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FCW : August 30, 2014
ACT-IAC s Advanced Mobility Working Group found that few agencies have adopted consumer apps for enterprise use. A 2013 study requested by the CIO Council and Digital Services Advisory Group states that "with few exceptions, enterprises have not brought consumer apps in-house and adopted them for use as part of their enterprise application portfolio; nor are these apps [managed] via device manage- ment or application environments." More than a year after those recommendations, there is still plenty of opportunity for progress, said Rick Hol- gate, CIO of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He and his team are helping ATF employees explore their options. "We ve given them the latitude to do a lot of experimen- tation on their own to gure out what tools are best for them," said Holgate, who is also co-chairman of the ACT- IAC Advanced Mobility Working Group. "We re getting more toward that model from the private sector, giving users a certain amount of trust and empowering users." Relinquishing control over applications on government- furnished devices can be dif cult for some agencies, but giving employees that decision-making power is inevitable, said Maureen Carter, creative director at Deloitte Digital. "The more transparency, the better," she said. "Individu- als are going to nd ways to use these tools anyway. The line can t just be no. There has to be exibility. We need to look at the tools that are impacting their [employees ] lives and learn and adopt best practices for using those tools." More apps, more exposure? Depending on the type of application, BYOA heightens exist- ing mobile security risks. There are multiple approaches to managing those risks, depending on the situation, Hol- gate said. "If it s an enterprise device and I m allowing users to bring applications onto it, you have to think, Am I okay with just monitoring the activity on that device or managing which applications get installed on the device? " Holgate said. "You can look for problematic behavior, but that requires more sophisticated infrastructure on the part of the enterprise." Security risks can also depend on the type of applica- tions being used. Collaboration and information-sharing sites, such as Dropbox, pose more of a security threat to an agency because of the data they could expose, said Rob- erts, who added that his company is building software that would reduce the risk to organizations running those types of applications. Containerization is another approach. It involves build- ing a wall around a certain set of applications on a mobile device. "Industry is trying to work this balance [of] having apps for personal and government use that can co-exist on one device," Roberts said. The idea is to "separate [them] so you can t move government information into your own suite of applications." Can't stop a moving train Experts agree that the desire to use the same applications on work and personal devices is a product of the times. "From a culture perspective, whether it s veteran govern- ment employees or folks right out of college, they re help- ing drive the change because they re a smart device-based and app-based generation," said Stephen Orr, distinguished systems engineer at Cisco Systems. "They want the same experience with all of their devices." A BYOA environment would give employees who are traveling the ability to access work email and check in at the airport without having to juggle two phones, said Scott Armstrong, chief strategy of cer at mobile solutions provider INADEV. As with many technology changes in government, culture and leadership are instrumental in making a BYOA program successful, he added. "It needs a high level of support because you have to do a lot of behavioral, organizational and security changes," Armstrong said. "You have to make sure everyone is com- fortable with it, from the youngest to the most experienced worker." Leadership is especially crucial in the preliminary stages of implementing BYOA, said Tim Young, federal lead at Deloitte Consulting and former deputy administrator for e-government and IT at the Of ce of Management and Budget. "By not having the CIO or technology executive establish a safe environment for practitioners to develop prototypes and test applications, they would therefore be creating a less secure environment," Young said. "By channeling them through a secure environment, it ful lls multiple organiza- tional goals and empowers employees with a walk, crawl, run approach." Although few agencies have adopted apps for enterprise- wide use, nearly all have adopted best practices and security measures to allow their employees to install consumer apps for their own use, ACT-IAC s paper states. Furthermore, many agencies are using pilot projects to help them make decisions about the degree to which they should manage commercial applications. A successful mobile strategy has implications beyond productivity. It s also a good tool for bringing in and retain- ing talented employees. "If you re trying to get young people to join the govern- ment and giving out iPhones or Android devices, what s the point if they can t do anything with [them]?" Roberts asked. ■ ExecTe c h 26 August 30, 2014 FCW.COM
September 15, 2014
August 15, 2014