By Tom Sloan
The Federal CIO has issued a draft federal mobile strategy which outlines a multistage approach to increasing the use of mobile technology throughout the federal government.
The first phase includes a short-term goal of creating a centralized acquisition process for mobile technology as well as a medium-term objective of developing a plan for mobile apps.
The rapid growth in the use of smartphones and tablets and the associated increases in productivity has encouraged the U.S. government to keep pace with the private sector in the use of mobile devices.
Some federal agencies have been incorporating mobile technology for several years while others have done very little. The problem lies in the rate of adoption of mobile technology - it should be far greater according to Fed CIO VanRoekel.
VanRoekel is aiming to solicit input from as many sources as possible with a goal to issue a comprehensive federal mobile technology strategy by the end of March.
"The mobile revolution is upon us. Not only do the American people go online to pay bills, buy tickets and stay connected to their friends, but they are also adopting smart mobile technology at an incredible rate. This is changing the way we interact, the way we consume and the way we work," VanRoekel said.
VanRoekel launched the initiative in January designed to spur interest in federal adoption of mobile technologies. The initiative involved the release of a draft federal mobile technology plan and an interactive, Internet-based "National Dialogue on the Federal Mobility Strategy," in which government workers and the general public could offer and exchange comments.
"To fundamentally change the way we do things in government, we need to seize on this mobile opportunity both in how we serve the public and in how government employees work," Van Roekel said.
The main objectives in the draft federal strategy are:
1. Build mobile technologies and services for reuse and share common services among agencies and public developers.
2. Efficiently manage mobile and wireless acquisition, inventory, and expenses.
3. Create a government-wide foundation to provide mobility services and functionality needed in all agencies.
4. Foster collaboration among government agencies, industries and academia to accelerate mobility adoption.
5. Establish a governance structure for federal mobility.
Mobile has been put to good use in some isolated applications within the federal government, but "there is more we can do to seize the mobile opportunity, and we need to be bold in doing it," said VanRoekel.
"We need to address the massive variations in the way we pay for mobile services across the government and leverage our size to influence purchasing power. We need to re-examine how we build applications and services. We need to focus on the fundamentals, ensure security and privacy concerns are addressed, and incorporate 'Shared First' and 'Future First' principles into everything we do," he said.
The job of hosting the mobile technology National Dialogue was assigned to the General Services Administration (GSA), which could play a significant role in federal acquisition of mobile capabilities.
GSA has launched its own mobile adoption program, "Making Mobile Gov," in June 2011 to provide mobile technology adoption assistance to federal agencies. GSA has been a strong advocate for mobile technology both for its own operations and to facilitate mobile use across the federal government.
Published by myITview.com
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