A recent survey revealed that 68 percent of federal agencies believe hybrid and multi-cloud architecture is critical to modernizing government operations and citizen service delivery. Conversely, as agencies expand cloud portfolios it can introduce challenges for IT leaders, including increased architectural complexity, reduced visibility, and data management. To overcome these challenges the Enterprise Services Center (ESC) sought to modernize its data sharing and management processes. By using this shared data virtualization platform, ESC was able to improve data access, visibility, security and control. The ESC shared this data virtualization platform to support 22 other agencies within its shared service provider (SSP) model, including the Department of Transportation, Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Personnel Management, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This platform provided each agency with self-enablement tools to access and share data while placing parameters around what data each user could access.
In an interview with Government Technology Insider, Mike Rucker, Federal Director of National Intelligence at Denodo, explained how a data virtualization platform helps agencies to better navigate the complexities of hybrid-cloud. “A data virtualization platform could enable agencies with the ability to access whatever data they need, without having to navigate through multiple data storage platforms to find it,” Rucker said. “With data virtualization, users can access real-time, verified data that appears on a single platform, while leaving the data at rest.”
In particular, the FAA had incredible success after integrating the ESC’s shared data virtualization platform. The FAA had two distinct goals when modernizing data management processes. The first goal was to catalogue its existing application inventory across multiple IT organizations to reduce redundancies and complexities by “identifying the costs, function, and software components associated with each.” The second goal was to modernize processes for sharing data about “potentially hazardous flight obstacles” with the public to improve security and accuracy. To achieve these goals, the FAA partnered with Denodo to consolidate 837 data sources into a single dashboard view using a data virtualization platform.
Government Technology Insider sat down with Sherif Said, Vice President of Technology Partnerships at Strategic Innovation Group, who worked closely with the FAA and Denodo teams on the data management platform integration. Said discussed how before integrating this platform, the FAA would have to go through a cumbersome manual process to receive approval to access their own data. Then the agency would only be granted access within specific terms on how the data could be used.
“Now with the availability created by Denodo’s digital virtualization platform, they’re able to automate that connection to the data and refresh that data as often as they would like,” Said explained. “As a service provider to the agency, it has made our lives easier to have one source of truth for the numbers versus multiple to be able to provide accurate numbers to the people that need it to make impactful data-driven decisions in real time.”
For the first time, the FAA’s leadership team had a single source of truth to view the software and application costs, inventory, and budgets across all their IT organizations without interrupting productivity. By streamline IT operations, the FAA was able to reduce data management costs by 99.8 percent while accelerating data access by 96 percent. The FAA was also able to reduce ongoing costs by eliminating duplicate applications, renegotiating software agreements, and successfully consolidating the organization. According to Said, by implementing this solution, the agencies who used this platform were able to significantly reduce the risk of data leaks and breaches. In addition, it allowed agency teams to focus on high-level tasks by empowering customers to access their own data.
Even though hybrid cloud architecture comes with its own set of challenges, the benefits of leveraging it to improve government mission and service delivery are immeasurable. By investing in the right data virtualization tools, the ESC and the FAA were able to navigate these challenges to integrate data from multiple IT organizations into a single source of truth. As a result, the FAA was able to accelerate data access, reduce data management costs, and improve data visibility and security to enable an innovative workforce.
Learn more about how to use data virtualization to accelerate data access here.