Whether you're a soldier on the battlefield or a field agent providing support after a natural disaster, agency officials are embracing mobile computing. Par for the course these days, mobile computing allows government employees to be more proactive outside the limits of a traditional office environment.
Motivated by the availability of more powerful mobile devices, the bring your own device (BYOD) movement, teleworking initiatives, tighter budgets, desktop virtualization, and the pressure to keep operations going in the case of a disaster, supporting remote users just makes sense.
It's tempting to immediately tee off to keep pace with your peers; however, you will be more likely to land in the green if you take some practice swings first. Here are some considerations:
- Know what you want to achieve before investing in technology. Figure out your business objective; then decide what technology your employees need to do their job. Don't buy technology simply because it would be nice to have.
- Look for a solution that meets your requirements; then consider what you might want to do in the future. For instance, do you want to provide file sharing or just access to e-mail? Will you support BYOD? Can users upload files or share files?
- Talk with all the appropriate people who will be involved or impacted by the initiative. How might your plans affect storage, system security, and applications? You'll achieve a better solution in the end if you have these important discussions beforehand.
- When evaluating potential solutions keep an eye open for secondary efficiencies that could be gained through both cost and administrative savings. Often times the cost of a “simple solution” adds up over time with extra administrative effort and increased acquisition and maintenance costs.
And don't overlook the benefits of virtualization, which is an important driver for new services. A virtualized solution allows you to mix and match several initiatives within one infrastructure. The result? Making the putt and securing more bang for your IT buck.
Ken Liska is a virtualization specialist at NetApp U.S. Public Sector, supporting mobility and virtualization.