A group which will monitor and share the progress made with Results Only Work Environment in the federal government.
ROWE and Technology
April 6, 2010 at 10:56 pm #96912
The three biggest concerns I have with ROWE are:
1) Will the technology needed to support a ROWE worker be available from their agencies?
2) What technology skills will the ROWE worker need to be effective?
3) How will information security be handled for the ROWE worker so that even if the worker is in a coffee shop they can still connect securely to their agency's network?
I know that some of these questions have been asked and answered before in teleworking but given the mobility of the ROWE worker and the increasing sophistication of hackers, I think these questions should be revisited.
April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am #96916
Way early in the process and MY attempt to answer your questions/concerns need to be clearly understood that they are in fact JUST MY PERSONAL OPINION... AND I CANNOT speak as the authoritative source for OPM and I have minimal knowledge of any other agency(s) ability to deal with ROWE workforce.
1. Suspect that if ROWE has any chance of success the technology will not only need to be provided but supported as well..
OPM already has a certain amount of head start on the process in that there are currently several thousand OPM employees who telework full time. SUSPECT most of them are NOT going to be in the pilot group at OPM but the support is there already. I would guess that the support function PROBABLY will have to be expanded to include NOT only troubleshooting support but training support as well. MY OPINION is for this support to be most effective it will need to be distributed support and NOT some centrally located support center where everything and everyone goes to one location to receive support. That is starting to happen AGAIN in OPM but we have a long way to go.
There has been some attempts made to dramatically expand the teleworking environment by relying on the end user using there own hardware, which has hit several speed bumps, NOT the least of which are the various federal regulations which require extremely secure computers (Federal Desktop Core Configuration etc.) and even basic principles of security. (Windows updates, Anti-spy ware protection, and basic encryption).
2. Suspect that the technology skills will be all over the map, depending a great deal on what tools are provided to the ROWE worker. If all that is provided is a cell phone and a blackberry (or some combination there; of Read Iphone) required technical skills will not be nearly as high where the user is provided a desktop computer with numerous enterprise applications and expected to share with all.
3. At the current time the ONLY connectivity from the coffee shop, or any other public network is via "air cards"/3G connectivity Suspect (AGAIN MY PERSONAL OPINION) that connecting through any WI-FI network is at least a couple of years away. Primarily because it has been just since Director Berry came on board that the IT organization has begun to realize that we are in really working in 21st century.
I don't believe that the director fully understands all the nuances of security but IMO he is NOT going to accept "we can't do that because it is NOT secure" line from the IT people Suspect different agencies are at different levels in wireless security learning curves.
April 7, 2010 at 12:54 am #96914
Thank you Henry and I fully understand your position that this is just your personal opinion. My comments come from my personal observations as a teleworking OPM employee and as PhD in public policy and administration with a research interest in technology and government. I am very enthusiastic about ROWE and hope it is adopted government-wide. But I am very concerned that, IN MY PERSONAL OPINION, archaic technology management policies will lead to ROWEFail.
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