Digital By Design Drives Future of Digital Services

Digital services are the future of government. That’s true whether it’s an internal service within an agency, a service one agency provides to other agencies, or a citizen-facing service provided to the public. There are more digital services being developed and launched all the time.

Among citizens and agency employees, the appetite for digital services is high. One recent survey found U.S. citizens’ level of satisfaction with digital services from government has more than doubled over the past two years. They expect the same or higher quality from government as they do from commercial organizations. Yet despite the clear need for improved digital services, agencies without a mature digital strategy simply can’t get there.

That’s where the idea of Digital by Design comes in. The idea is to work backwards. First lay out the specifics of the service, and then choose the right technologies to ensure the service is fully digital and secure, says Sinisha Patkovic, vice president for government solutions at BlackBerry.

While the benefits of digital services are clear, such as lower cost and greater satisfaction for citizens and employees. A successful and sustainable transformation, however, must always be anchored and enabled by consistent security. To ensure digital transformations are both effective and secure, BlackBerry has developed six strategies based largely on feedback with government agency CIOs.

Adopt a Mobile-First Strategy: Mobility is critical to government today. And government agencies are moving fairly quickly by developing mobile-friendly apps and letting employees use their own mobile devices for work. In many cases, though, it’s just not enough. Millennials working for government agencies expect everything to be mobile-enabled. Citizens interacting with government expect much the same thing. By adopting a mobile-first strategy—choosing hardware and software designed and built with mobility in mind—agencies can avoid problems down the road. Ensure technology has built-in data leak prevention, can protect private user data, and can facilitate secure file sharing and collaboration.

Implement Secure, Real-Time Communications: First responders and law enforcement probably come to mind when you consider real-time communications. There are many other cases where secure, real-time communication is equally important though, such as chatting with high-profile officials about a security incident or even setting up a meeting. Being able to chat securely and instantly from mobile devices and desktops can improve business processes and productivity, improve relationships and decision-making, and reduce organizational risk.

Ensure Secure Collaboration Across Silos: Separate data stores of data or systems that can’t communicate or interact with other systems—often called silos—are a common problem across government. Without a way to break down these barriers, government can’t easily and effectively share documents or collaborate. The best way to ensure secure collaboration across silos is adopting a mobile-first approach to file sharing.

Use Government-Ready Cloud Solutions: Cloud has come a long way, and more cloud service providers now have government-compliant cloud platforms. There are many ways to use the cloud to foster digital transformation, from cloud-based unified enterprise management to big data analytics.

Increase the Value of BYOD and CYOD with Secure Cross-Platform Apps and Collaboration: While government agencies have done a great job embracing the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) and Choose-Your-Own-Device (CYOD) trends, many agencies restrict employees from using these devices for more than routine tasks such as accessing calendar and e-mail. By adding secure cross-platform apps and collaboration tools, employees can get much more out of their mobile devices. These tools help employees securely share files and documents across platforms and chat in real time.

Prepare for Emergencies: Whether it’s responding to a natural disaster, terrorist threat or disease outbreak, emergency communications are critical to saving lives. Over time, cell phones have replaced pagers and automated systems and services have replaced phone calls. Communication between first responders and other key personnel today requires secure, real-time automated systems, services and procedures.

BlackBerry: Evolving to Meet Government’s Changing Needs

The concept of “Digital by Design” reflects the growing maturation of mobility in government. In the early days, mobility was synonymous with the device. Today, agencies understand mobility means so much more. It’s not just hardware, but also software; and not just access, but security.

BlackBerry understands these changes and has changed its entire business model and solution set to suit. In fact, the company doesn’t even manufacturer mobile devices anymore—it outsources that function. BlackBerry now focuses solely on secure mobile software that runs not only on BlackBerry devices, but also IoS and Android devices. It has made the shift partly through strategic acquisitions of companies like Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) provider Good Technology, crisis communications company ATHoc, enterprise data sync and share company WatchDox, and cybersecurity services company Encription Ltd.

At the same time, BlackBerry is building on its reputation for having excellent security. The company has earned the highest marks from Gartner on critical capabilities for high-security mobility management. It has also earned the highest international Common Criteria security certification, FIPS 140-2 compliance on all crypto modules, and Full Operational Capability for the DoD.

While moving full steam ahead with a strong portfolio of secure mobile solutions, BlackBerry continues innovating on the Internet of Things front. The company’s goal is to create an Enterprise of Things—a network of intelligent connections and end points within an organization.