Steven VanRoekel, Federal Chief Information Officer

Last month, I noticed a lot of buzz in the blogosphere and on Twitter related to policy developments in mobile government (or #mobilegov).  These conversations were largely driven by Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel’s National Dialogue on the Federal Mobility Strategy.

According to FedScoop, the goal of this Dialogue was to discuss ideas for implementing mobility in government and to find ways to expedite the adoption of emerging mobile technologies.  VanRoekel stated that his motivation to pursue a mobile government strategy was its potential to increase employee productivity, reduce technology costs, and streamline the acquisition process. Though a final version of the federal mobile strategy won’t be published until March 2012, I see the dialogue itself as a great step in promoting the many benefits of mobility in government.

The first step to embracing mobile is realizing that mobility is more than just a trend; it is a necessity.  Going mobile presents organizations of all kinds, from corporations to federal agencies, with the opportunity to leverage new technologies for cost savings and improved efficiency, benefits that can’t be overlooked in today’s economic climate.  This is especially true in government, where budget cuts and travel freezes deepen the need for mobile access to training and collaboration.

As an emerging movement within the U.S. government, mobility is also embodied by federal agencies that embrace social media and government-sponsored apps for mobile devices.  Social networks and apps not only serve as great vehicles for public engagement, but can also help federal employees stay connected with their agency when they are out of the office.  The growing adoption of these mobile opportunities highlights the readiness of government to further embrace mobile.

Other notable trends in government mobility, such as teleworking, have already led to increased productivity, reduced costs, and higher employee morale within those agencies that have adopted it so far.  Especially with these benefits in mind, I will be closely following the mobility movement as it grows over the next year.

I definitely plan on reading the completed Federal Mobility Strategy when it is published next month.  Until then, I’m interested to hear how you think this new mobility strategy will affect government agencies in the comment section below.  And of course, please let me know if you’d like to discuss these concrete examples of how Blackboard enables government mobility.

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