EEOC cuts costs with BYOD pilot program

Technology can help agencies make great strides increasing productivity and in cutting costs – but it can also be very
expensive. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is quickly discovering how to leverage new policies amid budget cuts. This past year, the IT budget for the EEOC was reduced about 15%. The Commission had to look at cost-cutting measures without weakening their services, and decided that a bring your own device (BYOD) pilot was in order. Chief Information Officer Kimberly Hancher at the EEOC spoke with Chris Dorobek of the DorobekINSIDER about what BYOD means for the EEOC, and how they’re implementing the pilot program.

Employees at the EEOC, as in many agencies, have been carrying a personal smartphone as well as their work phone. This has opened up the opportunity for the EEOC to allow employees to use their personal smartphone for work as well. Hancher and her advisory team worked hard to figure out proper useage and security policies, as well as finding a cloud service that could fulfill their needs. Luckily, once found, implementation was fairly straightforward and cost effective – about $120 per device a year as opposed to $70 a month to provide employees with work Blackberry’s.

The EEOC didn’t stop there. They also looked at how to cut the cost of employees still using Blackberry devices. Upon completion of a study, they found that many employees weren’t even using the government-funded voice plan! To cut this cost, Hancher worked with vendors to move to a shared plan so that they weren’t purchasing voice-plans which were being unused by employees. This change saved about 30%.
It’s refreshing to see agencies implementing cutting edge technology to improve themselves during austerity.

To listen to Kimberly Hancher’s entire interview, you can catch the full radio show at 
GovLoop Insights or you can
 subscribe to our iTunes channel.

To learn more about the challenges, benefits, and best practices of BYOD, check out GovLoop’s report, “Exploring BYOD in the Public Sector.”

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Henry Brown

It would appear those few agencies(both local federal) that have jumped on the BYOD band wagon are cutting edge and probably several years ahead of other organizations

From the Enterprise Systems Journal:

IT Not Yet Sold on BYOD

Most shops don’t yet sanction bring-your-own-device, but it’s likely they will in the long term.

By Stephen Swoyer

If the mere mention of the words “bring your own device” (BYOD) is enough to make you wince, here’s a dose of sanity: an overwhelming majority of shops don’t yet sanction BYOD. Employees aren’t encouraged, much less permitted, to plug their personal devices into the corporate network.

That’s the conclusion of a new survey from Robert Half Technology, an IT staffing firm that routinely surveys chief information officers (CIO) and other IT decision-makers. The Robert Half survey found that two-thirds of shops don’t support BYOD; just one-third of IT chiefs sanction the practice.

In IT organizations that do sanction BYOD, few are supporting it with bread-and-butter IT resources, such as troubleshooting or help-desk support. According to Robert Half’s survey, two-thirds of BYOD-ers offer only “limited technical support;” just 28 percent offer full support, and six percent won’t support BYOD users at all.

David B. Grinberg

Thanks to Corey and the Dorobek Insider for shining a spotlight on EEOC and BYOD. IT Chief Kimberly Hancher deserves accolades for making big strides at a small agency.The hype and fear regarding major security problems associated with BYOD has yet to materialize at the EEOC. IT Chief Hancher’s foresight and follow through are a good example for other IT Chiefs at every level of Government, who may be reticent about thinking outside-the-box, or within the Cloud. EEOC has shown that saving taxpayer dollars while empowering employees to work smarter through IT enhancements is a win-win for Government — not to mention boosting employee morale and attracting a younger generation of Feds. For more on this, check out my initial post at https://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/do-you-byod and share YOUR thoughts.


Corey McCarren

It seems to me like some agencies are doing very well in terms of adopting best practices and cutting-edge tech solutions. I commend the guest, Kimberly Hancher and the EEOC in working to cut costs and stay innovative. I get the feeling that the generalization of government agencies as being behind the times in tech when compared to industry is in many ways an unfair generalization.

Henry Brown

@Corey: As with most “generalizations” probably doesn’t fit most agencies some of the time! The article from the Enterprise Systems Journal sure wasn’t limiting itself to governmental organizations, in fact don’t believe that the article even mentioned government entities… I was making a generalization <GRIN> when I commented on the adaption rate for government entities

Henry Brown

@Chris: Some of the more enlightened organizations are doing this.

Having said that it brings a whole new set of IT security issues to the table…Not to mention customer support issues…

Another reason IMO that it probably hasn’t caught on is perhaps because of the mindset of CIO’s and others at that level, “sharing power and information is NOT good

Dennis Snyder

How is EEOC dealing with imminent domain issues? Using equipment not owned or leased by the agency exceeds the agencies’ authority to operate within its appropriated funds.

Julie Chase

I would never use my personal laptop, phone or any such personal IT on Uncle Sams network. Much less to do any work. Is he paying the “data charges” on my phone? I don’t think so. If something should happen, will Uncle Sam seize my personal IT and go through other items of personal nature on my IT? Not happening. Would I accept a “smartphone” paid by the taxpayers? No, I would not. My workday ends at 4 PM, period. Currently our agency has over $130,000.00 a year worth of cell phone, smartphones and all the data charges to go along with it so employees can be tethered to Uncle Sam. To me, this is wasteful. If your supervisor wants you, he/she can call you on your land line or cell phone. In the age of cost cutting, I think gov cell phones should be the first to go. I have shared this post with co workers and friends. And they are very leary about going to EEOC and airing their grievences knowing the possibility of it getting in the wrong hands or a virus destroying what it stated scares the heck of them. While I welcome “upgrades” to the 1990’s IT circle of hell in DoD, I am not in favor of the BYOD. It is just a can of worms ready to open.