|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.
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of Soli...
Dec. 4, 2016 04:45 PM EST Reads: 1,633
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 4, 2016 04:15 PM EST Reads: 593
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 4, 2016 04:15 PM EST Reads: 4,138
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Dec. 4, 2016 03:00 PM EST Reads: 3,245
Join Impiger for their featured webinar: ‘Cloud Computing: A Roadmap to Modern Software Delivery’ on November 10, 2016, at 12:00 pm CST. Very few companies have not experienced some impact to their IT delivery due to the evolution of cloud computing. This webinar is not about deciding whether you should entertain moving some or all of your IT to the cloud, but rather, a detailed look under the hood to help IT professionals understand how cloud adoption has evolved and what trends will impact th...
Dec. 4, 2016 03:00 PM EST Reads: 2,516
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Dec. 4, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 1,991
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band-aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It does...
Dec. 4, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 919
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Dec. 4, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,898
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
Dec. 4, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 573
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Dec. 4, 2016 01:45 PM EST Reads: 2,155
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
Dec. 4, 2016 01:30 PM EST Reads: 1,535
"Qosmos has launched L7Viewer, a network traffic analysis tool, so it analyzes all the traffic between the virtual machine and the data center and the virtual machine and the external world," stated Sebastien Synold, Product Line Manager at Qosmos, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 4, 2016 01:15 PM EST Reads: 628
"We are a modern development application platform and we have a suite of products that allow you to application release automation, we do version control, and we do application life cycle management," explained Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 4, 2016 01:00 PM EST Reads: 762
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Dec. 4, 2016 12:45 PM EST Reads: 2,124
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Dec. 4, 2016 12:30 PM EST Reads: 1,671