Cloud computing has been a bright spot in a gloomy financial environment, with an increasing number of state and local governments adopting cloud infrastructures to cut IT costs and increase efficiencies. Simultaneously, agencies have seen significant increases in the amount of useful operations and tactical data they are collecting.
But just like chocolate and peanut butter, “Big Data” and the cloud are better together. These two IT trends are about to converge, a marriage that promises to permanently alter the way that agencies collaborate and share data.Continue reading "Big Data & Cloud Computing: Better Together for Government"
The use of mobile devices on public sector networks is top of mind for most government agency and IT leaders. You can be sure that some form of mobile endpoint device is coming soon to the public sector—in spite of the security risks that keep agency IT leaders awake at night.
Don’t let security challenges derail your mobility plans, says U.S. CIO Steve VanRoekel, who warns IT leaders against making a “false choice between security and innovation.”
Indeed, federal mobility initiatives such as VanRoekel’s federal mobility strategy, General Services Administration’s (GSA) strategic sourcing plan for mobility initiatives and National Institute for Standards and Technology’s (NIST) security guidelines for tablets and mobile phones will pave the way—and set the expectation—for state and local governments to securely use mobile devices while meeting their organizational objectives.Continue reading "Overcoming Security Challenges to Government Mobility Initiatives"
Are state and local government networks secure enough for the “bring your own device” (BYOD) trend? Should they be? Current research indicates that most state and local government networks have little or no BYOD program in place, leaving potentially vulnerable holes in their network security. As the trend grows, it is necessary to develop programs ensuring data security across all platforms.
The latest research by Network World and SolarWinds is telling. They found that 60 percent of government agencies surveyed said their agencies didn’t have the appropriate tools to manage personal devices on the enterprise network. Yet the same percentage said their agency allows any employee-owned device to be connected to the network.
And if government employees are as careless as the enterprise end users surveyed by Harris Interactive and security solutions provider ESET, the public sector should take BYOD-related security issues seriously. Nearly a third of those who use their laptop for work use it to connect to public wireless networks; about the same number said that their data and files are not encrypted. About 46 percent of those surveyed have allowed someone else to borrow the personal device they use at work; 37 percent haven’t activated auto-lock.Continue reading "BYOD Security: Is Your Network Ready for Personal Mobile Device Access?"
Just last October, the U.S. Department of Defense approved an Android-based mobile OS for its military networks, and it’s not hard to see why.
With access to the Android ecosystem, members of the military will have access to information on their mobile tablets or PCs covering everything from high-level command and control programs to terrain data mapping.
Because Android is open source, the National Security Agency (NSA) was able to create a custom build of the OS, called Security Enhanced Android, which was certified by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) in October of last year. This build is expected to be the foundation for more, typically branch-specific iterations as tablets continue to prove their efficacy on the battlefield.
But in particular, tablets are showing great potential with two main areas of modern combat: situational awareness and remote troop management.Continue reading "How the Military is Using Android Tablets"
According to a new survey by MeriTalk, technology managers in the federal government project that 20 percent of their employees will use tablets for work by 2013. Already, nearly half of federal workers rely on laptops to get their jobs done, and that number is expected to hold strong.
But mobility isn’t just for the federal government; state and local agencies are leading the way.
In 2011, the state of Wyoming adopted Google’s cloud computing solutions for 10,000 employees, which will save the state more than $1 million a year and improve collaboration and connectivity between their in-office and mobile workforces.
In Michigan, the Department of Human Services provided laptops and camera-equipped smartphones to over 2,000 of its social workers, allowing them to complete work faster, more accurately and at a lower travel cost.
San Diego County declared that “mobile government (mGov) is the next logical step toward service improvement and effective response to economic and other pressures” in its strategic IT report.
So what’s holding some agencies back?Continue reading "Overcoming Challenges in Adopting New Technology"