Jon Johnson of GSA Briefs the WashingtonExec Mobility Council

Jeff Ward (MaaS360 by Fiberlink, an IBM Company), Tom Suder (Mobilegov), Jon Johnson (GSA), Mark Cohn (Unisys Federal Systems)

Jeff Ward (MaaS360 by Fiberlink, an IBM Company), Tom Suder (Mobilegov), Jon Johnson (GSA), Mark Cohn (Unisys Federal Systems)

Jon Johnson, of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)’s Enterprise Mobility Program, gave the WashingtonExec Mobility Council an update on the achievements and future challenges for federal agencies as they initiate the transformation of their mobile footprint.

About a year ago, GSA launched a new platform and solution focused on Managed Mobility for federal agencies. But instead of going the route of building up and competing new contracts for these services, GSA worked to pull together the existing requirements from across government, assessed the market through industry responses, identified potential sources, mapped the ability to procure these sources through existing government-wide vehicles, and incorporated all this information in one accessible place. With an eye toward making the process of getting these services faster, easier and less expensive, the GSA Managed Mobility Program combed through and validated the various contract options and the service providers available to the government. The result is a solution that uses GSA’s acquisition and mobility expertise to get agencies access to what they need, yet doesn’t drive up the additional and often unnecessary administrative costs associated with any agency standing-up a new contracts.

Jon Johnson’s top three priorities when debating whether or not to invest in a new program for the federal government are:

1. IT security/risk assessment
2. Usability of the system
3. Cost effectiveness (inclusive of product costs, procurement costs, and transaction costs)

A few years ago, the federal government’s priority was to codify mobile device management (MDM) security policy, and introduce MDM as a way to mitigate the risk associated with the deployment of smart technologies into an agency’s infrastructure. Johnson says today the government has moved passed MDM, and his programs now focuses on initiating comprehensive mobility, which includes managing the total device lifecycle (including carrier services, devices, device security, and dispositioning) as well as managing the expenses management process associated with a transformation initiative.

This perspective is gaining traction within the CIO community as they look at mobility holistically, and this will become a focal point as agencies look at mobility in a more comprehensive way. The device refresh periods alone, that are allowable under the GSA FSSI Wireless BPAs, means that agencies need to do more to get receive, secure, and deliver smart devices into the hands of federal employees. There is more device inventory to track and more associated carrier expenses that, if not managed properly, can quickly add up. However, a couple challenges Johnson sees in fulfilling this vision are:

1. Overcoming the cultural sigma of releasing back-end data to more open platforms
2. Mitigating the security risks of agnostic mobile devices
3. Developing effective and necessary applications for government employees

With the increased possibilities from big data analytic specialization and secure cloud innovation technology, Johnson believes that mobility will eventually overcome its multiple legacy barriers.

Johnson and Greg Youst of DISA are the 2014 Government co-Chairpersons for the Federal Mobile Computing Summit to be held in August at the Ronald Reagan Convention Center.

The WashingtonExec Mobility Council is chaired by Mark Cohn, Chief Technology Officer, Unisys Federal Systems.

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