Today’s government organizations are generating, storing, and analyzing more data than ever. This data is collected in order to better serve constituents, inform policy- and decision-making, keep citizens safe, and deliver critical services. Most of that data is unstructured, including video and images, like geospatial data, medical research, video surveillance, training videos, and more. And while there’s value in retaining this information for analysis, it’s also expensive and challenging to sort through what data is important to archive and reuse.
Government organizations must learn how to efficiently manage this influx of unstructured data to maximize its value, inform stronger business decisions, and maintain compliance with legal regulations. By having the right storage infrastructure in place, government organizations will be more prepared to capture, protect and analyze their data and better serve their constituents. This means a solution that protects their sensitive data while maintaining accessibility and simple data management, all while contending with the massive influx of a wide variety of data only a government organization deals with.
Bridging the Gap Between Security and Accessibility
Data is one of the most important assets in any organization, as it contains valuable insights. In the case of government entities, these insights can propel things like community research efforts, critical medical advancements, and improved intelligence about potential security risks. However, with legacy storage infrastructures there is often a lack of accessibility and visibility into the value of data, which means organizations aren’t able to leverage this valuable asset in a way that’s simple and cost effective.
The storage of all that data also introduces an additional layer of complexity tied to privacy concerns. Safeguarding sensitive data against cyberthreats is of the utmost priority, especially since government data is often highly sensitive. This adds an extra layer of difficulty, wherein the data must be extremely secure, but also needs to remain easily accessible for those who need it for analysis. Government organizations cannot settle for just any storage solution, but instead have to seek out a solution that meets every single one of these important requirements.
AI has quickly emerged as a potential solution to solve the data challenges that government organizations face and can be employed to streamline the data management processes including automatically tagging, cataloging, and indexing data to identify what is critical versus what can be archived or deleted. This helps staff quickly search and find the data they want to recall from the archive for analysis, putting it to future use. It can also help identify classified or sensitive information and automatically move that data to a location that only those with clearance can access. Within government agencies that are often marked by shrinking budgets and persistent labor shortages, AI can be a critical component to simplifying and strengthening management as data continues to grow exponentially. As the amount of data collected increases, the storage solutions must evolve in parallel. No matter where it ends up, AI will be an indispensable tool in streamlining the analysis and enrichment of that data.
This isn’t to say that AI will replace the necessary human expertise component when it comes to analysis. While AI is indispensable when it comes to simplifying and streamlining data management, data accessibility, and data retrieval, so are the human teams managing that data for analysis. With AI automation, human teams have more valuable time to analyze data and use those insights to further the mission of their organizations instead of spending time managing complex storage systems. AI requires human expertise, and when the two are combined they can unlock unmatched potential.
Adapting to Change
The evolving landscape of data and especially data within government organizations requires a strategic approach to management. The surge in unstructured data, collected from diverse sources and serving a multitude of purposes, will lead to greater insights – so long as the organization collecting that data can use it correctly. Harnessing the potential of this data to inform decisions and fulfill the users’ needs all while protecting sensitive information requires a sophisticated storage solution that strikes a delicate balance between security, accessibility, and efficiency, which is where AI comes in. AI’s inherent adaptability is the perfect partner within the dynamic storage requirements of government entities. By embracing AI’s capabilities in the storage landscape, government organizations can optimize their data management and analysis strategies and pave the way for a more efficient, secure, and insightful future.
The views expressed here are the writer’s and are not necessarily endorsed by Homeland Security Today, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints in support of securing our homeland. To submit a piece for consideration, email editor @ hstoday.us.