Mobile field devices help state and local agencies in a variety of ways.
They make issuing citations like parking tickets easier and more reliable.
First responders around the country are also using them to keep track of personnel, map locations and share data in real time during emergency scenarios.
UAnd using handheld technology helps city and state agencies gain efficiencies, increase accuracy and integrate information more easily with state networks and databases. Here are four tips state and local government IT leaders should follow to ensure that their mobile deployments are smooth.
Make a plan. Agencies need to pinpoint where the technology fits in their long-term roadmaps. “Don’t just buy something and send it out into the field without considering aspects like security and the policies you need in place,” says Amy Hille Glasscock of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers. “That can help avoid some of the problems that come along with mobile devices.”
Lock them down. Mobile devices have a greater potential for damage, theft or misuse, as well as cybersecurity issues, Glasscock says. “You need to make sure they have appropriate mobile security measures in place, that they’re password- protected and can be wiped remotely if they’re lost.”
Avoid “shiny-toy syndrome.” Learn how to tell the difference between technology that looks cool and things your department really needs, advises Pat Riley, District 1 director for the Idaho Fire Chiefs Association. “Don’t let technology drive you; you need to drive it,” he says.
Don’t forget about the end users. Changing how people do their jobs can take time. “Our biggest challenge was training,” says Afton Terry, acting supervisor for the Long Beach Commercial Services Bureau’s parking unit. “We made sure to communicate with our vendor and get hands-on training for all agencies involved.”
For more on mobile device deployments, check out our feature article, “Versatile Mobile Devices Speed Up Work for Local Officials in the Field.”