A cross-government team already has put together the rough draft of a government mobile roadmap that will streamline how agencies buy smartphones and tablets and how they use those devices to accomplish internal goals and communicate with the public, federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel said at a luncheon Friday.
VanRoekel announced plans to develop that roadmap on the sidelines of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
The first phase of the strategy is a 10-day online dialogue on federal mobility goals. The cross-government team will pull information from that dialogue into its final roadmap, which is due out in early March, according to VanRoekel. He plans to begin launching major initiatives four months later, he said.
The cross-government team includes members from the General Services Administration and acquisitions experts, VanRoekel said. The CIO said he intentionally designed the team to include some agencies that are far along in mobile adoption and others that are just starting out.
VanRoekel plans to seek formal advice from industry on the roadmap sometime this spring or summer, he said, in a process similar to the Cloud Commission, which advised his predecessor, Vivek Kundra, on the government transition to cloud computing.
A major component of the new mobile strategy will be streamlining and consolidating acquisitions.
"There are agencies where an unlimited data plan costs one employee $20 a month and another employee down the hall pays $120 a month," VanRoekel said. "If we just streamline the procurement of devices, the procurement of data and voice plans, that's the minimum bar for success."
The roadmap also will include a more concise process for when and how agencies should build internal mobile applications so federal workers can, for example, submit field reports on invasive species, he said. Additionally, the plan will include ways those apps can be easily adopted and retrofitted by other agencies with similar missions.
The government is considering building an internal app store, VanRoekel said Wednesday. Apps built for that store would have to be device-agnostic so that agencies would have more flexibility and the government would not be tethered to a single provider, he said.
The roadmap will include guidance for when agencies should build public-facing mobile apps, such as the Transportation Security Administration's flight planning app, and when they should leave that job to industry, he said.