Sitting at the Fed 100 a fortnight ago, a black-tie gala for doing more with less always makes me smile...
Nice program, Ms. Armstrong. But, the face sorely missing from the mug shots? The iPad. Hasn't Steve Jobs' baby done more to transform the face of Federal IT than any CIO? More popular than Thin Mints, these thin clients are more than an IT treat. They're the flavor of the century with every cabinet secretary in government.
But, is the iPad good for IT? It's certainly giving CISOs across government heart burn. So, what's ahead for the iPad and Uncle Sam? Is the PC dead -- is Intel outside?
Well, a recent MeriTalk study -- Mobile Powered Government -- provides insight on the Federal post-PC productivity landscape. The net up front, Fed IT pros predict mobility has the potential to add $2.6 billion to Federal workforce productivity per year in the near future.
Dropping the lbs
Feds say tablet use will triple by 2013 -- from seven to 19 percent of the workforce. As telework and mobility become SOP, Feds predict adding more than half a million tablets and some 355,000 smartphones in the next two years. According to Pew, tablet and e-reader ownership doubled in December 2011.
Like the mainframe of yore, the PC is looking vulnerable. Forty-nine percent of Fed IT pros see PCs as an anchor to Uncle Sam's productivity. Fifty-one percent say not having tablets and smartphones could impair government's ability to recruit and retain top talent.
Clouding the Issue
What better way to break the traditional app delivery paradigm? Sixty-four percent of Feds see desktop from the cloud as a viable solution for their agency and 43 percent agree that it will simplify remote access. But if mobile's appetizing, agencies need to sweeten their mobile offerings. Sixty-three percent of agencies are using or assessing the use of mobile applications, but only 17 percent say employees use agency-developed applications.
Angel or Devil?
But is the iPad a boon or a boil for Fed IT operators? How do we go about securing these devices? Seventy-eight percent of Fed IT pros report mobile security concerns. What happens to downloaded government data if people are careless with their toys? How do we say no when the cabinet secretary says yes?
Hue's on First?
Oh, and what about the Trade Agreements Act? How's the iPad contraband on GSA Schedule but kosher on SEWP?