5 trends that will drive IT management in 2015

INDUSTRY INSIGHT

5 trends that will drive IT management in 2015

2015 is shaping up as a year when data analytics, ubiquitous video, and cyber forensics will force government IT managers to make decisions about how they deploy their resources. The following five technology trends will drive those decisions.

1. Big data analytics will expand in a multiple directions.

Many government agencies are starting to realize they must not only deal with a coming big data deluge, they also need to make sense of that data – in multiple ways and through many aspects of government information and services delivery.

This includes “entity analytics” to look for common elements related to terrorism and fraud analytics related to taxes, unemployment compensation, health payments and more.  

Leveraging data collected from the Internet of things as well as smart city applications ranging from traffic analysis to perimeter security monitors, are also on the near horizon for local public safety agencies.

Each of these efforts involves analyzing different types of data that are held in different collections. Thus the world of analytics will start to have highly specialized focus areas, even as databases themselves are merged and shared. What’s more, metadata will play a larger role in tracking these data types, and agencies will need to expand their efforts to build reliable metadata structures.

2. The rise of ubiquitous video.

Here are some of the drivers: Police are under pressure to wear body cameras. Many types of vehicles, not just police cars but even snow plows and other maintenance vehicles are being equipped with dashboard cams. Likewise there is a growing number of cameras in  hallways, stairwells and common spaces of government offices. Some workers even choose to leave their webcams on as a way of keeping watch on their work spaces.

All of this not only creates more data, it begs for new sets of rules. Who has access to these video feeds? How can they be used? How long should the files be stored? Consequently, new rules may need to be set for when police cameras are turned off and on, who has access to the full range of video, and whether the files can be released immediately or if longer delays are necessary.

3. The logistics of data collection raises more than just ownership issues.

In many cases, data ownership has taken top billing in the data logistics debate. Under pressure to share data, agencies often lose control of how it is updated, what their metadata covers and how the data should be used once it leaves their hands.

However, other sets of issues arise as high-end computers need specific rules about the locations of their data stores. In converged infrastructures, processing is faster if data is stored in high-speed network attached systems. “Hyperconverged” systems further ramp up performance by moving storage closer to the compute element – even resident in memory – while also streamlining the management of those resources.

These trends mean data logistics will become an important part of future government data collection and the decision making process about where it is stored.

4. Cyber investigations become more complex.

The Sony studio hacking has ramped up the need for better cyber forensics.

Everything from improved egress filtering to data visualization for attack patterns and high-end tracing tools for packet traffic is on the table. The problem is that most of these tools already exist, but most agencies don't use all of them because of management costs and processing overhead. Thus, to use the best possible security tools, investments must also be made in infrastructure.

5. Predictive analytics and maintenance is on the rise.

Predictive analytics can be tied to many activities. Security experts are building applications that monitor external penetration efforts while predicting the next steps that hackers will take. At the same time behavioral profiling – collecting, analyzing and interpreting information to identify risks and predict threats – is on the rise.

Meanwhile physical asset-intensive government departments will invest in predictive maintenance solutions enabled by the intersection of big data, IoT, mobile and cloud computing.

New applications can send messages and calendar tickler files when maintenance is anticipated. In the long term, this can cut maintenance costs and allow maintenance to be scheduled rather than treated as an emergency.

About the Author

Shawn McCarthy, a former writer for GCN, is senior analyst and program manager for government IT opportunities at IDC.

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