Mobile is here to stay within the government workforce. In one study by Lookout, federal agencies surveyed reported that 50% of government workers now use their personal device for work email and 49% use those devices to download work related documents. Even more, 17% store work related documents on personal file sharing apps.
Similarly, mobile is another access point for citizens and customers. According to a recent Forrester report, the agencies of the future will be focused on improving the citizen experience with mobile. Citizens want to be able to find the information they need on the mediums they use in their commercial interactions, with the same personalization and user-friendly interfaces they’ve grown accustomed to.
As our world grows more mobile in 2016, government employees will continue to use mobile to do work while citizens access government information through mobile devices. So how can government IT teams make improved BYOD policies that meet the tight constrains of security protocols and also develop new tools for citizens that make accessing government information easier? Many agencies have found that answer in developing mobile applications.
In developing these apps, there are several key items to consider. Here are our top 5 tips for deploying a secure and efficient mobile application:
- Deploy with Security in Mind
When beginning to evaluate a mobile application, start with tools that integrate security that is specifically built for mobile. This will ensure that your security is as proactive and predictive as mobile threat detection and security demands. Lookout’s personal and enterprise security systems for mobile are powerful resources that can protect your apps against even the most powerful of hackers.
- Build in Strong Authentication
After the OPM breach, better authentication throughout government has become a key security activity. Mobile apps, because of their flexibility, require this type of strong, multi-factor authentication. Build authentication in now, with tools like Red Hat’s Mobile Application Platform Backend-as-a-Service offering, as it will likely be required of all government apps in the near future.
- Recognize Your Mobile Maturity
Even though mobile is prevalent in government, its accepted use is still new. Switching over to a mobile-first workforce and customer strategy will take some time. Consider championing mobile through addressing a key business challenge or process that will lend itself to transformation through mobile applications. With those successes you’ll have proof and hopefully buy-in that you can use to move onto select agency-wide business processes.
- Overcome Legacy IT Challenges
API-tiers can help to make legacy apps mobile friendly, but should not be confused with a service oriented architecture approach (SOAA). APIs provide access to information while the services architecture provides access to systems. However, APIs can help you to meet the demands of your end users more quickly while also future-proofing your organization with two-speed IT.
- Use Open Source
Government is faced with obstacles that must be overcome prior to the adoption of a cohesive mobile strategy; but this should not be done at the expense of deploying working, user friendly solutions. Open source technologies, like Liferay, provide a proven head start for agencies looking to get mobile apps launched quickly.
Mobile use will continue to grow in 2016, both within and outside of agencies. Apps are making the workforce more mobile while also responding to the needs of today’s citizens. To learn more about developing and deploying mobile applications, click here.