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Designed with Feds in Mind: Addressing Mobile Fears with HP and Microsoft's ElitePad Tablet

"Anywhere, anytime is the new normal for people,"

says Rick Engle, Principle Windows Specialist, Microsoft. It's true, 29% of people claim to be the type of worker that is on call at off hours and in alternative locations. The workforce is going mobile and government has been trying to catch up. Throughout many blogs, interviews, and webinars we have discussed the issues that federal agencies face when trying to implement mobile technology, the biggest issue, of course, being security. How can the government control a third party device to prevent hacks, information loss, or data leaks?

One of the primary issues was finding a device that could be modified to the needs of the agency or company using it. While many companies focused on connectivity, social media, and trends, businesses and government were looking for something that focused on a professional end-user. Enter the ElitePad by HP equipped with Windows software.

During GovLoop's webinar, "Achieving Government Mobility, Without Sacrificing Security and Control," GovLoop founder, Steve Ressler spoke with several professionals from Microsoft and HP discussing how the ElitePad tablet was designed to aid government agencies go mobile.

During the presentation by Marie Breedlove, Mobility Project Management, HP, it was clear that end-user needs (specifically those of business and government) were the clear driver for the tablet's development. "You can't talk about using a tablet without talking about end-user expectations," she said. Unlike most consumer products which mainly focus on a "cool" image, the business and government end-users expect a device that can be modified for security and for frequent use. Together, HP and Microsoft created a tablet that can withstand agency fieldwork, protect sensitive data, and can be designed to match the needs of each agency.

Below is a list of some of the most important qualities that the ElitePad has making it an excellent tool to promote mobile government strategies.

1. Durable

The device goes through 115,000 hours of reliability testing to ensure durability in high temperatures, in the case of a fall, scratching and other accidents that may occur in the field. This is especially useful for employees who are out gathering data in remote areas whether it's in a residential neighborhood or in the middle of a national park.

2. Long Battery Life

The ElitePad is equipped with connected-standby architecture. It allows for instant on/off and closes applications once they are no longer being used; the result is 10 hours of battery life. The extended battery life enables employees who frequently travel to have a reliable connection to agency information.

3. Completely Serviceable/Modifiable

The device can be taken apart and 12 things can be changed in order to ensure the device fits the needs of an agency. One of the most useful modifications for agencies is disabling broadband capabilities, protecting important data from being accessed by unauthorized users.

4. Application Compatible

The issue with many mobile devices is that they run apps which differ from standard desktop applications. Because the ElitePad runs Windows 8, agencies are able to load the same programs and information onto the tablets as they have on their desktops, creating a standard and seamless working environment.

5. You Can Keep the Hard Drive

The fear of many government agencies is that when a device is surrendered for maintenance, sensitive data is then accessible to a third party. However, understanding the needs of government information, HP allows for the agency to keep the hard drive so it does not have to leave the facility, protecting any important information from being lost.

HP describes the ElitePad as "a true business tablet," which then easily translates into a true government tablet. It is functional, highly aware of security requirements, and does not abandon style for practicality (it's still quite sleek and stylish). It seems that HP has been able to overcome the fears that agencies held when facing the inevitable mobile movement, and now with the ElitePad and similar mobile devices, the government can confidently move forward in creating a successful mobile strategy.

Do you think the ElitePad could work for your agency?

Share your mobile government experiences.

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