recommended reading

Executive feds are smartphone savvy, but lag on tablets

One-third of senior federal executives use their personal smartphones and laptop computers to conduct agency business, according to a recent survey by the Government Business Council, Government Executive Media Group's research division.

More than three-fourths of high-ranking government officials use agency-issued smartphones, and more than 70 percent use agency-issued laptops.

Only 5 percent of survey respondents said they are using agency-issued tablets, like iPads, and only 6 percent are using personal tablet computers for work, according to the survey. None of the survey respondents said they are using agency-issued tablet readers such as the Amazon Kindle and only 3 percent said they are using personal tablet readers for work.

The 148 survey respondents were all high-ranking government officials, either at the General Schedule 15 level or in the Senior Executive Service.

The results suggest government executives could benefit from a more diverse array of agency-provided devices. They also indicate some executives might be using personal tablets for work despite security concerns and prohibitions.

Veterans Affairs Department Chief Information Officer Roger Baker has warned that if the government doesn't find a way to allow employees to securely use iPads and other technology, they will find a way to use them nonetheless.

He specifically cited VA doctors who could cut down on time, miscommunication and even medical errors by accessing and entering patient information on a handheld tablet. VA won't allow patient information to be held on any platform that's not highly secure, though.

Baker has committed his agency to widening its array of acceptable computing devices and predicted most federal agencies will be "device agnostic" within two years. Other agency CIOs have made similar goals, including State Department CIO Susan Swart.

Device agnosticism likely would include allowing employees to use Apple's iPhone and Goolge's Android phone, which consumers say offer more navigability than the government-preferred BlackBerry but are currently less secure.

Baker himself used a Kindle to read agency documents during his train rides home, before his chief security officer forced him to quit, calling the tablet reader "one huge unencrypted USB stick with no pin," he said.

Other results from the Government Business Council's survey of federal executives are available in "The Chiefs" special issue of Government Executive magazine published June 15.

Source: Government Business Council; survey conducted April 26, 2011

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    Download
  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.