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Government Agency Embraces Cloud, takes Small Steps Toward BYOD

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If the Nuclear Regulatory Commission can go cloud and BYOD, why can't you?

I liked this story I found over at the Federal News Radio site, about the measured way the NRC moved some of its IT operations into the cloud, and how it is taking "baby steps" toward also allowing BYOD. It's a great model for any enterprise to consider, not just a federal agency with highly sensitive communications that could lead to disaster if compromised.

Darren Ash, the CIO of the NRC, comes off in the story as someone who is doing the best job possible in allowing workers to test the waters of mobile collaboration, while not exposing his agency to any security problem it can't handle. What was interesting to me was Ash's assessment of cloud services -- instead of being unduly concerned with cloud security, he thinks the market is mature enough to stop worrying about that part of it and is instead more concerned with the long-term viability of a cloud partner. To wit:

"We see the offerings and how they have matured," he [Ash] said about cloud services. "If this was two years ago, a lot of conversations about cloud would have been about security. The conversation we have now isn't necessarily about security. We know that it will be important and we know about FedRAMP, and all the things we need to do. But the conversations we have, have more to do with what's our exit strategy? Do we have a clear idea of how we would move to another provider, and making sure it is baked in to whatever agreement that we do enter into. It's looking at the end."

On the BYOD side, the NRC is doing limited rollouts of tablets and BYOD programs, and evaluating how those programs answer the needs of end users. Again, the quotes about the program show that the NRC is in good hands with Ash. Here's his final assessment, which is worth following:

"You have to be best prepared to support this [worker mobility] for the long haul in terms of the resources, whether it's the helpdesk, the tools and the technology," he [Ash] said. "What I like about what we've been doing is we are less focused on the products because the products will change over time. We've been focused on the work because ultimately that work is not going to change dramatically."

Focus on the work. Does that sound like your BYOD plan?  Let us know, visit the Mobile Enterprise 360 community.

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