02-03-12 | Blog Post

Federal Mobile Strategy: Increasing Access to Mission-Critical Data & Streamlining IT

Blog Posts

Last August, I wrote a blog post discussing the federal cloud computing initiative launched by then-U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra and his Cloud-First policy developed to motivate agencies to adopt cloud computing projects and reduce overall spending and energy expenditure. On the heels of his endeavor comes a new federal mobile strategy intended to increase productivity and realize cost-savings.

The Mobile Opportunity
The Mobile Opportunity

The new U.S. CIO (a newly-minted federal position only two-years-old), Steven VanRoekel, has drafted a mobile strategy outline to push agencies toward a standardized framework and roadmap to complete implementation.

In a WhiteHouse.gov blog post, VanRoekel stresses the importance of mobile use with a few key examples and benefits:

  • Realize real estate savings from teleworking
  • Joint agency programs give employees working from different agencies remote access to mission-critical data from any location
  • The Army’s mCare App allows remote monitoring of soldiers’ healthcare statuses
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency uses mobile Twitter to find victims during an emergency, send out emergency messages and to find out how far the emergency has spread.

Social Media for Informed Decisions

National Dialogue on The Federal Mobility Strategy
National Dialogue on The Federal Mobility Strategy

In the spirit of social media’s knowledge-sharing ability, the government launched an online forum, the National Dialogue on The Federal Mobility Strategy to collaborate on ideas and topics they would need to address in the final draft of the mobile strategy. With a thumbs-up and thumbs-down voting system, users could submit concerns around mobile security, disability accessibility, web-to-mobile content portability and more, and vote on which issues take precendence. This lends valuable feedback that VanRoekel  will use to create a final plan for agency implementation.

Mobile Data Security

With the widespread adoption of mobile devices come the concerns around data security. Last August, NIST (The National Institute of Standards and Technology) started a pilot program to test and develop a standardized security protocol for iPhones and iPads, according to an InformationWeek.com article.

In addition, the Department of Defense (DoD) is developing full-disk encryption for military smartphone data. The DoD has suffered a recent HIPAA violation when backup tapes with military patient records were stolen last September, calling for an overhaul of their internal processes and stricter security measures.

For a list of tactical mobile device security measures you or your company can implement, read this blog post. Another recent post, Mobile Security: Are Most Apps Safe? explores the privacy of your information on mobile apps.

IT Industry Trends

CIO.com details the federal government’s attempt to move IT progress along through many of the industry’s trends, including the consumerization of IT, migration to the cloud and increasing reliance on mobile devices. Another trend includes streamlining and integrating IT services across different departments – by combining email systems, mobile device plans and other systems, costs go down while productivity goes up. I wrote a blog post recently about IT process automation and its benefits.

WhiteHouse.Gov: The Mobile Opportunity
National Dialogue on The Federal Mobility Strategy
DARPA To Develop Android, iPhone Encryption
VanRoekel Details Government Mobile Strategy at CES
U.S. CIO Unveils Mobile Strategy for Federal Government

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