by Rebecca Merrett

Parliament gets ready for BYOD, gears up for mobility

Jan 15, 20132 mins
GovernmentMobileSmall and Medium Business

The Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS) is developing a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy and is equipping staff with mobile devices as part of its ICT reorganisation, the new CIO, Eija Seittenranta told CIO Australia.

Seittenranta, who was confirmed as CIO for the DPS on January 3, said the BYOD policy is being created for the department’s ‘one stop shop’, which is part of a reshuffle of ICT services and staff. Seittenranta is responsible for implementing the key ICT changes set out in the Roche report (PDF).

“What we are really working towards is a bring-your-own-device policy and to be able to support a range of self-managed devices where we can still provide our contents safely,” she said.

“The target is to have the technical aspects resolved, as well as to have the moves of the support capabilities from the other departments into DPS completed… So when the next parliament comes in after the election, they would get the new one-stop offer.”

The DPS is also piloting a small volume of Windows-based tablets, Seittenranta said, as the department looks to broaden support for mobile devices. So far, 57 iPads have been provided to staff, with five provided to presiding officers, she said.

“Our user base is fairly small, we’ve only got 4000 users overall and out of those a fairly small portion would be highly mobile in the BYOD category. For example, I think there’s 256 parliamentarians that we support [as well as] their senior staff.”

To further support mobility, Seittenranta said the DPS is expanding the Wi-Fi access points in Parliament House and is offering more bandwidth to the electorate offices.

“We’re now replacing an old 2Mbps link with a 10Mbps link,” she said. “That was kicked off before Christmas and we should have completed that roll out by the end of March.”

In addition, the DPS is looking at deploying Citrix XenDesktop this year for staff to access data and work systems more seamlessly. Seittenranta said the virtual desktop that was piloted last year would also be deployed on tablet devices and laptops.

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