Most federal agencies indicate having above-average IT programs for enabling telework and mobility and expect mobile device use to increase 20 percent by next year, according to a report released this week.
More than half of federal agencies are making the grade in terms of enabling the growing mobile workforce. They serve as a model for others looking to strengthen their telework programs in the most efficient way possible.” – Cindy Auten
Specifically, it reveals that 65 percent of federal agencies cite above-average IT programs for enabling telework and mobility. In addition, to prepare for the anticipated increased use of mobile devices, agencies are focused on improving and expanding security, networks, and wireless access.
“More than half of federal agencies are making the grade in terms of enabling the growing mobile workforce. They serve as a model for others looking to strengthen their telework programs in the most efficient way possible,” said Cindy Auten, general manager, Telework Exchange. “As the number of teleworkers and mobile workers increases over the next couple of years, it is imperative agencies invest in technology that supports the changing workforce.”
The report also indicates 85% of agencies have teleworkers and 83% have part time mobile workers. Of the total workforce, an estimated 21% currently telework and 22% are part time mobile workers.
However, 58 percent are eligible to do so, which means many more workers could be taking advantage of potential benefits and increased productivity and efficiency telework affords.
Forecasting ahead, however, 59 percent of respondents expect more regular teleworkers and 45 percent expect more part-time mobile workers in the next two years, according to the report.
Driven by improved workforce productivity, agencies must support the most frequently used applications. Agencies with above-average programs – the 65 percent of agencies polled that scored an “A” or “B” in telework IT readiness – noted the following top five telework/mobility tools:
- remote desktop access
- instant messaging
- video/Web conferencing
The report also indicates teleworkers across all surveyed agencies frequently use applications. They most often use email, followed by HTTPS, remote desktops or thin client computing, instant messaging, HTTP, and video/Web conferencing to accomplish work remotely.
Twenty-two percent of respondents noted that they use agency-developed work-related applications.
Despite growth projections for the number of mobile workers and the trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), just over half of agencies are currently working on a plan to reduce costs specific to issuing mobile devices in accordance with Executive Order 13589 – Promoting Efficient Spending. To improve telework programs, agencies noted investing in mobile asset management, data loss prevention, and multi-factor authentication.
IT professionals are also looking to the cloud to continue to drive telework growth while agencies are focused on improving security, networks, and wireless access. Over the next two years, agencies will invest in mobile asset management, data loss prevention, and multi-factor authentication, according to the report.