What’s your Beef with Mobility?

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Julie Chase 9 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #149610

    Jerry Rhoads

    Recently I was browsing over the National Dialogue on the Federal Mobility Strategy on ideascale.com. Ideascale reminds me of MyStarbucksIdea. Everyday people can post ideas that would potentially improve their own personal experience while better improving Starbucks for the good of all coffee drinkers. Readers of the site can vote on the ideas and these ideas may be included in future product changes or offerings by Starbucks. Anybody use the little green lid plug? That was an idea presented on MyStarbucksIdea!

    Ideascale works in a very similar fashion. The Federal CIO, Steven VanRoekel launched this site to gather ideas on mobility, the site’s readers can comment and vote on these ideas. I find it interesting that in addition to a thumbs up, as reader can provide a thumbs down –thus affecting the score an idea or posting.

    While reading I am seeing a common theme towards mobility: Security, Web Services, Security, Standardization, Security, Innovation, Security, workflow, and um oh yes –more Security!

    So in an effort to kick the tires here on GovLoop, let’s start a discussion here about the following:

    Mobility –

    1. Why is your agency doing it (or not doing it)?

    2. What are they doing with it (email access for employees/applications/outreach to the public) How are they doing it (Amazon Cloud, appstores, egov, etc).

    3. How are they securing it?

  • #149618

    Julie Chase

    1. DoD, DoN, USMC installations, NOT ALLOWED, no wireless, so it is written, so let it be done. Reason: SECURITY

    2. Email/Internet access at work can only be obtained from your work desktop computer that NMCI/NexGen provides for you. The DoN superhighway is very slow because there are new firewall and security measures downloaded daily. Office 2007 email (work email) is allowed for business purposes only. You are not allowed to go to your Gmail, yahoo mail or any other email that is not connected to your job. Internet sites, especially OCONUS are blocked. Any forum, message board, etc., some are blocked, some are not. Gov Loop is BLOCKED.

    2a. Ah yes, the cloud. The jury is still out on papa DoD whether he wants it or not, right now, it’s not happening. We are allowed to purchase (at Uncle Sams expense) external hard drives for storage purposes. Due to the poorly executed contract with NMCI/NexGen, our storage space is very limited.

    2b. Apps? Surely you jest. Only GS12’s in a supervisory position may request a blackberry type cell phone. My supervisor didn’t want one. Good for him. Who wants to be tethered to Unlce Sam 24/7, and God forbid should something happen to that phone. It is “accountable property” after all.

    2c. Amazon cloud, as in Amazon, the online superstore??? Oh, that is BLOCKED, big warning banner comes up if you dare try to get to it.

    3. They (DoD, DoN, USMC) are securing it, by NOT having it.


    1. manufacture thumb drives here in the US, controlled by the US, distributed throughout government IT offices and doled out as such. If the chinese can track us, via thumb drive, then it only stands to reason, that innovators in the US, can produce thumbdrives that will be connected to the user (signed for) and tracked. Gee, whoda thunk it? Start manufacturing IT here in the US, and maybe, just maybe, papa DoD will soften his heart.

    2. Laptops, wireless, required to do our mission. Speed up the procurement process. Software needed to do our mission, new or updated. Again, speed up the procurement process. And, look ma, no more software CD’s sent through the mail. Vendors are now asking clients to go “online”, purchase “online”, and “download” the software directly to “whatever”. No, not allowed. And the big news is, wireless. (yeah, I know we are about 5 or more years behind). Vendors are asking us to connect to their servers with our laptops to get access to their software (after purchase). Well, no can do. We don’t have wireless.

    Thank you OP, I hope the CIO reads GovLoop, unless of course, it’s blocked. ;o)

  • #149616

    Jerry Rhoads

    Wow is NMCI/NextGen an SBU network? Seems to me that we need to figure a way to balance Security with Innovation. It is so easy to say no. I think we need security engineers who can figure out how to make something secure versus saying no!

  • #149614

    Julie Chase

    Jerry, I am an end user, you will have to explain the SBU acronym. As much as I can answer, NMCI is going to the boneyard and is going to be and/or is, replaced by NexGen. This is our “outsourced” IT contract. We knew a few years ago that outsourced IT would be a bad idea. It was, and is. I like the good ‘ol days, when you pick up the phone and call the IT desk “at your local installation” and the person who answers the phone (vs. a press 1 press 2) “KNOWS” who you are, what bldg. you are in and can solve the problem in less than a day. “Security wins over innovation and/or the current directive/publication/NAV order, etc. etc. etc. If the order/directive states what you will do (or not do), you “shall” follow it.

    Remember in DoD, it all about the “process” not the “result”. It is the order/directive that says NO, and the person on the other end of the phone is the one telling you what the order says. And as a courtesy will email you the order.

  • #149612

    Jerry Rhoads

    Hi Julie,

    SBU is Sensitive but Unclassified. It is commonly seen acronym that is used in the civilian side of the house. NMCI/NexGen, I take it is the Navy Marine Corps’ NIPR or NIPRnet, a.k.a your non-classified network. In the civilian side of government we have FISMA policies developed by NIST (National Institute of Science and Technology) and that provides a guideline to developing your agency’s security framework. I do not know to much about the DIACAP, I do know that it maps to FISMA in some regards.

    But it is I think it is possible to have some applications for retirees, public outreach, or better yet recruiting tools in the cloud available to tablets and smartphones (Apps and webapps) . The Army has a two titles in the appstore such as The US Army Survival Guide, ARMY Physical Readiness Training App, and the US ARMY News and Information App. The Marine Corps has quite a few apps as does the Navy Federal Credit Union. Last but not least, the Air Force has an application for Airman Fundamentals! Many of these apps have been developed by DOD contractors such as General Dynamics.

    So these might not be internal applications for use by the general employees, but they are being signed off by the DOD as a means for public outreach. Question is –Who is hosting them…..

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