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Air Force pilot using a tablet computer

Agencies see value of mobile, though adoption is slow-mo

If proof were needed that going mobile boosts government productivity and reduces costs, a new study, “Gov on the Go,”  from Deloitte University Press, makes a convincing case.

Among other things, the report cites a 2012 MeriTalk study that calculated that if workers were just 10 percent more productive using smart phones, the federal government could gain an additional $2.6 billion in productivity.

In fact, mobile technology also has huge potential as a learning platform, government educators say, although it too faces a slow rate of adoption.

The Deloitte report cites three key areas where mobile technology is a productivity enabler for both government and citizens. Mobile technology:

  • Offers great promise in making interaction with government easier, requiring less of citizens’ time, money and effort.
  • Allows government to shift from one-way service delivery to a more collaborative, co-designed and co-created model.
  • Helps front-line workers not only do more with less due to shrinking budgets and reduced staffing, but also allows them to do their jobs better.

For example, the Air Force Mobile Command purchased 2,725 Apple iPads as “electronic flight bags,” saving $1.7 million in printing costs for the paper equivalent and another $3.2 million annually for printed maps and charts, the study reported. The iPads also cut $770,000 in fuel costs by reducing the weight of the paper onboard the aircraft and reduced by 90 percent the number of staff hours needed to create and update the charts and maps.

“Government, with the notable exception of the military, has been a late adopter of new technologies and business models,” the Deloitte study says. “Nevertheless, it does eventually adopt them.”

That appears to be the case. A Gartner government survey cited by Deloitte forecasts an 8 percent rise in smart-phone usage and a 12 percent increase in tablet usage this year, with federal enterprise spending on mobile “expected to grow by a compound annual growth rate of 4.48 percent through 2015.”

Posted by David Hubler on Feb 21, 2013 at 9:39 AM


Reader Comments

Tue, Mar 12, 2013 John Washington, DC

Mobility is great, but government needs to be concerned about security, PII, and Total cost of Ownership. The abundance of tablet products on the market on consumer devices that are difficult to secure and have displays that cannot be seen outdoors. They also have a short useful life and are prone to damage which escalates costs. The mission of government demands Enterprise-class products. Deploying ipads is an immature decision, especially when there are enterprise class tablet products available from the likes of lenovo and Panasonic www.lenovo.com/products/us/tablet/thinkpad/ www.panasonic.com/toughpad

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