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Embracing modern data management to enhance efficiency and security

As public sector leaders continue to navigate the rapidly evolving technological landscape, a particular focus has emerged on the potential of automation and modern data management tools. In a new FedScoop interview, Manuel Medrano, office director for the Office of Cyber Monitoring and Operations at the Department of State, and Andrew Davidson, senior vice president of products at MongoDB, discuss how these technologies can improve agency outcomes.

Medrano highlights the significance of data in contemporary cybersecurity operations, emphasizing the need to automate routine tasks to enhance both efficiency and security. “Data is a buzzword,” says Medrano. “As we look into the future, the increasing complexity and volume of IT activities demand that we embrace automation.” He also underscores the importance of balancing automation with the human element, ensuring that personnel are upskilled and integrated into the automated processes.

In addition, Medrano touches upon the adoption of agile development practices within the State Department, noting the challenges and benefits of this approach. “Agility, especially in today’s world, is essential,” he says. “Using agile practices allows us to deliver solutions incrementally and respond quickly to geopolitical events and operational challenges.”

Davidson added onto Medrano’s sentiments, discussing the critical role of modern data management tools in facilitating agile development and operational efficiency. “We are very much in a software-defined government,” says Davidson. He pointed out that legacy components often hinder progress, so modernizing these systems can significantly reduce complexity and improve governance.

The discussion also delves into the migration to cloud services, with Drano differentiating between mere “lift and shift” migrations and true cloud-native transformations. “Migrating a service to the cloud involves leveraging the inherent advantages of cloud architectures,” he says. This approach offers greater scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency, crucial for handling large volumes of data and facilitating quicker decision-making.

Davidson adds that the shift to cloud services must be accompanied by robust security measures. “In-depth security out of the box is essential,” he says. He also emphasized the importance of building trust in third-party service providers while maintaining stringent security and governance standards.

Both leaders reflect on the ongoing challenge of extracting valuable insights from growing data volumes. To highlight this, Medrano spoke about the State Department’s efforts to create a cyber data lake house, making data accessible for various business needs and enabling advanced analytics and visualizations, while Davidson highlighted the multifaceted nature of putting data to use. Ultimately, by embracing these technologies, agencies can enhance their operational efficiency, security, and ability to deliver impactful outcomes for the public.

Learn more about how MongoDB can accelerate and simplify time-to-mission for federal, state and local governments, as well as defense agencies, across the public sector.

This video panel discussion was produced by Scoop News Group, for FedScoop, and underwritten by MongoDB and AWS