With everyone using smart phones for personal use, will the government be forced to accept them in the work place? According to Cisco data traffic numbers, global mobile data traffic will increase by a factor of 26 by 2015. With all those phones in service, there will be overlap with the workplace.

Linda Cureton, the CIO of NASA, recently stated in a January 11, 2011 Blog Post, “CIOS need to remember that people in their organizations – their customers – are all consumers. CIOs shouldn’t be content in their ability to rule their worlds as expectations of consumers continue to creep into the workplace.”

A Global Business Center Survey in November 2010 showed that people in Federal Agencies use a variety of devices when working outside the office.

  • 59% use agency issued laptops
  • 28% use personal laptop
  • 25% use agency issued smart phone
  • 17% use personal smart phone

A few years ago, it would have been unheard of for an agency to sanction the use of personal devices for work, though a lot of people were doing just that. In a March 10, 2011 GovLoop Training session, Gary Galloway, Deputy Director of the Office of Information Assurance, Bureau of Information Resource Management, U.S. Department of State, commented that use of personal smart phones and laptops was increasing and frequently used to support Telework. He stated that the Department of State has all but stopped using laptops.

The biggest concern with “Going Mobile” in the government is security, but there has been a recent paradigm shift from risk avoidance to risk management.  The DOD is using Common Access Cards (CACs) to secure laptops, but these are expensive and require additional equipment like card readers. 2011 will see the advent of security devices for smart phones and tablets as they become more of a target for Malware developers.