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The Impact of the Consumerization of IT

The consumerization of IT is a trend that is not being taken lightly within government. With the speed at which technology changes, new devices, strategies and technologies have emerged in the workplace. Consider this, a computer in the early 1970s was a device that could fill an entire office. Today, 130 million Americans carry around smartphones with the same or greater computing power in their pockets. Not surprisingly, those same 130 million Americans want to bring those devices to work and access resources anytime, anywhere. But that access is a nightmare for security and regulatory personnel. So how can government move forward without risking the enterprise?

Recently, I spoke with Bruce Michelson, Distinguished Technologist, at HP. Bruce Michelson’s expert insights identified the changing IT landscape, offered insights on how the consumerization of IT is forcing agencies to consider Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and explained how mobility is transforming the public sector.

Not only have these new tools sparked interest in transforming the way society engages and communicates, government agencies are seeking to leverage emerging devices for new business efficiencies and to streamline operations. Government employees want to use their smartphones and tablets at work for business functions across all levels of government. This trend is only increasing for IT departments, who are now looking at ways to safely and securely provide the infrastructure needed to support the consumerization of IT.

The Digital Government Strategy, which was released in August of 2012, advises agencies to safely and securely adopt mobile technology. Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel unveiled his vision for Digital Government, and one of the key mandates was the ability for government workers to be able to work anywhere, anytime and on any device. The mandate is a lofty goal considering the enormous challenge of securing, managing and protecting consumer devices in the workplace, but the Digital Government Strategy is an important step forward to encourage federal agencies to implement emerging technologies.

In light of these policy shifts such as the Digital Government Strategy, agencies are asking: how do we implement these changes methodically and responsibly, and how will the consumerization of IT continue to affect agencies going forward?

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