Mobile technology empowers today’s public-sector professionals to work anytime, anywhere.
Achieving this new level of productivity, however, requires more than just handing staff a smartphone or tablet.
When planning for a mobile rollout, IT leaders need to take into account how mobile devices will enable staff to do their jobs more effectively, as well as what benefits will be achieved. For example, outfitting parking enforcement officials with mobile technologies may reduce errors that result in tickets being dismissed. Or agricultural inspectors in the field may be able to cover more ground with a specialized mobile app.
For the Massachusetts Department of Children & Families, agency reforms included plans to tap technology to help reduce the burden on caseworkers. The division of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services last year rolled out 2,400 Apple iPad devices to employees, says Tomy Abraham, director of business applications for the agency. DCF staff use the devices to take notes and photos during home visits, eliminating the need to return to the office to complete their reports. Staffers can also access the information they need, when they need it.
Abraham reports that the iPad rollout has reduced DCF travel costs. But even more important, mobilizing workers helps advance the agency’s mission of protecting children from abuse and neglect and strengthening families. To learn more about the deployment and how the San Diego Sheriff’s Department and city of Rancho Cordova, Calif., mobilize staff, read “Workers Hit the Streets with Mobile Devices.”
In an effort to appeal to residents and draw more traffic to local businesses, many municipalities have deployed outdoor wireless networks.
For instance, the city of Coral Springs, Fla., deployed Wi-Fi as an added amenity to six of its outdoor parks after residents expressed interest in the free service, says CIO Curlie Matthews. Likewise, city officials in Westfield, Ind., outfitted the 400-acre Grand Park sports complex with a point-to-point wireless network between two maintenance sites housing offices and a public-safety building. Discover the technologies behind these implementations in “Cities Improving Outdoor Attractions with Wi-Fi.”