In a follow up report to the Digital Government Strategy, the Federal CIO Council conducted a survey and interviewed 21 agencies on their use of mobile technologies. The “Report on Barriers, Gaps, and Opportunities for Government Use of Mobile Technology” addresses Milestone Action 10.2 of the Digital Government Strategy which aims to “evaluate opportunities to accelerate the secure adoption of mobile technologies into the Federal environment at reduced cost.”

The results offer insight into three key considerations for the use of mobile technologies: opportunities and barriers; gaps; and risks, threats, and vulnerabilities.

Agencies interviewed identified some of the top concerns for the adoption of these mobile technologies including technical limitations, the need for comprehensive BYOD policies, cost issues associated with investing in the rapidly changing mobile marketplace, and limited options for secure authentication and data encryption across multiple platforms and operating systems.

The report also highlighted gaps in security and privacy, policy and legal, and application and infrastructure. As a result of these gaps and barriers identified, the report finds government will need to focus on mobile device management, application services, identity access management, and improved governance and standards.

The findings echo previous studies on the barriers challenging the adoption of mobile technology in government, including a study released earlier this year by Breaking Gov.

The report concludes with the following recommendations for agencies as they move to adopt mobile technologies:

  • Define requirements for mobile device management and mobile application store around various use cases to help in procurement activities and testing pilots
  • Establish a cross-functional team to evaluate the technical, legal, privacy, and other factors associated with the use of non-government furnished equipment
  • Continue development of a mobile computing decision framework and collaborate with Federal entities and standards organizations on the development of mobility solutions
  • Develop policy and guidance to support more flexible use of commercial mobile devices, and develop an acquisition strategy for procurement of mobile technologies
  • Continue development of requirements and recommendations to enable the use of strong authentication and encryption to accelerate the use of mobile devices in a secure manner