Prediction: One fourth of federal websites to be mobile-friendly in a year

Twelve months from now, a quarter to a third of agency websites will have a significant amount of their information optimized for mobile devices -- a “gigantic step forward, and just the beginning” of the federal effort to move data into a mobile environment, according to David McClure, associate administrator of the General Services Administration's Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies.

Delivering a keynote speech at the Federal Mobile Computing Summit held Aug. 8 in Washington, D.C.,  McClure spoke about the agency’s implementation of the Digital Government Strategy and how data liberation ties into the overall picture.

The evolution of the digital era has made information a “critical, critical asset,” and the focus for the next five to 10 years will be to move beyond the mere technology to the core of technology -- data and information and how to make it accessible, usable and sharable, he said at the event organized by Mobilegov.

One example of this transformation taking place is Data.gov, which mostly has been seen as a repository of data holdings designated as high value. Tracking, for the most part, McClure said, have zeroed in on how many data sets are available, but the next step is to figure out what’s being done with the data and how to take it to the next level.

“We’re moving Data.gov into open source, so again, it’s very sharable,” he said. “We’re now in the process of not only getting it populated for state and local governments but around the world. The open government platform that we created with India is now being replicated where we can find anxious customers around the world.”

The idea is that the shift from a single repository to a federated, liberated model of data will focus on high-value use and sharing, McClure said, and creation of applications that will make use of previously inaccessible data that has been locked away.

None of these new approaches lack challenges, however, McClure acknowledged, so agencies need to carefully consider how the mobile space can bring value “really quickly.”

“I still believe we’re still in the first minutes of the first day of the Internet revolution,” he said. “Almost every day, I wake up and we go in and look at the projects and initiatives that we need to work on and actually get our hands around, it reminds me of how immature we still are in where we’re going in this space.

About the Author

Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.

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