPoint deck, meeting minutes, collaborative engagement session, memorandum, written paper, analytic notes, and so forth.
The federal workforce stores this created content in just as many formal and informal ways. It's stored on local hard drives, mobile phones, corporate storage, shadow IT storage, public clouds, and private clouds.
In short...it's a mess for the records management professional.
What is needed are solid systems and capabilities that demand capture on content creation. Simplistic and non-intrusive ways to drive the creator to label information will help tremendously. Non-intrusive doesn't mean voluntary; actions for content creation need to be forced and demanded. Not everything is a record, but many things deserve to be preserved for after action review, lessons learned, and knowledge management training over time.
Many of today's technologies make it far too easy to create content and far too difficult to manage it in perpetuity. Content creation with longevity in mind is critical for the federal records management professional and for the federal government in general.
Implementing technologies that work together to achieve the longevity goal is paramount. No federal agency can survive on one tool; one tool rarely meets the variety of end user needs or requirements. Discovering and implementing technologies with easy interfaces, open APIs, and purposeful data exchange bases will be most successful in the federal government. Often this equates to open source tools, which are naturally built for easy expansion and integration with other tools.
Point 2: Manage and Secure Through the Workflow
Very little happens in the federal government without being attached to a workflow.
- Employee time is a workflow that leads to paychecks.
- Purchasing small and large good is a workflow that leads to vendor payments and receipt of goods.
- Asset management is a workflow from asset need to asset receipt to asset long-term disposition.
- Analytic products are a workflow from inception to review to edit to publish.
- Meetings are a workflow from establishment to agenda to minutes to action capture and tracking.
- Federal budget creation is an uber-workflow from planning, programming, budgeting, and execution.
- Grants management is a workflow from idea submission to review to approval to tracking progress.
- Citizen services contain many workflows for social security payments, passport processing, visa approvals, small business loans, and so forth.
Introducing solid records management to these macro and micro workflow environments is necessary and important.
The federal government needs tools that understand the intricate workflow processes and seamlessly captures the changes, approvals, and actions for the workflow throughout the entire process-from creation to retirement. A suite of tools-built on open platforms for easy data exchange-is likely to be required for any federal agency. Working through big ERP systems and through small purpose-built systems, workflow foundations can capture information necessary for approvals and for long-term retention.
Equally necessary are workflow tools that maintain data integrity, individual privacy, and agency security. The Federal Government demands absolute security in processing workflows, especially for citizen-based services that span public and private information processing environments. It's simply not enough to have workflow tools which are fundamentally secure in a private environment. Federal agencies need confidence when exchanging data from a mobile, citizen platform to a private, agency platform.
Point 3: Archive Responsibly
Fundamental to our form of government is trust. Trust of our people is fundamental. Trust by our federal workforce is fundamental. Trust in our records and information is equally fundamental. When the Administration or the Hill or the People want to know what we knew and when we knew it, federal agencies need to be at the ready to provide the truth - with facts and records to support the facts.
The Federal Government and its agencies aren't private institutions. Although there is information that we should not keep, federal agencies should continue to err on the side of caution and keep anything that seems worth keeping. We should be prepared to keep more information and more records than legally required to lend credibility and understanding of historical decisions and outcomes.
Again, we need tools and technologies that make responsible records management and archival easier for everyone. The amount of resources spent by the federal government on review and redaction of federal records is staggering. If we could have technologies to cut the resources just by 10 percent, that would be awesome. Reaching 20 or 30 percent cost reductions would be phenomenal.
Key to reducing manpower in archival, review, and release, is solid creation at that start. At the risk of creating a circular reference, I'll take you back to my initial point of Content Management at Creation.
- Federal agencies create more data and content than any of us cares to understand.
- It's not all useful data and finding our way through the mountains of data to know and keep what's important is a tough job.
- Securing the data to prevent harmful use and unlawful disclosure needs to be easier for federal agencies.
- Knowing when a leak is harmful also needs to be easier for federal agencies.
- Responding to appropriate releases of information-whether through freedom of information act requests or congressional inquiries-shouldn't be as hard as it is today.
- Guaranteeing the safety and security of private citizen data isn't a desire...it's a demand.
- The basic needs for federal agencies are:
- Suites of tools that do a large amount of the content management;
- Open interfaces and open source tools that allow affordable and extensible add-ons for special purposes;
- Tools that facilitate reduced complexity for end users and IT departments; and
- Tools that make a records management professional and an end user's job easier on a day-to-day basis.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advance...
