**We’ll be hosting a session on Mobile Government: Today, Tomorrow, & Beyond featuring government case studies at our Government Innovators Online Summit on September 13.**
In 2012, the number of smartphone users will reach 106.7 million with 94% of these users accessing the mobile internet. With citizens and government employees increasingly adopting multiple mobile device and having increased expectations on mobile services, how do agencies adapt?
It’s important as agencies rush to go mobile to understand that mobile is a different use case than web with different strengths and weaknesses.
Thus, I wanted to share 4 awesome government mobile use cases:
1) Mobile Employee Reporting – Many agencies have employees that spent lots of time on the road collecting information. Maybe it’s a utilities worker collecting data, a police officer documenting a case, maybe it’s a EPA worker collecting environmental stats, or a transportation worker counting cars at an intersection. This is an amazing opportunity to do mobile reporting – rather than report twice (one on paper at the site, and one time putting it into a system) you can solve it 1 time. Additionally mobile has a unique feature – a camera. Include this as part of the reporting – would you rather have an officer draw a diagram or take a quick photo for the records
2) Location-based Real-time Updates – The best mobile applications are built on the fact that you have it with you at a specific location and are looking for instant information. For example, you are waiting at a bus stop and want to know when the next bus is coming. A simple 2-way SMS mobile system where you text your route and location and get the next bus time solves a real problem. This can apply other places to like wait times at airports
3) Mobile Content – You can assume that a high percentage of your audience will find your content on a mobile device. Imagine your family planning a trip to Russia over breakfast and Bob asks “Do we need a visa?” The first thing you will do is probably google it on your phone which will lead you to a government website (State Department) with the information. At that moment, you need mobile-optimized content that is easy to read as non-optimized site will probably be too hard to read. Nothing fancy like a mobile app – just mobile optimized content
4) Mobilize Your Most Popular Task
Most government agencies have 2-3 main offerings that represent 80% of thewebsite traffic (GSA per diem rates, taxes for IRS). Start with these programs vs obscure programs – if the item is popular on the web, it will be popular on mobile even if it isn’t the 100% perfect use case – for example, the USAJOBS mobile app is super popular even though it’s not obvious on first take that people will want to search for jobs on their mobile device.
Same with IRS2Go – do people really want tax updates on mobile phones? Do they really need to check their tax statement on mobile? I wouldn’t have guessed so but it has over 1,500 4 star reviews across android and iphone platform