Federal Cloud Computing Challenges Part 3: Data Management


In a Statement by Dr. David McClure, Associate Administrator, Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technology, at an April 2011 Senate Subcommittee Hearing, McClure stated one of the biggest challenges federal agencies face in migrating to the cloud is data management. Data management in cloud computing is something that needs to be critically analyzed and strategized before solutions can be implemented. So lets take a look at some of the Data Management challenges that exist in Federal Cloud Computing Solutions:


Cloud Computing Challenges: Data Management


First of all, it is important to understand that the IT needs of global organizations pale in comparison with those of the US federal government. Quite simply, the US Federal Government is enormous – composed of more than 2.1 million full-time federal employees, each of who use at least one IT system and 2,094 federal government data centers composed of thousands of servers.


More Thoughts on Data

In my previous blog, Data, the Neglected Part of Content Management,  I discussed the importance of structured data within a cms. Getting a good structured data design to compliment the design of the overall content management solution can be dirty work; not quite Mike Rowe “Dirty Jobs” dirty, but to some in our profession it might as well be.

Why? Because you have to get right down to the user level and find out what they need and the context about how they think about the information.

So, let’s think about structured data and how it affects the user’s ability to locate and use the information in the content management system; in other words the search function.


Data, The Neglected Part of Content Management

I call it “the question”. You’re in a crowded conference room and someone asks, (and it’s usually with the senior manager present), “could you give me a definition of content management?” Everyone looks at you, the learned professional for some wise insightful definition and you’re thinking wow how big is big. This would appear to be an easy question to answer. But, in reality it is not.

Experience shapes perception and everyone around the table has a different experience base when it comes to the idea of managing content. Research firms such as Gartner consider content management as part of the essential infrastructure enterprise landscape. But the term doesn’t generate the same instant recognition or understanding as, say, enterprise resource planning. Why is that? It’s simple; the company wouldn’t exist if it weren’t managing its financial resources. The fact that I’m in the room being asked “the question” confirms my suspicion that the  company hasn’t developed a strategy for managing content.