Aug. 31, 2015 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 294
Contrary to mainstream media attention, the multiple possibilities of how consumer IoT will transform our everyday lives aren’t the only angle of this headline-gaining trend. There’s a huge opportunity for “industrial IoT” and “Smart Cities” to impact the world in the same capacity – especially during critical situations. For example, a community water dam that needs to release water can leverage embedded critical communications logic to alert the appropriate individuals, on the right device, as...
Aug. 31, 2015 09:40 AM EDT
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, a producer of the first smartphones and tablets, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. He will explain how M2M controllers work through wirelessly connected remote controls; and specifically delve into a retrofit option that reverse-engineers control codes of existing conventional controller systems so the...
Aug. 31, 2015 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 122
U.S. companies are desperately trying to recruit and hire skilled software engineers and developers, but there is simply not enough quality talent to go around. Tiempo Development is a nearshore software development company. Our headquarters are in AZ, but we are a pioneer and leader in outsourcing to Mexico, based on our three software development centers there. We have a proven process and we are experts at providing our customers with powerful solutions. We transform ideas into reality.
Aug. 31, 2015 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 533
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
Aug. 31, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 406
SYS-CON Events announced today that DataClear Inc. will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The DataClear ‘BlackBox’ is the only solution that moves your PC, browsing and data out of the United States and away from prying (and spying) eyes. Its solution automatically builds you a clean, on-demand, virus free, new virtual cloud based PC outside of the United States, and wipes it clean...
Aug. 30, 2015 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 396
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Aug. 30, 2015 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 348
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
Aug. 30, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 135
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of tech...
Aug. 30, 2015 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 223
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aug. 30, 2015 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 881
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Trel...
Aug. 30, 2015 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 229
WSM International, the pioneer and leader in server migration services, has announced an agreement with WHOA.com, a leader in providing secure public, private and hybrid cloud computing services. Under terms of the agreement, WSM will provide migration services to WHOA.com customers to relocate some or all of their applications, digital assets, and other computing workloads to WHOA.com enterprise-class, secure cloud infrastructure. The migration services include detailed evaluation and planning...
Aug. 30, 2015 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 164
The Internet of Things (IoT) is about the digitization of physical assets including sensors, devices, machines, gateways, and the network. It creates possibilities for significant value creation and new revenue generating business models via data democratization and ubiquitous analytics across IoT networks. The explosion of data in all forms in IoT requires a more robust and broader lens in order to enable smarter timely actions and better outcomes. Business operations become the key driver of I...
Aug. 30, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 399
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of ...
Aug. 28, 2015 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 214
SmartBear Software has updated its API tools, ServiceV for API service virtualization and LoadUI NG for API load testing, to accelerate development and testing processes in Agile teams. Updates to ServiceV enable software teams to rapidly build advanced mocks from real-time API traffic and quickly switch between virtualized “mock” services and actual APIs during diagnostic, load or integration testing in the continuous delivery lifecycle.
Aug. 21, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 324
Learn how you can use the CoSN SEND II Decision Tree for Education Technology to make sure that your K–12 technology initiatives create a more engaging learning experience that empowers students, teachers, and administrators alike.
Aug. 14, 2015 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 554
The amount of data processed in the world doubles every three years and a global commitment to open source technology is the way to handle this growth. An open technology approach fosters innovation through massive community involvement and impedes expensive vendor lock-in. This benefits buyers as markets remain more competitive. In doing so, open standards and technologies also allow for market hypergrowth, and this is the key to handling the growth of data. A doubling every three years ...
Aug. 14, 2015 11:00 AM EDT
SYS-CON Events announced today that VividCortex, the monitoring solution for the modern data system, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The database is the heart of most applications, but it’s also the part that’s hardest to scale, monitor, and optimize even as it’s growing 50% year over year. VividCortex is the first unified suite of database monitoring tools specifically desi...
Aug. 12, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 426
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Partnerships at Com...
Aug. 12, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 432
There are many considerations when moving applications from on-premise to cloud. It is critical to understand the benefits and also challenges of this migration. A successful migration will result in lower Total Cost of Ownership, yet offer the same or higher level of robustness. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Michael Meiner, an Engineering Director at Oracle, Corporation, analyzed a range of cloud offerings (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) and discussed the benefits/challenges of migrating to each offe...
Aug. 11, 2015 10:17 AM EDT Reads: 510