The drive toward mobile technology reached race car speeds this year.

From the BYOD debate to an explosion in the use of mobile apps throughout federal agencies, the issue dominated many conversations around water coolers and beyond during 2012.

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This is the third in a seven-part series of AOL Gov’s Best Of 2012
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Dr. Rick Holgate, who played a leading role in developing the mobility recommendations in the government’s new federal digital strategy, said the issue has sparked increasing demand for application tools that are platform agnostic and have multiple uses .

“The mobility strategy was about supporting mobile devices for the federal workforce,” he said. In contrast, “All of the behind-the-scenes work around exposing and thinking about building services were in the web reform plan. It didn’t make sense to have two separate strategies. This is merging the two into the digital government strategy.”

One of the primary missions of the strategy is to ease the path for agencies that want to incorporate mobile applications and other digital features into their services – both for the public and for internal employee use.

Meanwhile, a congressional report cited a near tripling in the number of malicious software programs aimed at mobile devices in less than a year and recommended the FCC and other federal agencies take a greater role urging private industry to develop stronger mobile security safeguards.

And while federal managers see significant potential from mobile technology in improving productivity and saving taxpayer dollars, current investments are inadequate to achieve much of that potential, according to an Breaking Gov survey.

Clearly, the focus on mobile technology and the complications surrounding its adoption within the federal government will continue at full throttle into the new year.