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FCW : September 15, 2014
of VA IT spending goes through the agency’s Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology contract 23% 8 September 15, 2014 FCW.COM Army Col. Jack Wayman, director of integration improvement initiatives in the deputy chief of staff’s office, said improving scanning applications on mobile devices could simplify daily tasks for soldiers in the field. Using mobile applications for data collection can reduce error rates and save time and money, Wayman said dur- ing a panel discussion at the Federal Mobile Computing Summit in August. The goal is to move away from tradi- tional, bulky scanners with hefty price tags and use the mobile devices soldiers already have, Wayman said. The new system would have identifi- ers encoded in barcodes and registered to the Defense Department, Wayman said. He predicted that the program would save $3 billion to $5 billion a year when fully implemented. Using barcodes and scanners to track inventory and equipment could also greatly reduce error rates, Way- man told FCW. “These are line workers,” he said. “They have competing priorities. They’re tired, they’re hungry, people are shooting at them — whatever the case may be. We have to find ways of unburdening data collectors from these labor-intensive tasks.” Wayman cited the example of an Army outfit that used wireless scan- ners to trim the process for complet- ing paperwork on a particular process from four hours to five minutes — an improvement he called unimaginable. “And yet this is what can be done if you can integrate all the capabilities you need to collect and transmit infor- mation,” he added. Moving away from a paper-intensive process is also important “if we’re going to be able to compete for people to join the Army and help bring the Army into the 21st century,” Wayman said. However, he said using mobile de- vices to improve processes is largely still a work in progress at DOD, and the new system won’t work until the Army figures out how to mark everything with a quality barcode. “There are pockets of excellence where people really have the vision, but the vast majority of people in manage- ment positions are not familiar with it so they don’t really see it,” said Wayman. “They see it is possible, but they don’t want to get going too fast in the wrong direction and spend too much money trying to do something just because it’s cool.” — Colby Hochmuth Barcodes and scanners: It’s the Army, not the supermarket CRITICAL READ Trending WHAT: “The Drive to Thrive: Ensuring the Agile Data Center,” a MeriTalk survey of more than 300 agency field workers and federal IT professionals. WHY: Agencies rely on their data centers for a wide range of operations, but issues related to managing downtime erode the confidence of IT workers. In MeriTalk’s survey, which was underwritten by Symantec, 80 percent of federal IT work- ers said data center reliability is a top agency priority, but 42 percent said downtime left them unable to support their missions. Federal field workers noted that real-time information access was crucial to their work and saved them 17 hours per week. That equates to about $32.5 billion in annual pro- ductivity savings. In the past month, 70 percent of agencies experienced downtime of 30 minutes or more, and 90 per- cent of field workers said the downtime affected their ability to do their jobs. Only 29 percent of field work- ers said they believe their IT departments fully understand the effect that downtime has on their ability to work. VERBATIM: “In the event of extensive downtime, one in three field workers use per- sonal devices and approxi- mately one in four turn to work-arounds like Google Apps.” FULL REPORT: MeriTalk.com/drivetothrive Join the conversation FCW uses Twitter to break news, field questions and ask our own. Learn more at Twitter.com/FCWnow. Great @ACTIAC #ELC2014 agenda coming together: RT @FCWnow: More hands-on engagement promised at this year’s ELC http://ow.ly/2Mey1P 1:23 PM - 22 Aug 2014 Rick Holgate @rickholgate Reply Retweet Favorite
September 30, 2014
August 30, 2014