A new survey from the Mobile Work exchange found that while mobile use is growing in state and local government agencies, barriers still exist to wider implementation.
The survey, State and Local Mobility Map: Road to Mobile Readiness, found that the 58 percent of the survey’s respondents said their agency does not provide plans, tools and support necessary to manage a mobile workforce. Still, 40 percent of state and local employees use a mobile device for work-related tasks, with that number expected to increase in the next five years.
While the IT managers surveyed cited security and budget barriers to more mobility, 62 percent said their agency had adopted a virtual desktop infrastructure to support mobile workers because a VDI lets remote workers all use the same operating system, and it standardizes security configuration and eases application upgrades.
Other mobility-enabling technologies cited include:
- Automatic software updates
- Mobile device management
- Remote lock and wipe
- Multifactor authentication
The “State & Local Mobility Map: Road to Mobile Readiness” report was commissioned by Citrix and reflects the input of 150 IT managers familiar with their organization’s mobile work style strategy and policies.
Posted on Jul 31, 2014 at 6:07 AM0 comments
Morgan County, Ohio, has launched an emergency 911 system capable of accepting calls from the public over a wide range of formats, including text, Internet, VoIP and video.
The system, designed by General Dynamics IT, is one of the first 911 systems in the United States to comply with the National Emergency Number Association's (NENA) i3 architecture standards, the firm said, which enables local and nationwide 911 interoperability.
NENA’s i3 standards call for end-to-end Internet Protocol signaling from a Voice over IP (VoIP) endpoint to an IP-enabled public safety answering point, with callback and caller location information provided to the PSAP with the call.
On a practical level, the new system means someone needing to contact 911 can do so over the networks and applications at hand during an emergency, which traditional 911 systems are not designed to do so.
The ability to expand the options for callers means more calls can be fielded and connected, providing dispatchers and police departments more data and thus more opportunities to make a critical intervention in an emergency.
The next-generation 911 technology also provides enhanced GIS data that maps the caller’s location information. Calls and associated information can then be transferred to the closest or most suitable emergency response team, the company said.
General Dynamics built the Morgan County system on a secure cloud architecture, which provides high reliability, redundancy and the means to scale communications to accommodate emergency systems of neighboring counties.
Posted on Jul 29, 2014 at 11:43 AM0 comments
The Interior Department is consolidating its nine content management platforms into single one, based on the open source Drupal CMS and hosted in the cloud. Bureaus within the agency will be able to maintain the same look and feel of their websites, while running them from the common platform.
With this new open source platform, the department will save on software licensing fees – paying for none instead of nine. Alexandria, Va.-based Phase2 will be building the Drupal platform for Interior, and IBM will host it in its cloud.
"What we realized four or five years ago is that each of the bureaus had their own content management system, with different contracts and different platforms," Tim Fullerton, director of digital strategy at Interior, told FCW. "It's really expensive to do it that way."
The most challenging part, Fullerton said, was that this approach -- a consolidated, departmentwide CMS platform, open source and in the cloud – had not been done before in government.
"We're hoping to lead by example and show agencies it's a great model for improving efficiencies," Fullerton said. "Since we've gone through the contracting process, agencies can go to DOI if they need help and adjust the documentation to meet their needs."
DOI will be building out the platform over the next three months, holding workshops to identify bureau needs and training employees in Drupal.
A longer version of this article appeared on FCW, a sister site to GCN.
Posted on Jul 21, 2014 at 11:49 AM0 comments
UBIC Inc., a provider of litigation support and big data analysis services, was granted a patent for software used to manage data in legal proceedings.
The company said the patent granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recognized its “development of unique information technology used in the archiving and retrieval of historical information related to the legal discovery process.”
The software makes it easier to identify potential evidence related to particular persons, known as "custodians," who may be holding documents relevant to litigation or an investigation.
The documents, which are often buried in extremely large electronic data sets, are then assembled by UBIC and other service providers for organizations in litigation.
UBIC's custodian mapping technology is integrated into the company's Lit i View data analysis platform
Posted on Jul 17, 2014 at 7:48 AM0 comments
The Army has been eliminating unused applications and migrating other enterprise applications and systems to designated core data centers as part of a Defense Department-wide initiative and the Army's consolidation of more than 1,100 data centers. About 800 unused apps have been terminated to date, out of about 11,000.
Killing apps no longer in use and still on computers and servers saves on licensing fees and upgrades, Neal Shelley, chief of the Army Data Center Consolidation Division, told the Army News Service. Fewer apps also increase economy of scale, since service providers typically discount on volume. Also, fewer apps mean less potential for malware, according to Shelley.
Consolidating apps into centralized data centers in the cloud – hosted by the Defense Information Systems Agency or commercially – is also increasing efficiencies and performance.
For example, the migration of a distance-learning app from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., to the enterprise level dramatically increased available bandwidth. Additionally, enterprise management is now making the distance-learning app more secure, robust and reliable, Shelley said.
But eliminating redundant applications is not as easy as getting rid of unused ones. Data associated with the app may have been collected for 20-plus years and must be migrated to the new app, Shelley said. And, the app owners and users must be consulted so everyone is on the same page during the transition.
And not all local apps will migrate to the enterprise level, he said. For example, special purpose apps used to power parts of the Army's industrial base, research labs or medical equipment will likely remain on local servers.
Once redundant, obsolete or inefficient apps are removed or replaced by enterprise versions, the cost savings can rapidly accrue. Just how much money can be saved is hard to calculate yet, Shelley said.
Posted on Jul 16, 2014 at 7:48 AM0 comments