Workplaces demand mobility, and that’s particularly true of state police, environmental inspectors and budget analysts who all need access to smartphones and tablets to work more effectively.
Dewand Neely, deputy CIO for desktop and support service for the state of Indiana, says the IT staff relies on MobileIron’s enterprise mobility management solution to support about 5,000 mobile users who run a mix of Apple iPhones, iPads and Android devices. Roughly two-thirds are state-owned, while the rest are personal devices. Neely says the state would have had difficulty making the transition from BlackBerry devices to the latest iOS and Android devices without the MobileIron platform.
Mobile device management features enable Neely to remotely wipe lost or stolen devices, but his agency uses the EMM solution for much more. For instance, the IT team uses the EMM solution to push applications to devices within the state’s internal firewall, as well as speed business processes.
“We developed a ticketing system for the IT techs in which the technicians can respond to an IT support call on the road as opposed to having to physically visit a site with Internet access and power up and log on to a traditional notebook,” Neely says. “The techs can respond to tickets on the fly, for a dramatic savings in logistical time.”
Chris Silva, a research director who covers mobile and endpoint computing for Gartner, notes that many governments are moving past basic mobile device management to pushing apps and managing content.
“Mobile strategy started with basic device controls, but we’ve seen a lot more interest in pushing custom content to users’ devices,” Silva says. “This year, we’ll see a lot more activity in building custom mobile apps.”
Phablets in the Field
Francisco Galarza, senior solution architect for the city of Philadelphia, says the city conducted a pilot with Samsung and IBM/Fiberlink MaaS360 to see if smartphones could replace inefficient clipboard and paper methods of collecting data in the field.
Fieldworkers for the city’s Community Life Improvement Program use Samsung Galaxy Tab phablets (a hybrid smartphone/tablet) for real-time access to work order data. “The users don’t have access to the web browser,” Galarza says. “We don’t want the device to become a distraction — the goal was to make it as easy as possible for the fieldworkers to use.”
MaaS360 enables Galarza to wipe lost or stolen devices, plus push out applications and update apps remotely. For additional security, he uses MaaS360 to create a whitelist of the apps city workers can run.
Moving forward, the Philadelphia Office of Innovation and Technology plans to roll out about 2,000 Samsung Galaxy Tab devices to other employees around the city.