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FCW : April 15, 2013
April 15, 2013 FCW.COM 23 your-own-device policy has already attracted 350 volunteers and a tablet PC pilot project will soon move into production, but technology was far from the only consideration. "We spent the vast majority of our resources not on technical or techno- logical issues, but on non-tech things like rules of behavior, policy, security, privacy, records and working with local union chapters," NRC CIO Darren Ash said. "As we did that we bene ted because solutions out there continue to mature, but since we've focused on the long-run issues, the technology itself is less of an issue." In what turned out to be a valuable lesson, Ash and his team paused to assess how the tablet PC project was going, obtain feedback and make tweaks before heading into produc- tion. That experience re ects another key tenet of mobile pilot projects: the importance of communicating with other organizations and sharing the lessons learned along the way. "We talk to a wide variety of agen- cies, and in each instance, we learn from them and they learn from us," Ash said. "All of us have an interest in doing this, all of us have our own approaches, but there are a lot of mistakes we don't all have to repeat." That concept will be crucial in the coming months as DOD prepares to award a contract for its mobile device management infrastructure --- a step that will spur adoption and help push pilot projects into production, said Tom Suder, president of Mobilegov. "Pilot programs are best done involv- ing all elements, not in stealth mode," Suder said. "You want to involve all the stakeholders." At DOD, he added, "a lot of pressure will be on them. It's all up to them to execute now." "There's a lot of work within the entire DOD, not just the Army, to leverage the insight we've had in these smart phone efforts from the past cou- ple years," McCarthy said. "And I think you're going to see some things that are going to be universal throughout DOD and probably throughout other departments as we continue to press forward." ■ Pilots that have panned out The Army put 200 mobile test devices in the hands of senior leaders in October 2012 and used soft certi cations instead of Common Access Cards for identity management. The program is set to expand to 2,500 devices at the Army Training and Doctrine Command, said Michael McCarthy, director of operations at the Army Brigade Modernization Command. And if the budget is right, another 2,500 devices might be elded on a pilot basis, he added. The Air Force started planning its electronic ight bag program at the end of 2011. It swapped large, heavy ight bags full of maps, manuals, navigation materials and ight plans for tablet PCs that contain up-to-date, more quickly accessible data. The devices improve ef ciency, cut down on paperwork and can also be used for functions typically performed manually, such as takeoff calculations, Defense Department spokesman Damien Pickart said. Outside DOD, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives began testing expanded use of mobile devices as far back as 2010. At ATF, iPads have been used to explore email as a service, video content management, surveillance and other uses for the agency's inherently off-site work. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is close to adopting tablet PCs after a pilot project demonstrated the bene ts of allowing eld inspectors to quickly access and share data. NRC is also testing a bring-your-own-device program with the help of 350 volunteers. CIO Darren Ash said pilot projects played a crucial role in enabling NRC's workforce to go mobile. --- Amber Corrin
March 30, 2013
April 30, 2013