The consumerization of information technology is being embraced by many federal agencies under the initiatives laid out by Federal CIO, Vivek Kundra. The federal workforce is becoming more mobile and agencies are seeing the benefits of giving their employees the freedom of working from anywhere. Agencies are increasing productivity, employee retention and are meeting sustainability goals.
But this shift is also causing headaches for IT departments. With more than a third of our nation’s workforce either bringing their own mobile devices and to work, visiting unsanctioned Web sites or downloading unauthorized applications on a work computer, government agencies that do not have the proper policies in place will have to deal with significant, and potentially, catastrophic, security issues.
However, the benefits of embracing and adapting to these new technologies can not be ignored. If agencies are reluctant to allow access to consumer devices, they potentially hinder attracting talent by appearing to be stagnant and unwilling to accept change.
Agencies need to strike a balance and accommodate new technologies while securing critical assets. Our bet is as agencies continue to expand on telework initiatives and create more mobile workforces, the need for cost-effective, efficient and secure networks will become a priority.
The ability to remain informed about users, their usage patterns, and the type of traffic they generate on the network so that network performance can be accelerated and application performance optimized is crucial. With unparalleled levels of research and investment in network security solutions being made by Blue Coat and other companies the federal government and its agencies should feel comfortable embracing these new innovations and will be better prepared for future changes.