by Shahida Sweeney

Federal government fast-tracks mobile services

Oct 01, 20142 mins

The Australian government’s roadmap for mobile services has received a boost with the creation of a “whole-of-government” panel of solutions providers. This panel meets an escalating demand for mobile products as agencies ramp up anywhere, anytime service delivery.

The Department of Finance’s announcement said the panel will support services that are built around the government’s mobile-first strategy. That strategy is outlined in a report titled Adopting Mobile Technology Across Government.

The eight-member panel comprises Dialog, iiNet, Jadu Software, Mnet Mobile, Oxygen8 Communications, Reddo Media, Stripy Sock Software and Transact Capital Communications. It is the first such panel to be established at the federal level.

The government’s mobile roadmap, released in mid-2013, said that the “imperative for government to adopt mobile technologies has never been greater.” Agencies are embracing mobile channels by adapting websites and services for convenient access on mobile devices.

Front-line service delivery organisations are also developing innovative mobile apps and using social media to engage more effectively with tech-savvy citizens.

“Increasingly consumerisation is driving agencies to support new technologies with personally-owned mobile devices in the workplace — an opportunity to be leveraged rather than a problem to be discouraged.”

Related: Samsung Galaxy S5 approved for government use

Managing mobile security

But in the uncharted mobile space, agencies must address challenges that are inherent with mobile technology. These include maintaining security and privacy and integrating existing systems with mobile channels. Agencies need to explore establishing mobile policies in the workplace.

Related: Mobile security lessons from Treasury

Agencies were asked to clarify their “Digital First” plans in June 2014. In another 12 months, online services and mobile services will be ramped up, together with information sharing and progress reports.

Agencies will share these progress reports with third-party developers to explore new ways to deliver services. This information-exchange also explores avenues to improve staff productivity using mobile technology.