A Florida City's Search for an Answer to Massive Data Growth

Around the country, IT departments are trying to solve the same problem: what to do with massive (and ever-growing) amounts of data. In this new world where everything is camera-enabled and in high definition, data is being recorded, collected and stored 24/7, and no one knows what to do with it. This is especially the case in a Florida city that DSM recently met with.

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The Situation

When DSM met with the IT Director and IT Manager of this particular Florida city, it was immediately clear that they were stretched thin, and stressed out. That’s because their team supports every department that the city manages: police department, fire department, parks and recreation, etc. With most of those departments being individually funded, IT becomes a secondary thought and is expected to ‘make it work.’ But the reality is, with this police department already storing 150-200 terabytes (and growing) of data per month from their body-worn cameras (BWC), and the HD cameras in their vehicles, the IT department needs funding (and a lot of it) to manage it all. This doesn’t include the data of the other city departments that IT supports.

Another issue they are facing is that none of the departments have set retention policies for this data (as evident in the fact that they have data going back to the 90’s). New data is being stored every minute and none of the old data is being purged. Additionally, funding is an issue. While the cost of cloud storage may work in the current budget, will that cost still be manageable when the amount of data increases? Will the budget continue to increase with it, or will the budget get decreased? What does that mean for the data storage solution?

The Solution

Well, that’s the problem. For many of the cities encountering these issues, there isn’t a good solution yet. At least, not until retention policies are put in place, budgets are set, and it’s known which data needs to follow specific compliance regulations (i.e. HIPAA or CJIS). When those puzzles are solved, the cloud (especially from a CJIS compliant provider) is the perfect solution for managing the data of government entities (or any organization). Another benefit of moving to the cloud is that rather than purchasing, housing, and managing equipment for the data, which is a Capital Expense (CAPEX) and harder to get approval for, the cloud can be categorized as an Operating Expense (OPEX) because of its pay-as-you-go nature.

Additionally, most clouds are highly scalable, and can increase storage capacity with the flip of a switch to accommodate increasing data needs; which is perfect for police departments that increase their data usage regularly. But if/when an organization moves to the cloud, they need to keep in mind the security and compliance laws and regulations that they are bound to.

If any of the above scenarios resonated with you, here is some advice:

  1. If your IT team manages the technology for more than one department, ask each department for some of their budget so that you can properly manage their data, and have a set amount of funds being directed to IT each year. (To get additional funding and backing from those that set the budgets, learn how IT can make an organization more profitable, here.)
  1. Before moving to a cloud provider, or buying equipment, make sure that you have a retention policy set, and a person dedicated to enforcing it. This will ensure that the amount of data being retained stays manageable.
  2. If you move to the cloud, and your organization needs to follow specific regulations, select a provider that is fully compliant. Some of the most common regulations are: CJIS, HIPAASOC 1 and SOC 2.

The DSM Difference

DSM regularly works with state and local organizations, and we fully understand their specific needs and requirements. Our G-Cloud is the first --and only-- Florida-based virtual private cloud solution designed for national, state, regional, and local government agencies. Additionally, we ensure strict security protocols, 99.99%+ uptime, and a complete compliance package; meeting the requirements of CJIS, HIPAA, PCI, SOC 1 and SOC 2. We pride ourselves on our integrity and won’t steer your organization in the wrong direction simply to benefit our bottom-line. So, when you’re ready to talk about what solution is right for your organization, give us a call; we’ll be here.

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