DoD Outlines Plans to Seize the ‘Mobile Opportunity’

“To fundamentally change the way we do things in government, we need to seize on this mobile opportunity.”

Mobile technology has played a role in government for many years. But as this quote from Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel indicates, its potential to transform government is in the spotlight like never before. As new technology that is well-suited to meet the government’s mobility needs hits the market, the Department of Defense and other agencies are looking into how best to maximize its potential.

steve-van-roeckelRecently, the Department of Defense released its long-awaited Commercial Mobile Device Implementation Plan, which provides a framework for the use of commercially available mobile technology by the department. The plan focuses on three areas critical to mobility – mobile devices, wireless infrastructure and mobile applications – and includes a series of pilot programs designed to guide the department’s efforts moving forward. While the plan is not intended to cover devices used in combat, according to the Federal Times, it aims to equip approximately 600,000 users in the DoD with mobile technology that is reliable, secure and flexible.

The implementation plan is the second step of a comprehensive initiative that began with the release of the DoD Mobile Device Strategy last year. That document outlined the department’s plans to capitalize on the potential of mobile devices to enable greater access to information, enhance effectiveness and improve operational efficiency. Among other measures, it set forth steps to develop policy and standards to allow for secure use of commercial mobile devices in the department for both classified and non-classified activities.

The potential of mobile technology to “fundamentally change” the way government operates, as federal CIO VanRoekel has said, is clear. A survey of 300 federal managers commissioned by AOL Government predicted that greater use of mobile technology would result in extensive improvements in productivity, decision-making and cost savings. About half of those surveyed reported that each employee could redeploy at least 7 hours per week toward more productive work if fully enabled for mobility.

As a top provider of technology to government agencies for nearly two decades, Panasonic is proud to play a role in their continued efforts to enable mobility and efficiency. The Toughpad family of tablets is designed specifically for use by mission-critical mobile workers in the federal government and elsewhere, offering the enhanced security, durability and functionality these users require, in a tablet form factor that offers optimal portability.

In fact, the Toughpad recently was honored as a finalist in the American Technology Awards, recognizing technology products and services across the technology industry and exemplifying the “best of” the U.S. tech sector. Awarded on the basis of a thorough evaluation by industry experts and technology leaders, the ATAs this year will be presented on June 20 at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C.