The fast-paced mobile industry keeps even the most tech-savvy on their toes. It seems like every week a new smartphone, wearable device, or tablet is being released. And there is certainly a market for all these devices and emerging technology. Just look at some data from a recent Pew study on mobile technology:
- 90% of American adults have a cell phone
- 58% of American adults have a smartphone
- 32% of American adults own an e-reader
- 42% of American adults own a tablet computer
Mobile is changing our social fabric. It also has enormous consequences for government. The reality for the public sector is that mobile is here to stay, and is a core component to modernizing government. But some organizations are having a difficult time adapting to the mobile revolution. There’s a lot to deal with: agencies must address significant security concerns; adjust cultural norms; and navigate an unknown and developing legal environment.
To help you tackle the challenges of mobile, here are two overarching strategies that agencies can use to understand data and conduct pilot programs.
Understand Your Data
One of the essentials of mobility is to remain device and operating system agnostic. This means that agencies really have to get a handle on how data moves on their network. To securely adopt mobile, you need to start by understanding your data. This means that agencies need to gain an understanding of:
- Who, when and how employees are accessing data
- What devices are accessing your data
- Prioritization of both data sets and assets on your network
- Which data sets should be accessed by mobile, and which should not
Once this information is understood, the device and operating system becomes secondary. Knowing how your data operates will help you quickly adapt to new devices and solutions.
Conduct Pilot Programs
Mobile presents many opportunities for the public sector, and many organizations have had success by conducting a small pilot program. By starting small, they’re able to have a core set of users and do a more thorough analysis of the benefits, risks and communicate with the pilot program participants.
When conducting a pilot program – whether it is a BYOD program, app development or deploying tablets – start with a small sample, learn from user challenges and adapt based on need.
For more information, here are a few must-read resources on mobile:
- CIO.gov’s “Adoption of Commercial Mobile Applications within the Federal Government”
- CIO.gov’s “Creating a Foundation for Mobile Security”
- CIO.gov’s “Government Mobile and Wireless Security Baseline”
- The General Accountability Office’s “Better Implementation of Controls for Mobile Devices Should Be Encouraged”
- NIST’s “Guidelines for Managing the Security of Mobile Devices in the Enterprise”
- NIST’s “A Role-Based Model for Federal Information Technology/Cyber Security Training”
Mobile technology has changed the way citizens interact with government. By taking a hard look at your data, and holding pilot programs, you can build a strong foundation to change the way services are delivered, and transform how your agency engages with citizens.
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