As we enter 2012, the pace of change in mobile technologies is on hyper-speed, while government is still moving at the pace of, well, government. Here are some thoughts on how government can catch up with what I call Mobile Development Life Cycle (“MDLC”) 1.0, when MDLC 2.0 is already in full swing:
• Phase out the use of old technology internally: The will help reduce the disparity between the functionality of mobile technology at work and at home. Implementing a solid mobile device management solution to address security issues is a key to this.
• Understand the difference between consumer and enterprise mobile applications: Government needs to move away from the days of holding a contest for the best mobile app. Contests do not solve issues of developing an overall mobile strategy for large enterprises and integration with existing SDLCs, along with many other issues.
• Prior to purchasing tablet devices, implement a strategy for developing tablet applications that are relevant and usable for government executives and the wider workforce. Also, give careful consideration about security and device configuration before procurement.
• Move away from thinking that there will be a “one-size-fits all” solution to mobile technologies in general: This hasn’t worked within government in a major way in other areas of technology because each agency has its own internal politics, its own procurement policies, and its own goals and mission.
Government needs the ability to keep up with trends in mobile technologies when it comes to both citizen-facing mobile applications as well as with internal mobile technologies to assist government workers with their mission. The pace of change won’t wait for the wheels of government to turn.
Ferhan Hamid is CEO of INADEV Corporation, a McLean, Virginia-based mobile application development firm providing solutions to the public and commercial sectors.