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Bring your own device for federal agencies

An opportunity for transformation in digital government

Overview

The mobile-enabled workforce is the future for every organization. Planning for it now addresses the concerns and maximizes the substantial benefits of this new technology shift.

Accenture Federal Services brings together unmatched experience developing mobility programs with a close understanding of the federal community. Accenture's experience and insight can help develop customized solutions as part of a mobile-enablement business case. We know that agencies moving toward a mobile-enabled workforce will need to address:

  • Security concerns regarding data and devices.
  • Increased demands on IT support.
  • Organizational policy including labor, privacy and legal issues.

The benefits of mobile enablement include increased employee satisfaction and productivity, as well as significant opportunities for cost savings and process improvement. The rapid evolution of mobile technology also provides an opportunity for transformation to a mobile-enabled federal workforce.

Although federal agencies may choose from various methods of mobile device provisioning and support, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is among the approaches that can provide the most benefit.

Background

Mobile technology is growing and evolving. In the future it will be a part of most workplaces, driven by the demands of employees.

This consumerization does present enterprise IT departments with new challenges, but substantial benefits exist if those challenges are addressed correctly.

For federal agencies, there are pressing concerns of security and cost. Members of the intelligence, military and public safety communities cannot accept the same levels of risk as their commercial peers without extra controls. From a budget perspective, BYOD and similar programs are relatively new, and lack data to support their return on investment. However, employees' work habits and expectations have unquestionably changed. Federal agencies must address this trend to provide security and flexibility while retaining talent.1

Analysis

Mobile enablement demands careful consideration to plan best methods of implementation while avoiding risk.

Enterprise security: protecting sensitive government data on a mobile device is a leading concern. A successful BYOD program meets security needs with a mobility management infrastructure, including mobile device management (MDM), mobile application management (MAM) and data leak protection (DLP) solutions.

Challenges to IT services: IT departments will need to support multiple OS platforms, and no single mobile solution will fit every organization. Defining services based on employee roles is a wise approach for federal agencies.

Organizational impact: BYOD blurs the division of work and personal use. Complex privacy and legal issues can arise, and labor issues relating to hours of work must also be resolved. Collaborative policy development and sound governance are key to easing these concerns.

Bring Your Own Device programs benefit organizations in many ways, including:

  • Greater employee flexibility.

  • Increased collaboration.2

  • The potential for budget reduction.

  • A platform for transformation.

Recommendations

Accenture has unparalleled experience delivering hands-on mobility and BYOD projects to meet clients' needs. We are also a long-time resource for the federal community, with more than 4,000 dedicated US employees providing unequaled understanding of government needs and systems.3 This combined corporate and governmental experience makes Accenture uniquely well-qualified to provide end-to-end support for government agencies.

The solution, process and planning for moving toward a BYOD program are well understood:

  1. Define a business case and build capability.

  2. Clarify policies and governance to underlie the organizational change, based on business need.

  3. Start with a pilot program, with an incremental rollout to calibrate the program for optimal results.

From initial planning to deployment and operational support, Accenture's insight and qualifications provide full support for a transformation to mobile enablement.

Reference Notes 
1. see Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People.
Also visit Accenture Digital Government Services for more information on making the transformation to digital government.
2. “Government use of Mobile Technology, Barriers, Opportunities and Gap Analysis”, Dec. 2012
3. see also Managing Mobility: Making Digital Government Secure, Flexible and Cost Effective, Accenture Federal Services, May 2013