Mobile technologies are rapidly transforming nearly every aspect of our personal and professional lives. In fact, the proliferation of social media seems impossible without the widespread use of mobile devices. Meanwhile, companies are discovering cost efficiencies and flexibility of access – through tablets and smartphones – by moving their entire business operations to the cloud.
Government represents a particularly exciting sector of mobile technology innovation. Indeed, the government market presents an enormous opportunity for new applications in the mobile arena because of the size, scope, and diversity of its operations. This is certainly true for federal agencies like USAID, which is leveraging mobile technology for constituent engagement in developing countries. But innovation is also taking place at the local level, such as New York City’s successful NYC 311 text-messaging program.
However, the same level of magnitude that provides such rich opportunities can also lead to confusion and intimidation for potential developers, both inside and outside the government. So where do we begin?
Pete Erickson has an answer. Erickson is the founder of Modev, an online mobile development community. His company has introduced ModevGov, described as the first mobile development, design and product management conference specifically tailored to the government market. An all-day affair in Rosslyn, Arlington, ModevGov promises to deliver what Erickson calls a “one-two punch” for hearing firsthand what agencies are doing and gaining expertise to go after the market.
As Erickson describes the current landscape, most government-focused mobile conferences stop at the thought leader level. To contrast, Erickson says, “We’re not just talking about what’s happening. We’re actually going to get into the details about how it is happening.” To accomplish this, ModevGov will feature three rooms of breakout sessions in addition to the main stage speaking events, which will allow attendees to engage in many workshops and hands-on classes. The goal is to allow developers and other attendees to learn about some of the latest tools and methods for delivering applications and services. This includes learning about which platforms and tools are used, what security strategies are employed, and the method by which apps are delivered and managed.
“Modev is all about the kind of training and hands-on, peer-based learning that is so important to moving forward,” Erickson said.
So who should attend ModevGov?
The focus of the conference is for people who are actively building apps and mobile services. On the delivery side, this includes developers, designers, product managers, decision-makers, and of course in-house developers in government. Erickson notes that these individuals will best understand where we are in terms of making the transition from ideas, to code, to applications, and ultimately to delivery.
However, Erickson adds, “Anybody at any level is going to get a lot out of this conference because they are going to gain an understanding about the state of the market,” which is vital for anyone interested in mobile innovation. Still, the “sweet spot” for ModevGov is the intermediate-to-advanced developer or other person involved in the mobile ecosystem.
Key Takeaways, Case Studies, and Notable Speakers
As previously mentioned, both the federal government and local agencies are revolutionizing the way they engage with their constituencies. But this is really only half of the story. The other half involves the vast improvements happening from within organizations. Erickson highlights the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a great example of this type of innovation. Mobile applications are driving the next generation of communications for response agencies, as well as the first responder community in general.
This equates to advancements in the efficiency of communications, security, and the sharing of large quantities of information. ModevGov will cover some of these innovations, focusing on the efficiencies gained through mobile applications.
“What people will gain from this event is that they will hear firsthand some of the interesting projects that are going on,” Erickson adds. “Innovation is happening across the board.” This includes examples from early adopters from the U.S. Navy, Department of Labor, General Services Administration, Homeland Security, USAID, New York City and others.
As for speakers, Erickson is quick to highlight David Bray, CIO of the Federal Communications Commission, and a noted thought leader in the technology space. He is also ModevGov’s opening keynote speaker.
“You are going to get a really full perspective on the state of the government market for mobile applications,” Erickson adds. “And then you are going to get training on how to implement your solutions.”
Need any further reasons to attend? Government employees can attend ModevGov free of charge.