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Star Trek: The Next Generation [of Mobile]

Yesterday, I attended my first DorobekINSIDER LIVE! While it was a great event live, it’s equally great recorded so be sure to catch it here. After discussing the recent trends and government examples of mobility, the panels tapped into their futuristic mindsets to tell us how they foresee mobility will evolve in the next few years. It seems like we all might start wearing devices similar to Star Trek communicator badges and advanced mobile-wear in the not-so-distant future. Below is a rundown of the expert panelist and their answers.


The LIVE Panelists:

  • Jacob Parcell, Mobile Programs Manager at GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies
  • Tom Suder, President of MobileGov and one of the thought leaders on mobile issues.
  • Dan Mintz, the Former chief information officer of the Transportation Department, currently president of the Advanced Mobility Academic Research Center
  • Bill Roberts of BMC Software
  • Patrick Fiorenza, Senior Research Analyst, GovLoop

Where do you see things going in mobile? What do you foresee in 1 to 2 years?

Roberts: Increased Personalization

In talking about the next 1 to 2 years, you’re going to start seeing a little bit more interaction between the different applications. You’re going to see more of a personal presence within your device and online that is going to be shared across applications – a lot more shared information going on there and less initial steps logging in and setting up personal preferences. I really see more identity management scenarios starting to play out.

Mintz: Programmatic Apps, Shared Services & Security

I think we’re going to see a lot more applications tied around programs. You’re already seeing that and you’re seeing a lot more of that. I expect that it’ll take 2 or 3 years before the things that involve shared services – FedRAMP and cloud computing – will sort themselves out enough to see some serious growth. With the intelligence community and DoD coming up with mobile policy that everyone is going to get a little more comfortable with security issues. Something I’ve mentioned in passing is “don’t underestimate the implications of the internet of things” – that is, programs that make use of device-to-device communications for data collection and related activities. You’re going to see more of that also.

The next two panelists provided a more futuristic five-year projection of the mobile movement:

Suder: Wristwatches and Tablet TVs

I really see mobility – rather than just tablets and phones – really getting into the Google Glass concept, where you have a wearable computer. I think we’re going to have wristwatches with a lot of smart phone functionality. I think one thing that has to change is having a smart TV that’s basically a big tablet with all your apps.

Parcell: Wearable, Drivable, Flyable, Scan-able

When we talk mobile, we’ll see stuff that’s wearable, drivable, flyable and scan-able. Mary Meeker heads these trends in the development area. From the public facing side, government agencies are starting to push their content and data in formats that are easily usable for mobile. So instead of just developing for mobile – following the example of Census and the Department of Labor – releasing data so that developers can mobilize it themselves so that it’s available on those wearables, drivables, flyables and scan-ables in the next few years.

Lastly, Fiorenza nicely contextualizes mobile with other technology trends in government:

A More Reactive & Proactive Government

With mobile, it’s important to remember how much it’s connected with all the other big trends in government. The big thing is that mobile is making the government more reactive and proactive. And through the use of data, there’s a renaissance happening in government, in which agencies are thinking about different ways to leverage data to communicate with citizens and fuel efficiencies in the workforce. Since all this technology is so new and we’re moving so fast, it feels like we’re laying the infrastructure for a lot of these services to scale up during the next couple of years. As more agencies adopt, we’re going to see a different way that government operates and a transformation of service delivery.

Want more? Access a complete overview of the event here and take a peak at GovLoop’s new guide on Making Mobile Matter.

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