Industry and Feds Find Common Ground on BYOD Strategies

Survey respondents agree plans for use of personal devices for work will be adopted within the next two years.

While government and industry are often not on the same page when it comes to where federal telecommunications is headed, there is one area where they can agree: BYOD, or bring your own device, strategies will be largely adopted across the federal landscape within the next two years, according to a new study.

The new report, “Off the Hook: Federal Telecom Disconnect,” released Monday by Meritalk and underwritten by CenturyLink and Telework Exchange, found that 39 percent of government and 56 percent of industry respondents to a survey believed that broad adoption of BYOD is likely by 2014. Twenty-seven percent of government participants and 20 percent of industry respondents predicted that new, dual-use phones that provide two numbers for government and personal use are more likely than a full-on BYOD strategy.

The study found significant differences in priorities for public and private sector respondents on other areas associated with federal telecommunications and cost savings. While both agreed that cloud computing will provide savings, government noted that bigger savings will come from teleworking (25 percent) than data center consolidation (19 percent). This compares to industry respondents, who projected that data center consolidation (43 percent), over telework (8 percent), will result in bigger savings for agencies.

There also was a disconnect among agencies and industry on the future of the General Services Administration’s Networx contract, which allows agencies to build customized telecommunications services. In 2011, 50 percent of government Networx users had increased their spending on the program, while 44 percent of Networx contractors saw an increase in their revenues. In 2012, however, that could change, with only 13 percent of government respondents projecting Networx spending increases, compared to 86 percent of industry respondents who said they expect their Networx revenues to grow.

Meanwhile, 95 percent of industry respondents said federal agencies are more focused on cost savings today than in 2011, but just one in three said they are reducing their pricing as a result. The majority of industry respondents (60 percent) said they plan to deliver greater value for the same price, the study found.

“Doing more with less is a dead mentality,” said Steve O’Keefe, founder of MeriTalk. “Now, in most cases the federal government is looking to a ‘do better with less’ approach from contractors -- it is the nature of these times.”