To meet its mission, government increasingly relies on a complex and ever-expanding web of information tools and technologies. Networking, storage and compute resources power IT infrastructures. Applications generate unique services to help reach constituents, as well as collect and process information. And desktops, laptops and mobile devices put all that information in the hands of public servants and citizens alike.
All these systems help get the job of government done. And while they perform different functions, they all produce valuable information, called machine data.
Machine data is an authoritative record created by the activity of computers, mobile phones, embedded systems, network devices or any digital component. It includes all sorts of information, including logs, configurations, message queues, change events, call detail records, sensor data from industrial systems, and more.
It’s as abundant as it is diverse. In fact, it’s estimated that digital data will grow across industries at a compounded rate of 42 percent through 2020. In other words, agencies’ data volume will almost double every year.
That’s a ton of information that can be extremely valuable to agencies if used properly. Machine data contains a definitive record of all the activity and behavior of your constituents, users, transactions, and technologies and systems. Agencies can use those records to achieve all sorts of things.
For instance, most agencies are leveraging a cloud service, like Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services, for computing infrastructure. Machine data from these cloud environments help IT admins track computing performance, service downtimes and even usage to better estimate costs. But a more detailed analysis of the cloud service logs could let them audit their security and ensure they’re compliant with established security policies.
All those insights – collectively called operational intelligence – can be gleaned from the data created by one cloud system. Imagine what machine data from across the whole enterprise and IT infrastructure can help solve.
Organizations could do almost anything, like optimize IT operations, enhance security posture, demonstrate compliance, diagnose service problems, or even predict issues before they become problems. Agencies can proactively analyze physical infrastructure data to understand when systems are nearing capacity or their end-of-life usage. Then, IT departments can course correct before any failures.
It’s no understatement to say that machine data is one of the most valuable assets to government agencies today. But it’s also the most underused and undervalued asset in most organizations. Why?
To learn more about leveraging machine data to improve your agency and operations, enroll in our free, 10-minute course: How to Use Machine Data at Your Agency.