VanRoekel to release final federal mobility strategy by March
A final version of a federal mobility strategy will be out by March 2012, said Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel Jan. 13 during a Washington, D.C. event hosted by industry group AFFIRM. A draft outline of the strategy and a dialogue on mobile policy went live Jan. 11.
Streamlining the procurement of mobile technology is "the minimum bar" for the mobile strategy, said VanRoekel. And given the General Services Administration's work on strategic sourcing, said VanRoekel, the goal is to streamline "cross-government acquisition" of mobile services and devices by September 2012.
"It has to be device agnostic and it has to be something where we can have diversity in the way we implement devices, technology, applications," said VanRoekel.
A clear strategy and easier acquisition will help agencies capitalized on what VanRoekel describes as a missed opportunity. Mobility in government can "really up the way we do business," and increase the productivity and effectiveness of federal workers, he said.
He also said the federal government hasn't kept pace with the consumerization of technology, as the private sector has. Part of the federal mobility strategy will be a focus on "bring your own device," or BYOD, said VanRoekel.
VanRoekel also spoke about a web effort his team has been working on for "quite a few months now." Business.USA.gov is a new website that will accompany a business-focused, executive-branch department proposed by the Obama administration Jan. 13. The site should be live "in the coming weeks," President Barack Obama said.
"There's a whole host of websites, all kinds of toll-free numbers, all sorts of customer service centers. But each are offering different assistance. It's a mess. This should be easy for small business owners," said Obama.
The U.K. government consolidated all its federal websites down to two domains--a business interface and a consumer interface--noted VanRoekel. "It's actually a pretty good model on the whole," he added.
"I was looking at the British model as an experiment I want to learn from and see how it works out and we're talking to the British government about analytics," said VanRoekel.
The site will allow users to profile themselves, and then find services or resources based on those "swim lanes," or the "tracks you may be interested in." VanRoekel said a meta-tagging effort is underway to populate the site's custom interface, which sounds similar to the custom dashboards recently unveiled at VanRoekel's previous workplace, the Federal Communications Commission.
"If you're a veteran-owned business, for example, it takes you on a different path than if you were non-veteran owned," said VanRoekel.