Mobility. It is the buzzword of the day and the future of citizen-government engagement. It holds tremendous promise for reducing costs and improving delivery of government services. But, it does require thoughtful implementation to ensure that its economic benefits outweigh the security risks and agencies promote collaboration without jeopardizing privacy.
A recent report by Research and Markets forecast the Global Collaboration Services Market to grow at a compound annual rate of 9.18 percent through 2016. A major factor driving this growth, according to the firm, is an increased need to share data more quickly and easily. As the popularity of social media and mobile solutions rise, firms are requiring easier access to information, which can drive more efficient decision-making. Additionally, Research and Markets noted that organization expansion and, in some instances globalization, have contributed to this growth, as both agencies and enterprises need to support communication across distributed regions. Cisco, HP, Brocade, Juniper – and others - are technology partners of Red River who continue to be key players dominating this market space.
And, for governments, mobility solutions help to better serve the country’s ultimate consumer: the taxpayer. Dave Behen, the CIO for the state of Michigan, recently explained that the ultimate goal is to provide a "customer-centric government" that delivers services in a more convenient manner than expecting citizens to come to government buildings. In 2012, Michigan provided $47 billion in ongoing funding to replace these legacy IT systems, some of which are 19 years old. Behen revealed that he's planning to add more mobile services to better serve citizens.
For me, I don’t see mobility as an “either/or” proposition. There are definitely ways that organizations can reap the benefits without suffering the risks. It all begins with the critical questions you must ask of your organization:
- Would your employee base be more productive utilizing mobile technology?
- What applications would be most beneficial to the mobile employee?
- Per application, what security requirements need to be considered?
- What is the cost of lost productivity, retention, recruitment if you do not provide mobile access?
And if you know the answers, the benefits of mobility should come. Mobility does not have to be an all or nothing proposition. Begin to provide the flexibility to your employees as you manage through all the potential applications and you will quickly realize the benefits of mobility and begin to accelerate adoption, productivity and happiness across your enterprise.