Using the right tools in the right way can make collaboration efforts a resounding success
Industry observers maintain that there are numerous best practices federal agencies should employ to gain the many benefits collaboration tools can provide. Incorporating mobile devices, for example, makes collaboration and social media platforms more powerful by allowing employees to communicate and collaborate using multiple devices of their choice, throughout the day and wherever they may be.
Highlighted here are some of the best tips from industry experts to aid in the deployment and management of collaboration tools.
- Create a framework that can be used to expedite approvals, as long as specified rules and conventions are met, because most policies already in place for everything from security to acquisition simply can’t keep up with the pace of technological change.
- Build a sandbox to test new collaborative applications in a Web browser before downloading them for use on laptop PCs or other mobile devices.
- Define the processes and applications that will be most important for supporting the agency’s operational and mission goals.
- Create flexible application development models to adapt an agency’s current operational processes to the mobile environment.
- Use mobile device management to enable remote visibility and control over an agency’s smart phones and other handheld devices and thereby achieve greater compliance with key federal security mandates. Adequate mobile device management requires agencies to maintain an asset inventory that can be integrated into current systems inventories and includes physical tracking capabilities to locate devices that have been lost or stolen.
- Remember that some of the most important security features for the management of mobile devices are data encryption, backup/restore capabilities, and data tracking to maintain an audit trail of data copied to and from mobile devices.
- Don’t select tools solely based on price. Buying best-of-breed collaboration solutions can help government organizations ensure that the technology agencies implement today will bring the benefits they seek now and in the future.
- Recognize that security will remain an enormous challenge. Organizations that allow social media collaboration are targeted because every employee is viewed as a new avenue for hackers to exploit. People are a critical part of the security process because they can be misled by cyber criminals and make mistakes that lead to the introduction of viruses or unintentional data loss. Many organizations don’t pay enough attention to educating users when those users should be the first line of defense. Employers must empower workers to prevent security incidents. Because social media is part of an evolution in the way people communicate, when it comes to security, agencies must implement a combination of technology and employee awareness to succeed.
- Keep an eye on regional community cloud hubs. They are an important development that is worth watching. In a new report, “Best Practices: Regional Community Cloud Hubs — The New ‘Trickle Down’ Effect That’s Boosting State and Local Computing,” IDC Government Insights defines the hubs as government agencies that serve as host facilities offering shared cloud computing services to other government agencies. The host facility gains revenue by selling cloud services to other agencies, helping the host facility offset IT investment costs, IDC reported.