Government Workers Make BYOD a Federal Case
CREDIT: Government buildings in Washington, D.C., image via Shutterstock
Federal employees are already A-OK with BYOD: Surveys have found that many of them bring their mobile devices to work, often for work-related tasks. Now they wish their employers would keep up with the technology they're already comfortable with.
That attitude will help smooth the way for acceptance of the new digital strategy initiative announced by the U.S. government, a new study shows.
The Digital Government Strategy released last month directs federal agencies to "seize the digital opportunity and fundamentally change how the federal government serves both its internal and external customers."
While government agencies wrestle with a way to create a secure environment for data-sharing, that directive resonates well with most federal workers; 67 percent of them wish that the technology at work could keep up with the changes in technology in their personal lives, according to the study, which was sponsored by Google. They're already banking, buying, learning and collaborating online on their own time and would like to see their agencies to keep up with those new tools.
In the process of bringing their personal technology to the office, federal leaders are also bringing along their criteria for making decisions about technology, the study said. When asked to identify barriers for adopting technology for both personal and work use, they cite cost, security, and whether new features and functions were worthwhile.
Meanwhile, their employees are primed for change. According to the study, 97 percent of federal employees shop online at home, and 93 percent go online for banking. Eighty-one percent use Web-based email, 78 percent use social media, and 68 percent use smartphone apps—more than half use those apps every day.
Age is not the primary variable for technology adoption. For example, more federal employees ages 56 to 66 use video conferencing/chat than their peers who are 35 to 55, and users 25 to 29 bank online more frequently than both older and younger peers.
While younger federal workers are more likely to have used tools such as video conferencing and Web-based email longer, older federal employees have adoption rates greater than 75 percent for these same technologies.
“Federal employees are ready to deliver on the Digital Government Strategy,” said Dan Israel of Google Enterprise Federal. “Having experienced the value of a wide range of mobile devices and cloud-based apps and storage at home, they are looking for the best way to bring these technology tools to the workplace.”