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How would you spend $2,000?

What would you do with $2,000?

Federal CIO Vivek Kundra is proposing that agencies give employees incentives to buy and use their own mobile devices rather than issuing government-purchased ones. The government could help, Kundra said, by providing a $2,000 subsidy to each employee.

That sounds like a lot of money to us. $2,000 could buy an iPhone, an iPad and maybe a year or more of voice and data services. We're hoping that Kundra's already calculated that the cost of the government providing devices is already more than the $2,000 subsidy -- and would therefore be saving money by providing the subsidy -- or else the idea doesn't make a lot of fiscal sense.

Even so, it's on the table now, so tell us: What mobile devices would you buy to use on the job for $2,000, and how would they help you in your work?

Posted by Michael Hardy on Mar 01, 2011 at 12:18 PM

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Reader comments

Fri, Mar 11, 2011

This sure sounds like a nightmare in the making with all the non-standard devices & platforms across agencise, not to mention work & everyone in your organization having access to you 24/7 & your numbers. With the Gov't broke, what printing press will the $$ come from for this frivilous endeavor!

Fri, Mar 4, 2011

See Consensus Audit Guidelines on Unauthorized Software as to why this is not a good cyber security move. Recommend the SANs class on Implementing and auditing the Twenty Critical Security Controls taught by Dr. Eric Cole to the White House Staff. There is a reason why you want to have authorized software only on a business device unless you don't have any sensitive information.

Thu, Mar 3, 2011

What an IT Support nightmare. How would an IT support workforce support an unlimited, unsecure, unpredictable service? What about wireless service contracts? I doubt the wireless carriers would allow the government to negotiate contracts with no strings attached. Does that mean when you quit your job, you owe the government money, or will they cough up the termination fees? What about my personal phone number itself? Do I get to keep my number when I quit or do I have to give all my work contacts my personal number? That means work can get to you at all times, and EVERYONE you deal with work will have access to you and your personal life 24-7. Does that mean private cell phone bills will be subject to FOIA? What if your boss calls your phone during off hours? How did the 2k figure come about, was this backed by analysis? I hope the government isn't paying more than 2k per service contract per year per user.

Thu, Mar 3, 2011

Support nightmare

Thu, Mar 3, 2011 RayW

Since that stuff is banned in most of the buildings I work in, if it was a blanket handout to ALL gov workers I would use it to buy new radios to support my role in the volunteer Homeland Security that it seems like many of the ham radio folks who serve in emergency/public service groups have been folded into. Not what Kundra intended I am sure.

But as one anon poster stated, what about support? Apps vary a lot from platform to platform, and as we have found out many times, Microsoft loves to change things so that other stuff no longer works the same (and to be fair, I have seen other companies doing that now, the new PDF reader broke some forms that worked in the previous version). A support nightmare.

And what happens when your data plan runs out (for those who can use the $$$ in the spirit is seems to have been proposed)? Do you get another infusion, do without, or open up the personal wallet (pay pal for the younger set)?

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