Can new mobile government plans overcome old problems?

The federal mobile strategy unveiled May 23 punctuated the digital change already afoot across the government, but will the new standards help agencies overcome age-old challenges?

There are familiar hurdles as the government looks to transform in the digital era, but new initiatives and new momentum – including the mobile strategy – could help agencies overcome some decades-old obstacles, according to a panel of government officials.

“This is an exciting time… this strategy reflects where we are today with technology. We’re witnessing the transformation from a fully paper-based world to a fully digital world,” said Ron Ross, senior security scientist, computer security division and fellow, National Institute of Standards and Technology. “At the same time, we’re looking at a very significant threat space out there. We’re building an incredibly complex IT infrastructure…we’re going to have to manage that complexity.”

Ross and other federal officials, speaking at an AFCEA Bethesda event in Maryland, acknowledged there are trials ahead in carrying out the digital strategy across government. But they outlined some key plans for moving forward, many of them focused on mobile.

The Homeland Security Department is developing a mobile security reference architecture that will help agencies address security issues as they consider new mobile strategies, according to Sean Donelan, program manager of the national cybersecurity division, network and infrastructure security, DHS. The goal will be to secure mobile devices much in the way computers are handled today.

Donelan noted the architecture will be customizable to agency-specific needs and is expected to be released for public comment this summer.

The architecture is a foundational element of a number of mobile-focused efforts – pilot BYOD and device-agnostic programs and mobile data management were some highlighted at the event – and the hope is that they can be part of solutions to problems that are both new and old, panelists indicated.

“Sharing is an ongoing challenge. It’s not that we don’t want to do it; it’s that we have structures that aren’t necessarily built for sharing,” said Gwynne Kostin, director of the General Services Administration’s Digital Services Innovation Center. “We need incentives. One of the biggest we have forcing this cultural change is that we can’t do it alone. If all of us are on a deserted island together with limited resources, I’m hoping we’re going to help each other rather than kick people off the island.”

Other panelists agreed that government’s silo culture continues to be a thorny issue, but said there are other modern-day factors that are accelerating progress, including mounting budget pressure, the wide-scale move to enterprise architecture and the fast-paced technological culture external to government working as a forcing factor.

“Changing the behavior and also, frankly, changing the understanding . . . it all comes back to the information and how to share. We’ve all operated in little stovepipes and this is how our systems were designed,” said Darren Ash, CIO and deputy executive director for management at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. “It’s not the technology; it’s the decision-making.”

Kostin stressed the need to give the strategies and new practices time to take hold and come together.

Successful programs "don't come fully formed out of Zeus' head," she said. "These are investments that we're making; the payoff is not going to come shortly. Sometimes you need patience . . . to let the spaghetti sauce simmer."

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.