Mobile Stability in the Federal Government

Published: September 05, 2019

Information TechnologyMobility

Newer acquisition methods and enabling technologies will be key drivers in pushing federal mobility to the forefront of agency agendas.

The need to maximize mobile computing in critical mission areas such as defense and health care is growing, as is the demand of a mobile workforce throughout the federal government. In response, agencies continue to shape their mobile portfolios, albeit with much effort to keep up with private and commercial markets. As it stands, the federal government is estimated to spend over $1B annually on approximately 1.5M mobile devices and related services, yet is grappling in the execution of sound mobile agendas.

Deltek’s latest report, Federal Mobility Landscape, 2020, reveals that enterprise mobility contract obligations have largely remained steady in the past three fiscal years, with a -1.7% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR):

However, fluctuations of spending exist at the agency level, indicating investment is largely driven by mobile device/services tech refresh cycles.

Recent acquisition changes in mobility could have a lasting impact in the way federal agencies purchase mobile devices and services. An expansion in services earlier this year under the Mobility SIN is likely to increase spending with Schedule 70. Moreover, the Mobility SIN is expected to gain a Best-in-Class (BIC) designation in the near term. The EIS vehicle, already rated BIC, is also poised to offer agencies an abundance of mobile services including managed network, mobility, unified communications and wireless services.

Several technologies are also anticipated to alter the federal mobility outlook. Network advancements in 5G wireless and Software-Defined Wide-Area Network (SD-WAN) will help bolster the use of advanced technologies such as cloud for mobile device management, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence, helping bring mobile computing to the edge. However, agencies have been slow in making such advancements due to the security risks mobility carries. Securing mobile devices and applications have proven difficult for agencies, though updates in security policies and guidance is on the way for the federal government.  

Key findings in the report include:

  • Mobility Spending. Overall spending on enterprise mobility remained steady from FY 2016-2018 while individual agency spending fluctuates as mobile device and service plan refresh cycles come and go.
  • Policies and Guidance. The President’s Management Agenda includes key milestones for mobility, such as spurring a mobile cyber force and encouraging acquisition best practices. Updates to existing guidance such as NIST SP 800-124 are also poised to help advance agency abilities in navigating enterprise mobile security.
  • Mobile Acquisition. Acquisition pathways such as the new Mobility SIN under GSA Schedule 70 and the EIS vehicle will offer agencies modernized mobile service offerings.
  • Customer Demand. Federal customer demand for mobile friendly websites and mobile apps is growing, however agencies continue to grapple with meeting those expectations due to limitations in resources, legacy IT and lack of standardization.
  • Technology. Technologies such as Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN), the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud, 5G and artificial intelligence will be key drivers in agencies’ mobile capabilities progress. Mobile security remains a top barrier for such technologies, slowing federal investment as agencies work to develop proactive security strategies.

Read Deltek’s full report: Federal Mobility Landscape: 2020 to gain insight on the guidance, challenges, technologies and spending trends shaping the federal mobility market.

Get a free report summary of Federal Mobility Landscape: 2020