One of the most exciting trends in government is mobility. With the flood of consumer devices entering the workplace, the public sector has looked at ways to implement mobile to improve communications strategies, cut costs, increase employee productivity, and transform collaboration across government agencies.
In this post I highlight a case study from the State of Indiana in GovLoop’s latest report, Making Mobile Matter. This report explored many ways that agencies are looking to leverage mobile technology to meet mission need. Our survey from 155 government employees found that although mobile is a core trend in government, 41 percent of respondents still do not have a formal mobile strategy and 25 percent are developing a mobile strategy.
| One of the leaders in mobile adoption is the State of Indiana. Recently, the State of Indiana has embarked on a campaign to leverage mobile apps within the state’s technological strategy. Through a new mobile initiative from the Indiana Office of Technology (IOT), Indiana is driving mobile as an imperative way to create internal efficiencies. Dewand Neely, Director of Desktop Services at Indiana Office of Technology, and Bob Clark, Manager of Enterprise Services spoke to GovLoop and shared their journey to develop an enterprise mobile strategy. Under Neely and Clarke’s lead, the State of Indiana has currently:
This is just the start for the State of Indiana. Officials believe that by designing the proper mobile architectures and placing the proper technology infrastructures to manage state-owned devices, this will lead to a stronger and seamless transition into a BYOD strategy. Neely stated “BYOD is second on our list right now, so it’s something we definitely want to do. Initially, we are trying to get the infrastructure built up to support internal and state owned assets. Once we get that addressed and get that process ironed out, then we are going to go hard and look at BYOD.”
Although Indiana has made great strides in crafting a mobile enterprise strategy, they are still in the early stages of development. Neely stated, “We are in the infancy of our mobile application development phase right now.” In early 2013, Indiana purchased a mobile device management (MDM) server, which they are using to deploy and create internal apps.
MDM solutions provide enormous benefits for government agencies. In a recent report on the subject, Gartner outlined two components of MDM solutions:
- A policy and configuration management tool for mobile handheld devices (smartphones and tablets based on smartphone OSS)
- An enterprise mobile solution for securing and enabling enterprise users and content. It helps enterprises manage the transition to a more complex mobile computing and communications environment by supporting security, network services, and software and hardware management across multiple OS platforms and now sometimes laptop and ultrabooks.
In addition to creating its mobile app store, the State of Indiana has leveraged additional benefits of the MDM solution. With an MDM solution, agencies can detect rooted and jail broken devices and keep rogue devices from accessing state data, providing an additional layer of security for government agencies.
MDM solutions are becoming essential for agencies to manage either state-owned or personal devices. MDM solutions help agencies govern devices, develop policies and maintain an additional layer of security to protect data. One example of how an MDM solution can be leveraged emerges from a common challenge for many IT shops—unapproved, custom-built applications. An MDM solution creates an enterprise app store, and with the app store, organizations can still develop custom apps, but all are hosted in one spot. This allows organizations to govern the creation of mobile applications, approve applications for download and easily update applications with the latest software.
Additionally, any mobile application created is downloaded and installed through this enterprise app store. The State of Indiana can use the MDM server to place their mobile apps in their own store, do not have to wait for approval of apps and can recommend specific apps for users. With Indiana’s enterprise mobile app store, “when you enroll your device, you get access to all those apps and can download them without going through Apple or a third party. We have this for Android as well, but no Android developers yet,” stated Neely.
Even though Indiana only recently set up an app store and is in the early stages of leveraging mobile, the state has already implemented some apps for users to access. These include:
- A mobile app to interface with their help desk ticketing system
- An app that allows field technicians to check-in (similar to FourSquare) and then logs the check-in into a database, which the dispatchers and managers can keep in order to see where they are, how many calls respond to and how resources are being utilized
- An app that the state’s internal Windows system administrator uses to monitor servers. They can look up server data information and send remote pings on servers to check if servers are up and check on pertinent information
- App that provides access to pre-configured email, calendar contacts, and access to any kind of VPN or wireless profile
By providing access to this kind of information, “we save a lot of talking over the phone and having them come in to set up for them—it’s enabled self service and that was one of the main goals,” stated Neely.
Additionally, Indiana’s mobile strategy also incorporates a new mobile training program for internal state developers to carry out state agencies’ mobile needs. “We have Apple as our standard iOS, we've got an app enterprise developer certificate and we just had a training class where we trained about 18 of the internal state developers so that they can start writing apps for their agencies,” stated Neely.
To read more about the State of Indiana and their mobile initiatives, please view the GovLoop report, Making Mobile Matter. More GovLoop mobile resources can be found:
- GovLoop Resources Mobile Hub
- New GovLoop Report: Making Mobile Matter
- A Mobile & Modernized Mississippi
- New GovLoop Guide: Making Mobile Matter
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Thank you to our industry partners for sponsoring the GovLoop Report, Making Mobile Matter. With any questions about this report, please reach out to Pat Fiorenza, Senior Research Analyst, at [email protected]