Federal employees wish the technology they use in their personal life would be the same as at work, which could help the implementation of “bring your own device” (BYOD) in federal workplaces, according to study by MeriTalk.
The Consumer Crossover: Me, Myself and IT study was sponsored by Google and was based on a survey of more than 220 federal employees. In all, 67 percent of the surveyed federal employees want the same personal technology tools at work, while 80 percent of younger federal workers aged 35 and under felt the same.
“Government agencies benefit from the wider adoption of personal technologies in three ways: speed, cost, and innovation,” said Steve O’Keeffe, Founder of MeriTalk, in an interview with ClearanceJobs. “Consumer technology companies have spent billions of dollars adding functionality and simplifying use. Opening the door to those technologies takes all of that investment and puts it to work for the government.”
The recent Digital Government Strategy released by the Obama administration seeks to allow government workers to take advantage of personal consumer technology in federal workplaces by ensuring the safe management of mobile devices. The plan requires agencies to issue a BYOD plan by September, with the intent to allow federal employees the ability to access their work and agency-built mobile applications from any device.
The Department of Defense recently released a new mobile device strategy that outlines a comprehensive push to integrate smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices across defense departments. Yet it also highlights the fact that the DoD faces major challenges of securing these devices on government networks.
The primary barriers of BYOD adoption for government agencies are security risks, IT staffing, and the diversity of devices and platforms, O’Keefe said. “Simplicity for the user means complexity for the IT department,” he said.
The surveyed federal workers said the primary barriers to adoption are insufficient training (42 percent), the cost of purchasing equipment (40 percent), the features and functions of new technology not being great enough to make a change (29 percent), and security (28 percent).
The report recommends that federal agencies embrace both the professional and consumer side of federal employees and provide training programs to help make this merge more seamless. Plus, identifying and harnessing early adopters at all age levels will help make the implementation easier, the report says.
“Federal employees are ready to deliver on the Digital Government Strategy,” said Dan Israel of Google Enterprise Federal, in the report. “Having experienced the value of a wide range of mobile devices and cloud-based apps and storage at home, they are looking for the best way to bring these technology tools to the workplace.”