News Feature | September 2, 2014

State And Local Agencies Accelerate Mobile Readiness … But Not At Full Speed Yet

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Mobile Readiness At State And Local Government Levels

Mobile Work Exchange, a public-private partnership devoted to demonstrating the value of mobility and telework, has released a new study, “State and Local Mobility Map: Road to Mobile Readiness.” It explores the mobility of state and local (S&L) governments and provides perspective into their mobility strategies while plotting a path for mobile-readiness. The study, commissioned by Citrix, found that 40 percent of S&L managers use mobile devices for at least some work-related tasks, while 65 percent of S&L IT managers anticipate that the number of mobile workers will increase over the next five years. The study also reveals, however, that a majority of agencies (58 percent) are still not fully mobile ready, and that security (56 percent) and insufficient budgets (52 percent) remain chief obstacles for going mobile.

Only 17 percent of those who work for state and local government agencies are eligible for telework, according to the study, while 62 percent of IT managers surveyed reported that their agency has adopted a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to support mobility, meaning that they are ramping up for mobility through investments in secure remote connections, security enhancements, and mobile device management (MDM).

But IT managers said convincing senior leadership to increase technology budgets, update infrastructure, and increase the number of employees eligible for telework would make agencies better prepared to accommodate a mobile workforce.

“State and local government agencies continue to make great strides towards mobility, however,  many face roadblocks by not thinking big in their approaches,” according to David Smith, director of state and local government, Citrix.  “As the call for mobility continues to grow louder to drive increased productivity, more robust COOP (continuity of operations) plans, and provide better constituent service, it is imperative for agencies to overcome these roadblocks by taking an enterprise approach when tackling mobility while also addressing infrastructure gaps, establishing incentives to spur mobile adoption, and expanding employee telework eligibility to increase agency operations and productivity — truly enabling employees to do more with less.”

State and local IT managers understand the value of mobility and telework policies, and 65 percent of the 150 state and local tech managers surveyed said they expect the number of mobile government workers to increase in the next five years.

You should help your government clients assess their mobile readiness:

  • Look at the big picture. Ensure IT teams understand the value of mobility, take an enterprise approach to rolling out a mobile program, and establish an infrastructure that supports mobile work. Leverage flexible, scalable, and comprehensive technology solutions.
  • Address security issues. Education and Train your end user clients and implement VDI, enterprise management, and device management technologies to alleviate anxieties.
  • Work all angles. Support legislation or incentives that promote telework and mobility.
  • Establish continuity planning. Increase employee telework eligibility so agencies can maintain operations during a natural disaster.
  • Develop training. Define what employees need to be mobile. Ensure all users understand and comply with protocols.