Government is waking up to what the private sector realized some time ago: no one is chained to their desktop anymore. Federal, state, and local government business is now conducted on the move from mobile devices. As part of a two-stage blog, I’ll be examining the US government’s mobile strategy and its implications for security and compliance. In this first part, I examine the government’s strategy and the challenges in store. In the second, I’ll look at how Huddle mobile collaboration addresses the needs of the US government.

Looking at the US government’s mobility strategy

Let’s start with the US Government’s national mobility strategy. The federal CIO, Steve VanRoekei, announced the strategy for the US government in Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People. This blueprint for government mobility is being developed in response to the expectation government employees have to deliver and receive content anytime, anywhere, and on any device.

VanRoekei’s vision offers federal, state, and local government a unique opportunity to improve the delivery of government information and services, reduce the cost of operations, raise the productivity of the federal workforce, foster collaboration, and engage the public.

The timing of this mobility strategy is spot on. Mobile access and the use of personal devices is an important channel for information distribution and can be critical for time-sensitive communications. Federal employees, for example, often prefer to use their own devices to access applications and data. Citizens and constituents are embracing mobile technologies and mobile apps at a rapid pace, creating new platforms for collaboration with partners and vendors.

The old paradigm of accessing content via company-assigned computers, only to keep it secure, is shifting towards storing content in world-class data centers that provide superior performance, availability, and security to the data. This content can then be surfaced on native apps on mobile—increasingly through a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model.

3 issues to consider

However, three issues stand in the way of this unified BYOD content collaboration strategy. First is ease of use. Government employees need to be able to access content quickly and easily, without any technology barriers: no complex log-ins and no fragmented view of content. Second, the content needs to be secure. Mobility impacts security and privacy, and there has been a stigma against providing access to sensitive content on user’s personal mobile device. Why? Perhaps because mobile devices were never considered secure, posing a high risk of data loss in the past.

Third, employees need to be able to collaborate through the firewall. That means being able to engage just as easily with third-party external agencies like health agencies or law enforcement, as with other employees.

US government employees are expecting to be productive on these mobile and tablet devices. There is a plethora of information residing inside the firewalls of the government that poses significant value to the US government employees—and they need secure access to it anytime, anywhere.

In my second blog, I’ll be looking at how Huddle leapfrogs all these barriers, empowering government teams, departments, and agencies to share and work on content, internally and across the firewall—with airtight securely and complete confidentiality.

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