New WashingtonExec Series:
WashingtonExec reached out to executives in the government contracting community for their predictions regarding what to expect in 2012 as the federal government looks to significantly increase its adoption of mobile technologies.
Today’s insight is from Gregg Bailey, Principal of Deloitte Consulting, LLP and Federal Cloud lead.
As the number of mobile devices grows, the pressure to go mobile is increasing both outside and inside the Federal Government. Mobility is transforming federal agencies primarily from the bottom up, by leveraging increased wireless connectivity and apps that can empower citizens and employees.
Very shortly, the CIO Council will release its first mobility strategy. Early outlines suggest that the three-tiered plan will tackle acquisition, develop a government-wide app strategy, and emphasize ways to improve citizen services and further empower the Federal workforce. Sites like Apps.gov are showcasing Federal ingenuity, while specific government websites have been rewritten for mobile web browsers, including Whitehouse.gov, USA.gov and VA.gov. As mobile web access eclipses access from standard personal computers, the CIO Council’s “Future First” strategy will likely encourage continuing this trend, potentially building mobile websites first and only later supporting standard desktop browsers.
Agencies should coordinate their efforts as they establish a governance structure for Federal mobility. Speed of acquisition and flexibility may be critical factors, in order to keep up with new releases and innovation. Agency-provided devices or employees bringing their own devices (BYOD) may become a central decision point. There is pressure to expand the pool of approved devices. There may also be a need to pool buying for telecommunication services as well as an increase in tablet acquisition.
Government-wide app strategy:
Mobile app development will be driven by a think “mobile first strategy”. Government-specific app stores (USA.gov & VA.gov) will likely continue to be built out. This effort may result from a government and industry collaboration. The usability of these apps may become more important.
Citizen services and Federal workforce empowerment:
The ability to make more self-service as well as delivering meaningful information anywhere and anytime will likely become the norm. Social Media and Social Computing may grow in their use. Telework, Security – Credentialing, Mobile Device Management, and Mobile Collaboration for the Federal workforce may be focal points. CIOs can expedite the move to mobile by skipping proof-of-concepts and going directly into pilots with the intent of going ‘live’ if the pilot is effective once the business cases are made.
The demand for mobile applications, mobile technologies, and an increasingly mobile workforce will continue to transform the way Federal agencies fulfill their mission objectives. The Federal CIO Council’s forward-thinking approach to app development and the successful launch of Apps.gov has set the stage. As the official Federal mobility strategy is rolled out in 2012 and beyond, agencies can seize mobility as a mission enabler. The use cases speak for themselves, which is why so many agencies have pilots already in place – driven not by mandates, but the early returns on investment and future potential to increase productivity, decrease costs, and deliver more effective services to citizens.
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