Unstructured Data Management in Government: Balancing Between Opportunity and Risks


This blog is part of an industry series on unstructured data management. Read the previous posts on life sciences and healthcare.

The morass of issues and challenges facing government organizations are at a tipping point. Crime rates in many cities are up, a sluggish economy means that citizens have more needs while tax revenues are lower, budgets are tight, labor shortages persist and clean energy and sustainability mandates are on the agenda.

On the IT front, agencies are facing multiple priorities to improve services and lower risks, including cloud modernization, AI-led decision-making, improved data sharing and integrated security strategies, according to Gartner, in its 2023 Government Technology Trends brief.

“Not only is the current global turmoil and technological disruption putting pressure on governments to find a balance between digital opportunities and risks, it also presents solid opportunities to shape the next generation of digital government,” said Arthur Mickoleit, Director Analyst at Gartner, as quoted in the brief. “Government CIOs must demonstrate their digital investments aren’t just tactical in nature as they continue to improve service delivery and core mission impacts.”

Digital initiatives begin with data and government agencies at all levels have a variety of data types due to the broad functionality government IT organizations deliver across their diverse constituencies. This trend has only grown with the explosion in new digital services spurred from Covid-19.

Some of the more challenging data types for agencies to manage include CAD/CAM, geographical information systems (GIS), and bodycam surveillance video since the file sizes are so large.

Common unstructured data management challenges in public sector

Government and public sector data is stored in a variety of formats and systems that support specific programs, departments and agencies. When data suddenly explodes, due to a new construction project or law enforcement program, agencies are hampered by tight budgets and long procurement cycles for expanding storage infrastructure. At the same time, agencies must comply with strict data regulations around privacy, security and auditing. How does IT handle this increasingly complex and rapidly growing storage footprint without disrupting critical applications, users or the constituents they ultimately serve?

How unstructured data management helps

The right unstructured data management solution brings a unified interface for all data in storage across agencies, departments and other potential data silos. It allows government IT and storage managers to understand data and make better decisions, such as how to migrate and tier data to the cloud or set up data deletion policies. Intelligent guidance on managing relentless file and object data growth can significantly and continuously reduce storage and backup costs and accelerate cloud journeys.

These solutions can also ensure the proper compliance measures are in place, such as for ransomware protection and the secure storage of PII data. Public-sector organizations can benefit from increased flexibility to adopt better, more efficient technologies when required: solutions like Komprise Intelligent Data Management, Komprise Analysis and Komprise Elastic Data Migration can ensure that data doesn’t get locked into any one storage or backup solution.

Case in Point: Boone County, ID

Protecting and storing data is mission-critical to local governments like Boone County, Indiana. The County Sheriff Department’s adoption of body and dash cameras for all its officers and vehicles resulted in a 3000% growth in evidentiary data. Using the ROI reporting from Komprise, the IT team built a five-year plan that projected 70% savings by using Komprise to transparently archive cold data into Azure Blob. Because data moved by Komprise still appears on Boone County’s SAN, there was zero disruption to users.

“We were at an unsustainable data growth rate,” said Sean Horan, Senior Network Systems Specialist with Boone County’s contractor. “Now we can move large amounts of data to the cloud without any disruption to employees.”

Komprise has customers across city, county, state and federal governments. We help solve common public sector challenges of widespread cost-cutting mandates, limited staff and budget resources, the need to modernize data management environments to meet mandates for better citizen self-service and reduce the risks and complexities of cloud migrations. Learn more here.

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