Federal agencies have deployed a diverse set of tactics over the past several years to bring their mobility and remote access efforts up to speed with innovations in the private sector. As you have explored the many options of BYOD, device management software and policies for teleworkers, it's unlikely that you've locked down best practices for your organization. The road to a successful mobile implementation is a long and unknown one for IT leaders. It is your mission to map out and execute a strategy that will finally enable end users while protecting vital data in every possible scenario.
Thankfully, enough progress has been made in this area of federal IT that a number of signposts can help point you in the right general direction. Here are three action points you can count on to develop your mobile outlook.
1. Bolster networks now:
Jumping into a mobile integration project without the underlying compute and networking support is one of the most common pitfalls of the digital age. While you may be eager to achieve the flexibility and convenience of mobility, there are several IT benchmarks you should seek to surpass before making the move toward mobile. For example, if you have yet to leverage virtual machines in your data center optimization efforts, you may be missing out on an array of mobile functionality, especially for workers who operate primarily off-premises.
An article from TechTarget echoed the importance of full-featured mobile workstations when supporting a highly dispersed workforce, pointing out that teleworking strategies hinge largely on the level of network modernization an agency has achieved. To truly integrate remote teams with in-house personnel, IT must deliver consistent, reliable applications and data regardless of the end user's location. A virtual desktop infrastructure is one of the most promising technologies thus far for reaching this level of consistency across the organization.
"If you're working from home with your employer's okay, and you're using your own hardware and software at your company's suggestion or insistence, maybe it is the employer's fault if you can't get your work done," said John Girard, an analyst at Gartner, according to the news source.
2. Prioritize software value:
With the growing popularity of BYOD and CYOD (choose-your-own-device) policies, the challenges of hardware compatibility have been, for the most part, checked off of IT's to-do list. New duties have emerged, however, as mobile device management software becomes a hotter topic in the federal environment, tasking administrators with the selection and implementation of effective mobile applications. Ensuring that each component of your software profile is suitable for mobile settings and can keep up with desktop programs is a key feature of any winning platform.
With technology such as virtualized desktops supporting your myriad remote users, teleworkers will be given precise replications of their workstation apps and data, empowering employees no matter where they may be. Since these virtual machines have already proven their worth in the office, there's no need to worry whether they'll hold up in the field. This is a surefire way to maximize the value of your software licenses and keep end users productive in any remote environment.
3. Shore up security:
According to InformationWeek, an IDG survey recently revealed that mobile clients and unmanaged devices are a top cyber security concern for 57 percent of surveyed IT executives. At the federal level especially, you need to lock down your networks with AES-256 encryption to ensure the protection of mission-critical data, end user privacy and mobile deployments. By teaming up with a dedicated solutions provider and introducing tailored software to defend against interior and exterior threats, you can round out your mobile device policies with powerful security standards.