"Government information managers will be continually subjected to rules designed to safeguard individual privacy. As a result, managers must exercise constant vigilance in safeguarding individual privacy. Such vigilance requires regular privacy risk assessments to better understand operational business procedures and to enforce and to test against these procedures. These practices will establish a baseline for privacy protection and help to avoid sanctions and liabilities associated with noncompliance".
Jeff Vining, Gartner
Govt. Information Managers Using Data Mining Must Address PrivacyConcerns,
March 1, 2006

The increasing adoption of e-Governance in the last decade has brought to the forefront the three laws of data growth:

  • 1st Law: Application Performance is inversely proportional to data growth.
  • 2nd Law: Cost of data management is directly proportional to data growth.
  • 3rd Law: The risk of data breaches increases exponentially with every additional copy of production environments.

Improving Citizen Services and Consolidating Systems Drives Exponential Data Growth

Consolidating government services from multiple government departments to achieve economies of scale, efficiency and ultimately improve citizen services is driving exponential data growth as processes and data from multiple organizations are integrated to provide seamless service to citizens cutting across organizational barriers and across the multiple tiers of government.

This growth has major adverse impacts on application performance and ultimately a drastic effect on the delivery of citizen services. As Government CIOs look to institute a mechanism to discover and classify data from the multiple government agencies and adopt a tiered storage strategy they also face the challenge of rising costs of data management.

Data Retention Drives Up Data Management Costs

While the fundamental principle of e-Governance is to reduce costs of citizen services delivery through an additional channel and implementing a "Joined-up Government" is to bring about economies of scale, the reality is the per unit cost of service still remains nearly as high as in traditional delivery channels. A big contributing factor is that some Government data needs to be retained for as long as 100 years. Much of this is being kept on expensive Tier 1 storage and requires more DBAs to manage thousands of different instances.

In addition, a "Joined-up" Government creates a new layer of complexity in the data center. The old way of taking tape back-ups and deleting from primary storage is no longer feasible as data now belongs to different departments. Data no longer required by one department may still be critical for another. To add to the complexity, the "joined-up" infrastructure houses multiple applications running on multiple databases for different departments.

Consolidating Agency Infrastructures Increases Security Risks

Maintaining data security and privacy across multiple applications in a "joined-up" enterprise architecture can be challenging as it involves many rounds of development, testing and QA on hundreds of non-production copies of the databases. The security breach that occurred with the Department of Veteran Affairs exposed the names, SSN and dates of birth of over 26.5 million veterans and their families after an employee copied the data to his local PC which was stolen after his home was burglarized. Each copy of production compounds the potential for security breaches increasing the opportunity for similar breaches to occur if data isn't protected before released for development

The Solix Enterprise Data Management Suite provides government agencies with the tools to solve application performance, growing costs and data security challenges.

  • Improve Delivery of Citizen Services: By implementing database archiving, Solix can reduce the size of citizen record databases improving overall application performance. Critical citizen information remains available and secure allowing government officials and citizens accessing information through self-service portals to retrieve it quickly and easily.
  • Better Cost Management in Heterogeneous Environments: Deploying an active archiving strategy that allows simultaneous access to data on Tier 2 storage significantly reduces infrastructure costs. Implementing an archiving solution lowers storage costs, including disk and tape and server processing.In a "joined-up" infrastructure, the CIO also has to manage heterogeneous applications running on multiple databases of different departments. The Solix Enterprise Data Management Suite allows government agencies to leverage the same solution for archiving, controlling data security and auditing, ultimately allowing Government IT data centers to significantly consolidate the number of data management tools while lowering training and maintenance support costs. Many organizations equate archiving with data loss however Solix Enterprise Database Archiving Solutions utilize active archiving technology which provides users with simultaneous access to archived data from the native application ensuring data retrieval is seamless to the end-user.
  • Better Compliance: Consider the facts:
    • The average number of database application clones to support application testing is 10-20
    • The average percentage of data that is confidential is 54%
    • Most IT departments create FULL database copies exposing confidential data that isn't even needed for testing. Sometimes this data is copied to local PC's and laptops for development and testing leading to breaches like the Department of Veteran Affairs
    • Often times confidential data isn't secured before it is copied and if it is, it can require an exorbitant amount of time and storage.

By ensuring data is secure, costs associated with a data breach can be avoided. To ensure sensitive data remains protected against the largest source of vulnerability - the internal threat - the Solix Enterprise Data Management Suite allows the CIO to identify data that meets specific security and retention requirements and automate how the data is protected and managed throughout its entire lifecycle. Sensitive data can also be protected with ongoing auditing and event notification to ensure if and when a breach occurs you are immediately notified of the source and nature of the breach.