Tech needs to keep same pace at work as home, feds say

Spurred by the Digital Government Strategy to “seize the digital opportunity and fundamentally change how the federal government serves both its internal and external customers,” federal employees are now trying to figure out how to best use new technologies at home and professionally, according to a recent study.  

The "bring-your-own-device" phenomenon is a key part of that, and the government itself is actively aiding the effort, validating the study's findings. For example, on Aug. 23, U.S. CIO Steven VanRoekel announced a new BYOD toolkit that provides best practices for agencies considering BYOD adoption.

The “Me, Myself and IT” report by MeriTalk and Google, released in June, showed that a majority of federal employees increasingly wish their employer could keep up with the evolution of technology to match their needs in their professional lives. Nearly 70 percent said so,

The study, first released in June, found 97 percent of feds shop online and 93 percent use online banking. More than 80 percent use web-based email, 78 percent use social media, and 68 percent use smart phone apps. In other words, feds are as much a part of the online life as anyone else, at least when they're on their own technology tools.

Along with the BYOD trend, government leaders bring their own standards to guide them in their decision-making around technology. Asked to specify challenges for adopting technology for both personal and work use, three of the top four barriers overlapped.

For technology used at work, lack of training (42 percent) poses the biggest challenge to adoption, followed by cost of buying equipment (40 percent) and the belief that the features and functions of the new technology aren’t up to par (29 percent). For personal use, respondents said the cost (75 percent) was the largest obstacle. Security was a more pressing consideration for personal use (38 percent) than in the office (28 percent).

Respondents also said they don’t think technology adoption is harder at work than at home. Just 36 percent said getting familiar with new technology took longer at work compared to the time needed to get used to personal technology. Sixty percent of federal employees age 48 to 66 said the advantages of technology are easier to see at work than in their personal lives.

About the Author

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

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • Social network, census

    5 predictions for federal IT in 2017

    As the Trump team takes control, here's what the tech community can expect.

  • Rep. Gerald Connolly

    Connolly warns on workforce changes

    The ranking member of the House Oversight Committee's Government Operations panel warns that Congress will look to legislate changes to the federal workforce.

  • President Donald J. Trump delivers his inaugural address

    How will Trump lead on tech?

    The businessman turned reality star turned U.S. president clearly has mastered Twitter, but what will his administration mean for broader technology issues?

  • Login.gov moving ahead

    The bid to establish a single login for accessing government services is moving again on the last full day of the Obama presidency.

  • Shutterstock image (by Jirsak): customer care, relationship management, and leadership concept.

    Obama wraps up security clearance reforms

    In a last-minute executive order, President Obama institutes structural reforms to the security clearance process designed to create a more unified system across government agencies.

  • Shutterstock image: breached lock.

    What cyber can learn from counterterrorism

    The U.S. has to look at its experience in developing post-9/11 counterterrorism policies to inform efforts to formalize cybersecurity policies, says a senior official.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group