Digital Government Strategy progress and challenges

A new report by Mobile Work Exchange and Good Technology examines Federal agencies’ progress toward the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Digital Government Strategy, as we approach its first birthday on May 23, 2013.

More than half – 52 percent – of Federal IT executives have matured their mobile IT strategies over the last year.

Increased training is making headway across the government – 65 percent say all employees in their agency take security training related to mobile devices.

OMB’s Digital Government Strategy, released in May 2012, challenges Federal agencies with goals to enhance Federal mobility and deliver better digital services to the American people. Federal IT professionals say their agencies are experiencing benefits today as a result of increased access to mobile computing, including improved communication (48 percent), productivity (47 percent), and customer service (33 percent).

Looking at the evolution to date, 43 percent of IT executives gave their agency a grade of “A” or “B” for their progress toward meeting OMB’s Digital Government Strategy goals.

“Federal employees want access to the same productivity they enjoy in their personal lives,” says Chris Roberts, vice president, worldwide public sector at Good Technology. “Protection does not have to inhibit efficiency – Feds can have both. While the data shows that progress is being made, the key is to step up the pace. The security of government data is critical – we need to protect it today.”

Federal IT executives identified several obstacles to mobile goals. Not surprisingly, 73 percent identify security as a barrier; 60 percent identify budget as a barrier. This said, agencies report they are taking steps to address both areas. On the security front, agencies have started to adopt tools including encryption, mobile device management, multi-factor authentication, secure remote connection, and data loss prevention software – with additional adoption planned for the next two years.

Agencies are also communicating within the agency to advance security measures – 68 percent say their agency provides written mobile device security information to employees.

Tackling primary budget concerns, agencies are implementing several methods to reduce mobile costs. Fifty-nine percent report that they are developing agency-wide inventories of mobile devices and wireless contracts, and 42 percent are evaluating the government-wide contract vehicles in the alternatives analysis for all new mobile procurements. Further, 50 percent report that their agency is working on a plan to reduce costs related to issuing mobile devices to employees.

Additionally, three-quarters are using, developing, or considering mobile applications – and point to a number of interesting examples of apps already launched, including inventory tracking, aviation depot support, and document sharing.

“Government is focused on working smarter,” said Cindy Auten, general manager of Mobile Work Exchange. “And, as we see – taking significant steps forward as they work past the mobile growing pains. Success is a moving target. We will see continued creativity and progress in the year to come.”

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