Special Report

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Mobile systems and communications will transform the way government does business, but with budgets under increasing pressure it’s unlikely agencies will be able to fund everything themselves. BYOD promises a way to do that, but it’s not the answer for everyone or for every application.
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Security is the biggest concern government has with all things mobile, but BYOD offers particular problems with things like trust, privacy and data assurance. There are possible answers, but they will need new policies to account for them, and new mobile management solutions.
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One of the main reasons pushed for BYOD is that it’s needed to both attract and keep younger workers, and that they and others are more productive when they can use personal devices at the office. There’s truth to that, but it’s not clearcut.
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Of all the technology enablers for BYOD, virtualization may be the most important. Virtual desktops are increasingly seen as a necessity for the introduction of BYOD and the cloud could prove a major asset, though there are homegrown agency solutions that may also apply.
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It’s already apparent that implementing BYOD won’t be simple for agencies, and in many ways the technology part will be the easiest. Policy and cultural changes will be needed, as will broad-based educational programs. First solutions for these are being devised.
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