Mobility initiatives are everywhere these days – from small startups to the biggest enterprises, employees in a range of industries are now able to harness the power of their own mobile devices for work. This trend has extended into several different sectors, including government. However, more consideration is needed to ensure successful deployment of BYOD in government settings.
When it comes to local, state and federal agencies, there are a few extra precautions that need to be taken to ensure BYOD success. This isn’t the run-of-the-mill business deployment: Government groups must ensure that a mobility strategy will mesh with their current processes, culture and technologies.
To mitigate the risks and better ensure success, here are a few tips for government agencies looking to implement BYOD:
Understand that mobility isn’t just a fad
One of the first things to note about the push toward BYOD is that while the phrase was once a buzzword, it is now much more than that. The Center for Technology in Government noted that for mobility initiatives to be beneficial, government decision-makers must understand that mobility has transcended the buzzword stage: It’s everywhere, and it’s not going anywhere.
“Do not dismiss or delay your adoption of mobile technologies because ‘it’s just the latest trend,'” The Center for Technology in Government stated.
In this way, group leaders must take note of the benefits that such a strategy can bring, including boosted flexibility, collaboration and productivity for employees.
Encourage employee buy-in
CIO contributor Kenneth Corbin noted that BYOD initiatives in government setting must have employee support in order to be a rewarding strategy. In this way, staff member buy-in is key as if the program is introduced without workers backing it, it will have little chance of taking hold.
Tonya Schreiber, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s deputy chief administrative officer, said FEMA is currently in the process of a major overhaul. With this in mind, she’s been tasked with adjusting the group’s environment, just as other government agencies must do when kicking off a BYOD program.
“Culture is key,” Schreiber said. “You only have one opportunity to change the culture of your agency and get it right with your people.”
Support BYOD with the cloud
CIO pointed out that a number of federal agencies already have cloud systems in place thanks to several IT directives from the Obama administration. The cloud and BYOD go together like peanut butter and jelly: While each can stand alone, they are far better when combined. The cloud can provide a much-needed foundation for BYOD, as the technologies allow mobile employees to access important documents and materials from their smartphones, tablets and laptops. However, this is only possible if the correct resources are in place – namely, network bandwidth.
Without adequate network bandwidth, not only will all processes attempting to be carried out on mobile devices suffer, but so too will cloud performance. Government leaders must make sure that their office has enough network bandwidth to support all the added mobile endpoints being brought to work by their employees. In addition, proper network bandwidth will ensure that cloud systems are accessible and reliable for staff members.