What the private sector can teach government about mobile

Thursday - 12/1/2011, 8:00pm EST

Rex Greer, president, OVATION Wireless Management

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Richard Russell, deputy, Senior National Intelligence Service

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By Jack Moore
Federal News Radio

Agency technology managers looking to implement a "bring-your-own-device" mobile strategy, won't only have to deal with a technological shift, but also a cultural one.

That was the message Rex Greer, the president of OVATION Wireless Management, and Richard Russell, the deputy of the Senior National Intelligence Service, brought to an interview on In Depth with Francis Rose.

Greer and Russell penned an editoral for AOL Government on private-sector best practices for implementing a mobile strategy and — perhaps more important — managing the government's mobile devices.

But the government still has a ways to go in getting used allowing employee-owned devices on the network, they said.

"I think everyone is warming up to the idea," Greer said."However, it still presents quite a few headaches because most entities, whether it be private or public, are used to owning the device and the service 100 percent. So the thought of opening up their networks to individual devices is shaking a lot of people at their core beliefs."

The answer to that apprehension lies in the use of mobile-device management services and technologies, he added. The best mobile-device management systems allow technology managers to watch and track devices and applications that are running over an agency network, he explained.

And agency CIOs and technology directors should focus on "the overarching strategy," Russell said. The secret is to "control the architecture," Russell said. "And do a stellar job of working on the security provisioning for instance, encrypting data at rest and other capabilities that you can create in the cloud."

Overall, CIOs face an increasing pressure from the workforce to be given more IT flexibility and mobility as well as pressure from government directives to put those technologies to use through, by example, increased telework, Russell added.