Forty percent of state and local (S&L) government employees use mobile devices for some work-related tasks, and 65 percent of S&L IT managers expect the number of mobile workers to increase in the next five years, according to a report commissioned by Citrix and Mobile Work Exchange.
Currently, 17 percent of S&L employees are eligible to telework and 62 percent of IT managers surveyed say that their agency has adopted a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to support mobility.
With 65 percent of state and local IT managers expecting the number of mobile workers to increase in the next five years--progress for the future of mobility in S&L government agencies.
More than one-third of S&L agencies have matured their mobile strategy in the past year, and those that did not will invest going forward.
The report indicated IT managers are looking toward several key steps to achieve mobile readiness such as user education (45 percent), enhancing IT infrastructures (45 percent) and improving IT training (37 percent).
"The actual end user and IT training isn’t difficult, but not doing the training is the biggest challenge of being able to make the move to mobility," David Smith, director of state and local government at Citrix, told eWEEK. "Employees need to be aware of the security related issues–which can be as simple as setting a passcode on your cellphone to more complex issues like understanding their device’s functionality capabilities to ensure they are accessing information and applications to the furthest possible extent."
Agencies are also gearing up for mobility with investments in secure remote connections, security enhancements and mobile device management (MDM).
In addition, the adoption of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives is highly likely and, overall, growing, Smith, explained.
"Two reasons are leading to this adoption and growth. The first element is cost reduction by enabling users to choose the device they want to use to improve productivity," he explained. "The second is by enabling BYOD, the agency needs to own less infrastructure, thereby reducing the overall size of their IT footprint."
However, the report revealed many workers feel they are stuck in first gear, with a majority (58 percent) reporting their agencies are not fully mobile-ready, and security (56 percent) and lack of budget (52 percent) remain top concerns for agencies going mobile.
Mobile-ready agencies gain three additional hours of productivity per employee per week with significant improvements in productivity (61 percent), remote communication (49 percent), increased collaboration (43 percent) and business continuity (43 percent).
Security remains a top concern, with 56 percent citing it as a challenge, alongside other concerns including lack of budget (52 percent), lack of technology infrastructure (48 percent), management resistance (29 percent) and cultural barriers (23 percent).
The survey also indicated that while some S&L agencies are considered mobile-ready, some still lack the necessary training on security and general mobility practices to protect against a security breach.