Welcome!

Related Topics: @BigDataExpo, @CloudExpo, Cloud Security, Government Cloud

@BigDataExpo: Article

Trends in Federal Records Management

Three Principles for Successful Federal Records Management

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:

  1. Capture on creation;
  2. Manage and secure through the workflow; and
  3. 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.

Summary

  • 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.

More Stories By Jill Tummler Singer

Jill Tummler Singer is CIO for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)- which as part of the 16-member Intelligence Community plays a primary role in achieving information superiority for the U.S. Government and Armed Forces. A DoD agency, the NRO is staffed by DoD and CIA personnel. It is funded through the National Reconnaissance Program, part of the National Foreign Intelligence Program.

Prior to joining the NRO, Singer was Deputy CIO at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), where she was responsible for ensuring CIA had the information, technology, and infrastructure necessary to effectively execute its missions. Prior to her appointment as Deputy CIO, she served as the Director of the Diplomatic Telecommunications Service (DTS), United States Department of State, and was responsible for global network services to US foreign missions.

Singer has served in several senior leadership positions within the Federal Government. She was the head of Systems Engineering, Architecture, and Planning for CIA's global infrastructure organization. She served as the Director of Architecture and Implementation for the Intelligence Community CIO and pioneered the technology and management concepts that are the basis for multi-agency secure collaboration. She also served within CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology.

Latest Stories
Adobe is changing the world though digital experiences. Adobe helps customers develop and deliver high-impact experiences that differentiate brands, build loyalty, and drive revenue across every screen, including smartphones, computers, tablets and TVs. Adobe content solutions are used daily by millions of companies worldwide-from publishers and broadcasters, to enterprises, marketing agencies and household-name brands. Building on its established design leadership, Adobe enables customers not o...
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
Businesses are struggling to manage the information flow and interactions between all of these new devices and things jumping on their network, and the apps and IT systems they control. The data businesses gather is only helpful if they can do something with it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Witeck, Principal Technology Strategist at Citrix, will discuss how different the impact of IoT will be for large businesses, expanding how IoT will allow large organizations to make their legacy ap...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, will discuss how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridharabalan, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, Inc., will focus on key challenges in building an Internet of Things solution infrastructure. He will shed light on efficient ways of defining interactions within IoT solutions, leading to cost and time reduction. He will also introduce ways to handle data and how one can develop IoT solutions that are lean, flexible and configurable, thus making IoT infrastructure agile and scalable.
Creating replica copies to tolerate a certain number of failures is easy, but very expensive at cloud-scale. Conventional RAID has lower overhead, but it is limited in the number of failures it can tolerate. And the management is like herding cats (overseeing capacity, rebuilds, migrations, and degraded performance). Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing for the HGST Cloud Infrastructure Business Unit, discusse...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lea...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to connect your brand strategy with the right consumer. 24Notion ranked #12 on Corporate Social Responsibility - Book of List.