Government agencies are getting more interested in data management. Cohesity, a provider of secondary data storage software has grown its customer base by nearly 200 percent in the past two quarters.
New customers include the Defense Information Systems Agency, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Justice, Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Science Foundation, and additional U.S. Department of Energy laboratories.
Cohesity has also increased the size of its public sector team by nearly 300 percent in the past year. Including bringing on Federal CTO Steve Grewal, who previously served as deputy chief information officer for the General Services Administration.
The growth comes as governments work through modernization and data management initiatives at every level. Secondary data typically makes up the vast majority of an organization’s data (approximately 80 percent) and includes data sets used for backups, archives, object stores, file shares, test and development, and analytics. Historically, these data have been siloed within specific teams or agencies with little crossover. Services like Cohesity create centralized repositories of data which can then be used for things like trend analysis, identifying areas for automation or improving service delivery. The movement toward shared services, interoperability and greater information exchange within agencies means that CIOs and CTOs are looking for ways to break through silos.
“What we’re seeing from our users is a recognition that having data is only as good as your ability to use it and that can be difficult with legacy systems,” says Steve Grewal, Cohesity Federal CTO, in an interview with CivSource. “The conversation has fundamentally shifted to data management.”
Grewal says that Cohesity has been able to show proof-of-concept by taking a phased-in approach with the agencies they work with. The company starts by centralizing certain aspects of data, training staff, and expanding the datasets that go on the platform over time. Cohesity supports segmentation and permissioning so that security can be maintained as data as migrated from various silos and physical locations.
Cohesity has also invested in security as a central part of the platform. The software is FIPS 140-2 Level 2 Validated, TAA compliant, FISMA compliant and WORM Compliant – SEC 17a-4f certification. Cohesity is also FedRAMP certified through its cloud partners. The company has OEM relationships with HP, Cisco and Dell.
Looking ahead, Grewal says that the team will continue to work with agencies on data management and interoperability. Cohesity recently commissioned a global study of 900 senior IT decision makers across a wide array of industries and vertical segments, including the public sector. The study found that 80 percent of public sector customers globally believe their organization’s secondary data is fragmented across different silos of infrastructure, locations, storage and teams and is, or could become, nearly impossible to manage long-term. “We think there is a lot of room to raise awareness of this issue, to engage on change management, skills, and resources alongside what we are doing with software,” Grewal said.