Federal mobility push means changes to culture, technology

Friday - 10/21/2011, 11:20am EDT

Lee Holcomb, senior vice president, Lockheed Martin

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By Jack Moore
Federal News Radio

The federal workforce is becoming more mobile than ever — and could soon have the technology to match.

Already mobile applications are seen as a potential driver of workplace collaboration and public engagement, and there may come a time when when brick- and-mortar offices and desktop computing are the exceptions to the rule.

Lee Holcomb, a senior vice president at Lockheed Martin and this year's industry chair of the Executive Leadership Conference, joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris to discuss the federal mobility push — the theme of this year's conference, which kicks off this weekend.

Holcomb said the rapid changes in mobile technology have forced the federal workforce to evolve as well.

"We're at a very interesting time in information technology," he said, "where mobility and mobile devices are becoming much more prevalent than fixed workstations, where the workforce is no longer stationed in offices but is quite mobile."

The conference will mostly focus on how industry supports the government's transition from a fixed workplace to one which embraces mobility.

The issue is two-fold: Leveraging mobile technologies and practices to make federal agencies work better, themselves, and deploying those tools to more easily engage with the public through the use of mobile apps, for example.

The government has to continue to develop mobile apps and push them out to citizens, he said.

"It's really changing the way the government interacts with citizens and how citizens interact with the government," he added.

"Once you start down this path, there's just so many different avenues and exciting opportunities to exploit the technology."

The technological mobile push has coincided with agency culture changes, such as increased teleworking and downsizing workspaces.

"The robust environment that we have in our personal lives — the mobile apps that we see on Androids and iPhones — don't quite exist in the federal work environment yet," Holcomb said, but they likely will in the future.

Check out more interviews and coverage from the 2011 Executive Leadership Conference.