National Archives Moves to the Cloud

Known as the country’s record keeper (and my favorite place to bring D.C. visitors) the U.S. National Archives Records Administration (NARA) protects and provides public access to more than 10 billion pages of textual records, maps, photographs, videos and more than 133 terabytes of electronic records. Needless to say, that is a lot of information to manage and takes a team of employees to do.

Beginning in December 2012 through April 2013, the National Archives successfully moved its 5,300 email accounts to Google Apps for Government. According to a recent article in GovTech, the main reason the Administration moved to the cloud was “for better uptime and reliability.” Plus, by moving to the cloud, the National Archives are better able to accomodate its employees who want to work from home or travel often. In the increasingly mobile era, job responsibilities may not end at 5PM, so employees want to be able to work anywhere, at any time, and on any device. By moving to Google Apps for Government, the National Archives’ employees are able to access their email and documents (via Google Drive) remotely- which makes doing their job easier, increases efficiencies and response time, and improves services to customers.

Like many other government agencies, one of the major concerns for the National Archives was security. According to the post, because NARA wanted employees to access their email remotely, the agency needed “two-factor authentication.” Partnering with Unisys, they created an application that had employees authenticate the device they were using a PIN, and once verified, the employee’s credentials were checked against the Archives’ internal identity management system.

Mobile in government is here to stay, but that doesn’t mean its not without risks and challenges. Agencies will need to consider options in terms of mobile devices and devise a BYOD/mobile strategy that meets the needs of employees and the public. Working on any device certainly improves productivity and employee satisfaction, but it is important security measures are in place and employees are trained in this area.

Enterprise mobility is fundamentally changing the IT landscape. With a variety of smartphones, tablets and other innovative devices — and applications for those devices — available on the market, agencies must determine how to empower employees with these new technologies while maintaining security standards. To learn more about enterprise mobility, Google is hosting an executive briefing focused on enterprise mobility and the Android Platform. It’s taking place Thursday, June 6 from 9AM to 12PM ET in Washington, D.C. You can learn more and register by clicking here.

Want more information on mobility in government? Check out the resources below:

Mobile Resources Hub

Recorded Training: Know What Your Citizens Want on Your Websites

Recorded Chat: Digital Government Strategy- One Year Later

Best Practice Guide: Crafting a Digital Government Strategy

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