How Frontline Mobile Tech Supports Federal Operations

Information technology is a major component of frontline federal operations to assist personnel with real-time communication for the 1.3 million active-duty and reserves forces to stay ready to deploy at any moment. Technology spending in the U.S. military increased 16.2% for 2023 to $130.1 billion from $112 billion. Much of these costs go to research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E). However, Investing in the right frontline mobile tech for personnel can be challenging. There are a number of factors to consider for a team from the moment they enter the front line to assessing the captured data afterwards.

When planning your agency’s digital transformation, keep in mind these three factors to provide your team with frontline mobile tech while empowering IT staff to better support workforce and operational needs.

Ensure digital transformation goals map directly to employee needs

Different teams may need different technologies. Different generations vary in their technological skill levels. The challenge here is formulating a cohesive IT strategy that is feedback driven, so your team gets technology solutions that work for their day-to-day tasks. Ask questions like:

  • What form factors will best serve employees?
  • Do employees prefer a certain operating system over others?
  • Are their mobile devices holding up in the environments they work in?
  • Is the selected technology interoperable with other systems?
  • What level of connectivity do they require?
  • What additional security measures do I need to implement?
  • Do the technologies we provide to employees streamline their work, or add unnecessary complexity?

Choose modular devices that provide alternate service and support options

Adaptable devices are a lifeline for mission critical work and help teams prepare for the unexpected. Fully rugged computers, such as the TOUGHBOOK® G2, are customizable and provide federal government workers with modern technology that also withstands the most difficult jobs. Consider the wide range of challenging conditions workers will find themselves in: the glaring sun, dusty fields, or inclement weather.

Even for these solutions, IT support is needed, especially in federal use cases that require lengthy deployments, extended travel away from home, and coverage across land, air, or sea. For example, if the battery on a consumer grade device fails, it could mean the entire unit is out of commission. With modular rugged solutions, you can simply swap a new one in instead of paying for a new device altogether.

To think about it a step further, IT can use services and solutions such as smart battery monitoring and analytics to track of device health and predict failure. One tip is to create a maintenance checklist template to evaluate your technology solutions usability to reduce downtime caused by technology issues.

Investing in rugged, modular technology can help streamline processes and improve productivity across a team. Modularity increases the longevity of a device and can decrease the burden on IT teams having to research and deploy new device fleets.

Deploy solutions that are compatible with advanced software and emerging technologies

Changing devices is a big undertaking for most agencies – it’s a big investment. Rugged, modular computers are often compatible with emerging and advanced technologies such as AI, virtual reality, and thermal imaging. The flexible design allows for the addition of new components and capabilities as roles change within agencies.

IT professionals must consider risk mitigation, device security, and reliability over longer periods of time. Because of this, technology buying considerations must address the desires of both workers on the front line and IT professionals. To do this, devices need to have advanced computing power and customizable options, while also using multifactor authentication and ensuring compatibility with public and private networks.

Learn more about Panasonic Connect’s technology solutions for federal government agencies.