Agencies Are Still Striving for Mobile First

Published: August 31, 2017


More than five years after the launch of the federal mobile first policy, agencies have made strides in equipping their workforce with mobile solutions and increasing citizen access and engagement via mobile devices. However, agencies still face ongoing roadblocks to achieving their mobility goals.

The federal mobile first policy stems from the Federal Digital Government Strategy launched in May 2012 to deliver better services to government customers at a lower cost. The strategy’s objectives included:

  • Enabling the American people and an increasingly mobile workforce to access high-quality digital government information and services anywhere, anytime, on any device.
  • Ensuring that as the government adjusts to this new digital world, it seizes the opportunity to procure and manage devices, applications, and data in smart, secure and affordable ways.
  • Unlocking the power of government data to spur innovation across the nation and improve the quality of services for the American people.

Usage of mobile applications by federal employees can provide efficiencies, increased productivity and cost savings. Making government websites and information available via mobile access increases citizen access, engagement, and satisfaction.

Deltek’s recent assessment of mobility progress in the federal government shows that federal contract spending on mobile equipment and services is on the rise, with spending on services rising slightly faster than that of equipment and product spending. However, changes in contract spending vary by department.

GSA Schedule 70 remains the preferred vehicle for enterprise mobility contract spending, however a shift to the Networx Universal contracts was evident over the last three years.  Contract spending data showed a drop in schedule spending, while spending on Networx contracts increased for mobility products and services for the same time period.  Look for agencies to begin shifting to the newly awarded Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contracts once protests are resolved.

Citizen demand for mobile services and access is on the rise.  However, most federal websites fail to meet basic standards for security, speed, accessibility and mobile-friendliness. Federal agencies still lag behind the private sector in use and production of mobile apps and mobile-friendly websites. 

Category management policy for mobile products and services is expected to drive cost savings for federal agencies. The goal is to reap cost savings from annual federal spending on mobile devices and service contracts via more than 1,200 separate agreements, which equate to approximately $1 billion in annual spending today. 

Security, technology, budget, and policy remain primary roadblocks to achieving agency mobility goals.  Poor governance of employee mobile device usage, lack of employee mobile security training, and the expanding threat landscape inhibit expansion of enterprise mobility.  The need to manage multiple platforms, high user expectations, disparate application certification procedures, tax IT departments.  And the majority of IT budgets are dedicated to managing aging infrastructure instead of funding new solutions.

Contractors can take advantage of the federal government’s desire to embrace mobility by operating from a mobility mindset. Contractors and vendors in this space should assist agency customers in implementing IT solutions and policy strategies for integrating mobility into their infrastructure. Federal clients need help designing infrastructure, applications, and websites with the mindset that federal employees and/or citizens may need access to the system or data via any device, anywhere, anytime.

More information on the federal mobility market can be found in Deltek’s new report, Federal Priorities Spotlight:  Mobility, slated for publication in the coming week.