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Mobility: Evolve or perish

There’s no doubt about it: Mobility has emerged as one of the hottest topics in federal IT. At the Executive Leadership Conference in Williamsburg, Va., government leaders stressed the need to embrace mobile technologies, especially in times of economic duress, as a way not only to save money but to push federal innovation to another level.

As agencies look to be on the frontlines of innovation, they also face challenges in how to best implement new technologies, how to change their cultures and and how to correct misperceptions about mobility. And then there are plenty of questions: How do you build trust in an ever-expanding interconnected world? How do you best manage a mobile workforce? How can a mobile workforce best do its job and get the tools it needs? The consensus at the ELC seems to be: evolve or perish. In an ever-evolving digital era, no one can afford to be left behind.

Here are just some of the most interesting quotes about mobility overheard at the ELC:

“We must move into a mobile world. For the person who asked the question ‘is mobile more productive than nonmobile?’ Well, look at snow days -- [with mobility], you can work on a snow day. I wouldn’t spend any more time debating whether mobile is more productive.”
-Jim Williams, former commissioner, General Services Administration, senior vice president, Daon

 “We’ve seen in the last four years an 8,000 percent growth in data bits.”
-Jeff Mohan, executive director and Networx program officer, AT&T Government Solutions

 “Most of the stuff we do routinely could be done better with mobile [technologies],”
-Blair Levin, communications and society fellow, Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program

”If I had to call something a ‘killer app,’ I’d call mobile commerce that.”
-Dr. David Metcalf, senior researcher and developer, Institute for Simulation and Training, University of Central Florida

The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder app "has gotten incredible visibility because it is evidence-based, because it is an effective tool, and it shows what we can do when we embrace mobility applications.”
-Roger Baker, CIO, Veterans Affairs Department

“When we moved from our old building from the GSA headquarters from 1800 F Street in downtown D.C. to our temporary space, we got rid of about 240 tons of paper. That represents about 75 or 80 percent of the total amount of paper we had in the building for the people to move.”
-Casey Coleman, CIO, General Services Administration

“You live in a place where they offer you an iPad as a pilot and then they won’t let it connect to anything, so [you] lovingly refer to it as a ‘Whypad.’”
-David Wennergren, deputy chief information officer, Defense Department


 

Posted by Camille Tuutti on Oct 27, 2011 at 12:19 PM


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Reader comments

Fri, Oct 28, 2011 Geoff Sacramento, CA

We need to reassure supervisors and managers that managing mobile workers is not a hassle. The software exists to make the manager's oversight effective.

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