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GovCloud 2.0 – Introducing “Big Data Search” for Government IM Best Practices

Applying search technologies for purposes of managing Big Data

Our next upcoming webinar is entitled GovCloud 2.0, and a headline topic we will be introducing is called ‘Harnessing Enterprise Search for IM best practices‘.

IM is of course Information Management and refers to all aspects of Governments needs to managed records.

President Obama considers this a top priority area which means it will be a best practice area that will further accelerate Cloud adoption of related technologies.

As per the title one example of a new technology that can be used is called ‘Enterprise Search’, referring to large organizations using Google-like technology to index and search their own corporate mines of information, and for the enterprise market this means the software is more tuned to needs like Records Management.

In the case of one of our core partners ACIS, they specialize in the FAST Search engine that Microsoft acquired in 2008. One of the primary reasons for doing so was to integrate it into Sharepoint, their massively popular tool for document collaboration and increasingly for records management too, so highlighting the overlap is a powerful focus area.

Big Data Search

One way to capture the nature of the challenge and how the technology provides the solution is the concept of “Big Data Search“, ie. applying Search technologies for purposes of managing Big Data.

IM and Records Management is one of those areas of IT that highlights the big distinctions between the theory of best practices and what happens in reality. Most notably standalone record-keeping and knowledge management applications are purchased, with a view that they will be fed the records for long-term storage, having indexed them with the correct classification meta-data etc.

However the reality for government like for any busy organization is that corporate information and records is splurged across users laptops multiple times, stored on Google docs, embedded in PPT files here there and everywhere, and so on.

In essence this total collection of unstructured content can be thought of as the “Big Data of the Enterprise”, in that it refers to an ocean of information stored in email file folders, Word documents and everywhere else bar the records system!

This means it’s not indexed in record-keeping terms or enterprise KM terms either, and so the primary value of Enterprise Search is that it can scratch this itch – It can scan the entire universe of corporate big data, index it all and do all the heavy lifting it would many analysts months and years to do via manual labor.

Search engine software can not only be used to index unstructured content but also enterprise applications too, and it provides users with various powerful knowledge management type features, like ‘Monitored Content’ – Ie. Receive alerts for when new information is published matching a certain search criteria.

It can even be combined with other components so that it can provide a building block for ‘EDaaS’ : E-Discovery as a Service, where this searching across file stores and email archives is for purposes of legal discovery. This is a key ‘business use case’ scenario being developed, meaning it will be rolled out across all USA agencies at some point.

GovCloud 2.0

Of course In addition to this internal IT capability the other key activities it can be used for is providing a search function to web sites, highlighting just how versatile and powerful Enterprise Search as a technology is.

In the case of public web sites this means of course serving the public, and when you consider the challenge in using the web to unify services from multiple departments each with its own multiple sources of corporate data, it again is a challenge of mastering this big data blob.

It’s critical to do so though – As highlighted in the Social CRM for Government blog, it costs 15x more to service a customer request via traditional interaction methods rather than through the web, their ‘Cost to Service’ ratio:

Cost To Serve

  • Face to face : £7.40
  • Telephone: £2.90
  • Web: 32p

And of course what’s the first thing you do if you visit a web site and try a few times unsuccessfully to find what you want? That’s right, you either leave entirely or most likely you pick up the phone. Ie.:

Failing to service a web search request directly escalates an interaction into the next magnitude of cost.

Our GovCloud 2.0 webinar will focus on how Enterprise Search, and other technologies accessible now via the Cloud, can be used this way to achieve transformational changes that drive significant cost reductions.

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The Cloud Best Practices Network is an expert community of leading Cloud pioneers. Follow our best practice blogs at http://CloudBestPractices.net

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