Government Agencies Play Catch-Up on Mobile Device Management

Although the U.S. government has made cutting-edge technology a priority in recent years, its efforts have not seen the results decision-makers expected, especially with regard to mobile device management. Enterprise mobility strategies have saturated the enterprise landscape at a rapid pace, yet these initiatives have yet to realize their full potential in the public sector. What is holding these agencies back from achieving the mobile profiles they desire, and what can you do to ensure that you develop a strong MDM strategy for the future?

Growth and development

Just because mobile strategies haven't been perfected, that doesn't mean state and local IT leaders aren't putting their best feet forward in terms of leveraging these technologies. A recent article from eWeek explored a report commissioned by Citrix and Mobile Work Exchange, revealing that 40 percent of state and local government employees have already embraced mobile devices for work-related purposes. The study also showed that 65 percent of respondents envision an even more mobile-centric future within five years.

"Two reasons are leading to this adoption and growth. The first element is cost reduction by enabling users to choose the device they want to use to improve productivity," said David Smith, director of state and local government at Citrix, as quoted by the news source. "The second is by enabling BYOD, the agency needs to own less infrastructure, thereby reducing the overall size of their IT footprint."

Best practices? Do tell

While mobile is clearly on the rise, you probably haven't discovered the perfect solution to problems such as BYOD cyber security, end user freedom and effective network monitoring. Don't worry, you aren't alone. Channelnomics pointed to more data from the Citrix and Mobile Work Exchange report finding that 60 percent of decision-makers surveyed said they weren't prepared for the challenges of managing a mobile workforce. Fortunately, thought leaders are optimistic about the advancement of safe, effective mobile planning.

"To drive mobility forward, agencies need to address security concerns, establish an infrastructure that supports mobility, incorporate telework into their agency's COOP strategy, and provide continuous mobile training for end users as well as IT," said Steve O'Keefe, founder of Mobile Work Exchange, according to Channelnomics.

Benefits galore

Turning your network into a well-oiled mobile machine may seem like a distant dream for the time being, but don't give up. The advantages of this movement are undeniable, and were only affirmed by the Citrix and Mobile Work Exchange report. Mobilized agencies reportedly experienced improvements in productivity, remote communication, increased collaboration and enhanced business continuity, the source noted.

What can you do to give your mobile strategy a much-needed boost? Updating your network to a virtualized environment can be a significant move in the right direction. Channelnomics noted that the study cited virtual desktop infrastructure as a primary tool in the development of mobile blueprints. In addition, the source explained that IT training initiatives and security awareness programs can fill in the missing links in end user education, a major factor in incidents such as data breaches and fraud.

"By taking these steps, agencies can build the business case for state and local IT leaders to invest in technologies to support mobility - empowering agencies to realize the vast benefits of increasing productivity while reducing costs," continued O'Keefe, as quoted by the source.
If you remain focused on creating a smart and secure BYOD policy, invest in the network resources to support remote access and remain ahead of the curve with regard to mobile trends, you can realize the potential of this powerful technology sooner than you may think.