Bring your own telework tools

Monday - 3/7/2011, 4:00am EST

In the near future, federal employees could forego a work phone and laptop and do all their work on their personal technology.

Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra said he wants to move toward giving feds a subsidy of $2,000 to purchase their own devices to work on.

Many federal employees have better technology at home than at the office, Kundra said at an AFCEA discussion on the federal budget. But making it reality could be challenging, especially on the cybersecurity front.

Ed Meagher, former CIO at the Interior Department, says it's "an idea whose time has come," despite those challenges.

Meagher, now vice president for healthcare strategy in CSC's North American Public Sector Group, said there are challenges now. The compatability issues are just a similar horse with a different color. In the end, Meagher told Federal News Radio, "I think the business case will be made."

The key to the success of the idea, said Meagher, is to do it now. "We'd better quickly get over ourselves and figure out how we do it today and how we will do it in the future. It's not a matter of should we do this, it's a matter now I think of how we do it."

On the front lines, however, reaction hasn't been quite so positive. One FederalComputerWeek survey respondent on the topic said, "Goes to show that even bright people can be out of their mind!"