Big Data

EMC Federal CTO on the Government Transformation of Big Data


EMC Isilon’s Federal Market CTO, Audie Hittle, recently shared his insights on how big data initiatives are transforming government. According to Hittle, identifying insights from data, regardless of size, is the common thread across agencies.

“Big data appears to be providing a really positive and complementary impetuous for cloud and mobile capabilities,” Hittle said. “The demonstrated ability to gain insights from immediate or from forensic analysis from the data, supporting better decision making, really highlights the importance to gain easy access to the data via the cloud and to be able to interact with the data from anywhere for mobile solutions.”

Hittle notes that recent U.S. Air Force big data initiatives have also seen a reduction in the number of dedicated on-site storage professionals. In doing so, the military agency was able to reallocate staff and place employees on more mission critical and support roles. Placing employees on mission critical roles provided a career progression to move from one highly skilled area, dealing with IT management, into other areas that deal with knowledge extraction or analysis.

A related example Hittle shared comes from an intelligence agency, which implemented an Isilon scale-out network-attached storage (NAS) solution. The solutions allowed the agency to reduce service professionals by roughly 90 percent. Parallel to the Air Force study, employees could be reallocated to higher priority and direct mission-oriented services.

Like any new technology trend, government still is learning best practices, strategies, and implementation practices around big data. A recent GovLoop survey found that education (19%), acquiring infrastructure (18%), and confidentiality and access control (16%) were some of the challenges facing government.

As Hittle states, “The future for federal big data is very promising. There is a new awareness and realization about the magnitude and the potential of big data, and this is going to lead to appropriate levels of investment in the storage, management and analysis.”

Read more from Hittle’s industry perspective with GovLoop and download the GovLoop guide, “Transforming Your Agency with Big Data.”

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