New austerity is here to stay – coupled with more demand for user-friendly citizen engagement from our government workforce. And cybersecurity concerns are growing as well, as our enemies become more sophisticated and inventive. How can Federal agencies meet all three pressures – lowering costs while improving services and keeping data safe?
More than ever before, innovative technologies are needed across government, to keep the government workforce engaged while also helping them to effectively deliver support for the mission. Government is working hard today to implement the infrastructure needed to deliver more services, increase and enhance interaction and enable greater workforce mobility and citizen engagement. Mobility is growing in importance, even as cybersecurity becomes a bigger issue. Despite the promise of mobility to bring greater productivity and flexibility, 78 percent of federal IT professionals said mobility also brings greater security risks, according to a recent VMware survey.
Flexibility needs to be balanced with security – a perfect storm that virtualization and secure private cloud solutions address elegantly. Virtualization has been noted by many Federal and DoD organizations, including the IRS and U.S. Navy, to deliver significant short and long-term cost savings, to facilitate consolidation initiatives and to pave the way for cloud and Digital Government adoption. But how can it support today’s more mobile government employees, while still protecting sensitive government information?
For example, many government employees currently carry at least two smart phones every day. They need their government-issued device to be in touch and ensure their government data is secure; but they also still need to stay connected to their personal obligations and interests.
This is no small order, because 43 percent of survey respondents said that having the IT personnel to support a multi-device environment is considered a significant barrier to implementing a mobile device policy. Managing the diversity of personal mobile devices and platforms was another significant barrier, cited by 39 percent of respondents.
Still, with all these barriers and challenges, more than half of respondents believe that not having access to mobile technologies could impair government’s ability to attract and retain top talent.
So…what if government could have a mobile platform that’s secure – and would enable the workforce to carry only one mobile device, yet still use that device personally as they wish, while keeping their work information safe and separate?
We believe the government workforce deserves – and requires – that flexibility to best serve their constituents. Government organizations get that flexibility and security through Horizon Mobile, a next generation solution from VMware that leverages the power of virtualization for mobile devices. This enables agency IT administrators to safely support employee owned devices, so employees have the freedom to use their mobile device of choice. With Horizon Mobile, individuals literally have two distinct environments running on their mobile devices: their personal profile, which has all the flexibility they want; and their work profile, which is provisioned and managed by their agency’s IT administrator.
This innovation provides users access to enterprise services in a secure environment on the go, eliminating the need for multiple devices. With this tool, a personal profile and a corporate profile can securely and simultaneously run on the same device in isolated containers.
Corporate applications and data are securely isolated from an employee’s personal profile. Using the mobile device of their choice, users can connect their own mobile devices to the corporate network from a corporate profile that is provisioned and managed by the corporate IT group. IT administrators can manage mobile end-points and desktop from a single interface.
Finally, you can use your smart phone of choice for work and play – the reality of ‘Bring Your Own Device’ can actually work in a government office, thanks to the security provided by this new technology. And we are continuing to find new ways to integrate stronger security with mobile capabilities to help government organizations move forward while respecting budget concerns – the new reality we must all work within.
There will always be new challenges for government organizations to tackle; new hurdles to security, to accessibility and service. As government’s partner in tackling these challenges, we will remain attentive and alert for innovative approaches to help solve these problems, to keep government moving forward in its dedication to improved citizen engagement.
Aileen Black is Vice President, Federal, VMware. VMware is the leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure solutions that enable government organizations to thrive in the Cloud Era. For more information please visit www.vmware.com/industry/government.