DoD releases mobile device strategy


The Defense Department’s mobile device strategy released Friday outlines key priorities for speeding secure adoption of government-issued and employee-owned smarthphones and tablet computers.

In the strategy, DoD chief information officer Teri Takai said the department will:

– Improve wireless access and capabilities to support voice, video and data sharing via mobile devices. This includes evolving DoD’s virtual private network technologies and addressing bandwidth limitations.

– Create mobile policies and standards. DoD will define acceptable use of personally-owned devices and acceptable personal use of DoD’s devices.

– Promote the development and use of DoD and web-enabled mobile applications.

“This strategy provides the foundation for the development of policy and an implementation plan,” Takai said in the report. She didn’t say when the implementation plan would be released but it will be tested on a small portion of the DoD workforce. If successful, the plan could be rolled out departmentwide. 

The strategy also includes education and training for mobile users. One challenge is that many of the critical security control settings for commercial devices are controlled by the user. Mobile device training will be integrated with existing workforce education and training programs.

DoD’s strategy encourages IT developers and service providers to make their products web-enabled and notes that the growing mobile workforce requires mobile access to current and future IT systems, applications and services.

Currently, DoD has more than 250,000 mobile devices in use or operating in a number of pilot programs, including Apple, Android, Windows and Blackberry devices. The strategy is aimed at coordinating these pilots so that civilian and military personnel can benefit from lessons learned.

DoD’s strategy comes about three weeks after federal CIO Steven VanRoekel released the administration’s Digital Government Strategy. The White House strategy requires agencies to make two government services available on mobile phones in the next year in a “device-agnostic way” and  build new information technology systems using open standards, so that content is easily accessible internally and to citizens and web developers.


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