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Strategy, cloud keys to improve federal data management

Tom Kennedy, the vice president and general manager of Veritas Public Sector, said during the Innovation in Government show that two trends are impacting how ag...

Tom Kennedy, the vice president and general manager of Veritas Public Sector, said during the Innovation in Government show that two trends are impacting how agencies meet a series of OMB data management deadlines.

The Office of Management and Budget and the National Archives and Records Administration gave agencies a series of mandates under the Managing Government Records Directive in 2012. As part of this directive, agencies have to digitize their temporary and permanent records and ultimately manage all electronic records in electronic format by the end of 2019.

Agencies faced their most recent deadline in December for managing their email records electronically.

While there isn’t any new data on how they are doing, NARA reported back in 2015 that agencies were making progress toward this goal.

The agency self-assessment report, finds:

  • 80 percent of the agencies say that their agency leadership recognizes records and information management as a priority.
  • 76 percent of the agencies said they use their records management self-assessment scores to measure the effectiveness of their records management program.
  • 36 percent of agencies scored in the low risk category, 47 percent in the moderate risk, and 17 percent in the high risk. That leaves 64 percent of agencies with much higher risks of breaches, misinformation, lost records, and other problems than they should have. And even the 36 percent of agencies with low risk are still vulnerable.

The next self-assessment is due to NARA March 17.

Tom Kennedy, the vice president and general manager of Veritas Public Sector, said during the Innovation in Government show that many agencies are doing a good job in managing electronic records such as email or structured data.

But between now and 2019, agencies need to consider how they deal with unstructured data and then figure out how to make that data more valuable.

“There are two big macro trends going on that are influencing the business problem. The first is the growth of data. Studies show there is almost 50 percent annual growth in unstructured data and the reality is throwing more infrastructure at the problem doesn’t scale anymore. Agencies need a strategy to manage their data,” Kennedy said. “The other big macro trend is the emergence of the cloud. Everyone is real impressed that the government has been forward with cloud adoption. All of a sudden your data sources may be private and public cloud and adds another layer of complexity.”

Kennedy said if agencies have a data management strategy that encompasses all data sources, which includes cloud and on-premise storage.

But it’s not just having a strategy and using the cloud, Kennedy said agencies need to consider training personnel to work in this environment, using more automation tools to archive information more easily, and finally implementing visualization software to get more value out of the data.

“We believe roughly 70 percent of an agency’s data is unstructured data and we also advocate that agencies take a modular approach,” he said. “Agencies need to have a holistic strategy but accomplish it modularly and show success like that. Assuming they already have their email under control, the next big section of data they will go after and typically what we are seeing is file shares and document repositories.”

Kennedy said the real goal behind the OMB and NARA directive is not just moving data, but classifying and analyzing data that will lead agencies to smart decision making.


veritas-logo-redAbout Veritas Technologies

Veritas Technologies enables organizations to harness the power of their information to drive success, with solutions designed to serve the world’s most complex, heterogeneous environments. Veritas works with federal government organizations, helping them improve their data availability and unlock insights to drive mission achievement.

From traditional data centers to private, public and hybrid clouds, Veritas helps enterprises protect, identify and manage data regardless of their environment through a comprehensive product strategy and roadmap focused on their needs. Veritas’ products for backup and recovery, business continuity, software-defined storage and information governance help automate information management and reduce manual effort so enterprises can focus on what they do best.


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Jason MillerJason Miller, Federal News Radio

Jason Miller is an executive editor and reporter with Federal News Radio. As executive editor, Jason helps direct the news coverage of the station and works with reporters to ensure a broad range of coverage of federal technology, procurement, finance and human resource news.As a reporter, Jason focuses mainly on technology and procurement issues, including cybersecurity, e-government and acquisition policies and programs.



Tom Kennedy, Vice President and General Manager, Veritas Public Sector

Mr. Tom Kennedy was appointed Vice President and General Manager of Veritas Public Sector in December of 2014.  During a time of transition, Mr. Kennedy is responsible for strategy and execution across the Public Sector for the newly formed Information Management business.  He manages all aspects of sales for Federal, State and Local Government, Education and National Health Care in North America.  Mr. Kennedy is a proven leader with over 20 years of industry experience in Public Sector.  Throughout his career, he has successfully built high performing teams, delivered innovative solutions to solve complex customer problems and brings extensive federal domain knowledge to support this community.

Prior to his current role, Mr. Kennedy has held leadership roles at Symantec, Clearwell and GTSI.  In addition to his professional career, Mr. Kennedy is an active member of the ACT- IAC and is a graduate (2003) of the prestigious Partners program. Mr. Kennedy is also active in GEIA, AFCEA and AFFIRM, three organizations that bring government and industry IT leaders together.

Mr. Kennedy holds a Master’s degree from George Mason University and a Bachelor’s degree from the Pennsylvania State University. Additionally, he is a graduate of The Executive Program at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia.  He lives in Virginia with his wife and 2 sons.

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