Federal Agencies Invest $1.6 Billion in Mobile Workforce

More than two-thirds of survey respondents said they believe employees are more productive today because they have access to mobility solutions.

government IT and mobility

Since the launch of the Digital Government Strategy initiative, the federal government invested $1.6 billion in mobilizing its federal workforce, according to a report commissioned by VMware and Carahsoft.

The majority (56 percent) of federal IT managers believe their agency is taking full advantage of mobility, indicating while some agencies are on the path to graduating into the digital world, some are still struggling.

Respondents reported that security concerns (47 percent), available funding (38 percent), culture (25 percent) and procurement (25 percent) were the top mobility obstacles.

"Federal agencies are taking more and more steps towards graduating to the digital world, but are not quite yet at their full potential," Cindy Auten, general manager of the Mobile Work Exchange, said in a statement. "With reported gains in COOP, employee productivity, and overall efficiency, it builds the business case for agencies to invest in mobile technologies. As agencies look to the future, they must continue to invest in these technologies if they want to save in the long run."

Nearly seven in 10 (69 percent) of HR managers, comprised of chief human capital officers and telework managing officers, said their agency has experienced a positive return on its telework investments.

Despite progress in certain areas, 88 percent of surveyed HR managers say they have had an employee leave because of the lack of teleworking opportunities, and 54 percent say they at least occasionally miss out on the best job candidate because they cannot meet the candidate’s telework requirements.

"Security will be a key consideration driving future mobility decisions," said Doug Bourgeois, vice president, end user computing for the U.S. public sector at VMware. "As the number of diverse mobile devices in the federal government continues to rise, data security and mobile device management will lead in the conversation."

More than two-thirds of respondents said they believe employees are more productive today because they have access to mobility solutions, and 74 percent of agencies representatives found they are making wise mobile technology investments, notably in notebooks, automatic software updates, backup and restore capabilities, and secure remote connections.

In addition, the report revealed 60 percent discovered wise investments in mobile device management solutions.

"IT and HR managers agree that security concerns are holding their agency back from taking full advantage of mobility, which in return is also affecting employee retention and recruitment efforts," Bourgeois said. "By taking the necessary steps to ensure their workforce is well trained and their data is protected across all devices, agencies can successfully transition to an environment that enables a more productive, dynamic and untethered workforce.”