Recently, there has been a shift in the traditional way government manages mobile devices. Many of today’s U.S. federal agencies are moving from RIM’s blackberry devices to Apple’s iPhone. One reason for this movement is that government employees are tired of being forced to use their out of date government issued Blackberry’s. They have been asking their IT management to allow them to use their personal Apple devices at work for some time now. Agencies are now seeing that Apple products are more technologically sound and they are starting to make the switch.
A few weeks ago, the General Services Administration (GSA) decided to distribute iPhone’s (along with some android devices) to a portion of their employee base which clocks in at 17,000. In response, GSA Chief Information Officer, Casey Coleman, stated, “We actively seek to be progressive in our adoption of new technologies so that we can learn the lessons which will inform our client and customer agencies as they seek to go down a similar path”. Many view this decision as creating a domino effect that is spreading to other federal agencies.
GSA is not the only agency making these changes within the mobile devices realm. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has announced that they will stop using Blackberry’s towards the end of 2012 and start using Apple devices. NOAA has about 3,000 of its 20,000 employees using Blackberry devices now and are looking to start using iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S as replacements. NOAA is also taking further steps and will implement the use of Apple’s iPad tablet for future use.
IT Directors at many Government agencies will see this move as a progressive and a much needed advancement. They don’t have to spend valuable work hours dealing with old-fashioned, sub-par technology. Government Agencies are becoming more and more receptive to emerging technologies that save money and increase production.