How can public sector best tackle their unique storage needs?
Unpack public sector's unique data storage challenges — and what you can do about them.
If you work at an education institution or a state or local government, then modern data storage poses a particular challenge to your organization.
Your teams must meet data storage needs unique to the public sector, and often face difficulties identifying what data you have, how your data is used, and what skills you need to manage data created today and in the future.
With an ever-increasing demand and reliance on data to power day-to-day operations and inform decision making, it’s critical to be mindful of how public sector data is used, stored, and accessed.
While understanding and managing your data may seem daunting, you can overcome the challenges ahead with proper knowledge and resources.
Overwhelming data volume and retention requirements
The sheer volume of data generated by connected devices is a major obstacle for public sector entities — especially when small IT teams are tasked with managing data from various sources like traffic cameras, court recordings, social media, text messages, video footage, and more.
Since this inordinate amount of data must often be stored for indefinite periods of time, your organization likely faces an unending demand for ever-increasing amounts of storage space. This need can quickly become cost-prohibitive if not managed properly, with recurring expenses ballooning out of control as additional hard drives are needed to keep up with demand.
At the same time, public sector organizations must adhere to mandated retention requirements. For example, certain types of data may need to be kept for three or seven years — or in some cases, indefinitely. Federal and state laws also often mandate records are maintained even after an employee leaves their job, which produces additional storage challenges for entities without a clear plan in place. As such, governments and education institutions must find efficient and affordable ways to store large amounts of data while complying with regulations.
But data storage challenges are not just about cost. Your organization must make sure your data is safe and secure, accessible when needed, and compliant with any applicable laws. Some laws regulate where certain types of sensitive data must be stored. Therefore, IT departments must know how to securely move information between on-premises servers or cloud providers without compromising security measures or in-place procedures.
The skills gap is real — and problematic
Unfortunately, many government and education institutions often lack the resources, specialized skills, and knowledge needed to properly and effectively manage the plethora of data generated today.
While most public sector IT departments are familiar with traditional data storage solutions, they may not have a comprehensive understanding of how to handle large volumes and varieties of digital information, including from emails, documents, and live video feeds.
Your organization also faces the not-so-small task of fully grasping the real value of your data — and the ramifications if you don’t.
To get meaningful information and knowledge from your data, you need more than just a technical understanding; you must understand the context in which the data was collected, as well as its purpose. Your organization faces significant risks if you don’t know how your data is being used or what protocols are currently in place for its retention, security, access, and destruction.
Public sector entities also must often find ways to organize their disparate sources into one cohesive system that makes sense for all stakeholders involved, from constituents to legal teams. Without the requisite in-house expertise or resources, many organizations struggle to keep up with changing regulations while staying aligned with industry best practices.
And of course, who could forget about the challenges of maintaining your technology? Since public sector organizations typically don’t have the budget to keep up with advances in data storage and security measures, you can become increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks as systems age and aren’t regularly updated or patched.
Fortunately, there are ways to get ahead of these issues before disaster strikes — and partners who can help.
Make data storage concerns a thing of the past
SHI provides public sector organizations with the tools needed to tackle your current data storage challenges and prepare for future needs.
Our data storage solutions unlock visibility into your assets, enabling better management of growth and utilization rates. We can help you navigate the storage landscape to identify the right technologies, negotiate contracts, and assess your environment — ultimately ensuring you build the best solution for your present and future needs.
But we don’t just offer technical expertise; SHI’s storage experts ensure your organization’s mission-critical data remains secure and recoverable. Our proven service portfolio and decades-long partnerships with industry-leading vendors allow us to provide uniquely tailored solutions that are optimized for performance while providing added protection against loss from disasters or cyberattacks.
If you’re worried about financial limitations, don’t be. SHI can help you identify and apply for grant funding, perform an analysis to determine your funding needs, and leverage the right procurement vehicles for your storage solutions.
Given today’s complex landscape where vast amounts of digital information must be securely stored while still meeting mandated consistency requirements, the public sector must prioritize finding effective solutions that meet both budgetary constraints and compliance standards at every level.
For many resource- and time-constrained organizations, this is easier said than done. But with SHI, it’s easy to solve what’s next for your data storage strategy. To remove the burden from your IT teams and overcome your biggest data challenges, contact our storage experts today.