Have you heard the one about the contractor that tried to get the cautious government agency to sign their name on the dotted line for two new technologies -- cloud and Hadoop -- all at once? No, I’m serious and GCE Federal is too.

Big Data, Big Challenges

Any search on the term “big data” will yield tens of thousands of results. Almost every analyst estimate projects exponential growth rates into the foreseeable future as we store every mundane human action and thought looking tiny bits of knowledge that could lead to the next big thing.

Data growth isn’t just occurring in private industry. Like the rest of society, the government is hoarding data and seeking creative ways to manage and harvest its value. However, unlike private industry, rigorous procedures and risk averse government decision makers give provide little opportunity for experimental big data innovation that has proven beneficial.

However, it’s that opportunity that federal contractor GCE Federal plans to seize.

Hadoop, The Cloud and the Federal Government

The perception that the entire government is a slow moving, slowing thinking, behemoth, may be a little harsh -- at least when it comes to technology. As of December 2010, the 25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal Information Technology Management (I refuse to make that an acronym.), requires all federal agencies to have a “cloud first” policy when implementing new solutions. Several government agencies like the NSA have also been using Hadoop to handle data intensive processing.

However, not every agency in the government has the technical acumen or budget of the NSA. It’s that demographic that GCE Federal hopes to entice. GCE is positioning their cloud-based Hadoop solution as an opportunity for agencies to save money by using it to analyze financial management and procurement data -- something every government agency  has in ample supply. GCE centralizes the data and allows agencies to compare their data to that at other agencies and identify saving opportunities.

Things may be a little lonely for GCE Federal now, but they will likely have (perhaps unwelcome) company soon. Continuously tightening budgets, government IT improvement legislation and continued challenges with big data will invariably cause agencies to seek solutions. Any time there is a problem with an imperfect solution, combined with a customer with a big check, vendors will come forward. If they are smart, they learn from their competitors’ stumbles.