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FCW : April 30, 2016
24 Sou rce: 1 FedSmith, “Federal Workforce 2014: Key Figures,” April 2014 outside of a physical desk or office. He points to technologies from Citrix such as ShareFile, XenApp, XenDesktop and XenMobile that enable such work, seamlessly, outside of more traditional settings. While the federal government may lag behind the private sector in BYOD adoption, Randy Siegel, founder of Center Circle Consultants in Washington D.C . , agrees that agencies have made strides in implementing mobile technology that appeals to younger workers. The FBI has deployed 40,000 Samsung Galaxy 5s to agents, providing newer employees with the technologies they are increasingly accustomed to using. The move marked a major first step in device-agnostic policymaking, as government had previously relied almost exclusively on BlackBerry smartphones. “ What you have right now is technology populism, or the consumerization of IT,” Siegel says. “ You have young kids just out of school who are used to shopping and banking from their devices. They live their lives that way. They want that same func tionality at work.” Siegel says that civilian agencies, especially, have led the way in BYOD because they tend to lack the more rigorous security requirements of the Department of Defense (DOD) or the intelligence community. on, on any device, including their own personal tablets and smartphones, without compromising security.” The Chromebook stands as one of the more cost-effective solutions available to agencies today. The devices run on the Chrome OS and are designed to be used with an Internet connection since most applications and data reside in the cloud. Windows and web-based applications can be securely delivered to the Chromebook as well as application or desktop virtualization systems such as XenApp and XenDesktop. Rajan advises agencies to look for solutions with multitenancy built in. Multitenancy is a mode of software operation where applications in a multiuse environment can be isolated depending on which employee or role requires them. For instance, VMware AirWatch allows management to divide capabilities across internal sub- groupings such as geographies, business units, divisions or other segmentations. “ With that architecture in place, agencies can roll out updates that only impact a specific department or sec tion of the workforce,” Rajan says. “Most operating system updates simply add new features without taking away native functionality, which also supports a smooth transition.” Deniece Peterson, director of federal industry analysis at Deltek, says agency IT leaders understand the need to equip employees with such devices and apps, and have sped up the vetting and deployment of such technologies as a result. The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently released draft guidelines to help agencies bring new devices on board. She says security remains the greatest hurdle, but she believes that with new processes in place, onboarding could happen much more quickly. In the Field While many federal employees work inside an office building, a growing percentage of jobs put employees in the field. The public safety sector makes up a large portion of those jobs, but every major agency performs work that requires employees to func tion outside of an office on occasion. Mobile devices and applications can serve as a tremendous aid in helping employees with specific tasks centered on their job. For instance, the Air Force Materiel Command gave pilots iPads to carry in their flight bags, and also developed an application that serves as a detailed map. The app eliminates the more than 90 pounds of paper charts that pilots used to carry on flights, eliminating the weight and saving on fuel costs while also making navigational information easier to access. The U.S. Department of Agriculture hosts an office in nearly every county in the country. Most employees who staff those offices work as inspectors or researchers, gathering information from farmers and ranchers while in the field. The department has been held up as one of the most progressive in government when it comes to mobility. “As more people take advantage of BYOD policies, and as federal agencies send more workers out into the field, IT faces new requirements,” Iqbal says. “ Employees now need to be able to access all the apps they rely Percentage of federal employees younger than 30 years old, compared to 23 percent in the private sector 1 7.1 % 23%
April 15, 2016
May 15, 2016