The military arm is the first to formally okay smartphones and says it will distribute devices rather than let personnel use their own.
Slideshow: 14 Most Popular Government Mobile Apps
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
The Coast Guard has officially approved the use of iPhones and Android-based smartphones for its personnel, the first U.S. military arm to do so.
A Coast Guard spokesperson Lisa Novak confirmed the approval of a policy to outfit personnel with smartphones, a move first revealed in a published report.
The Coast Guard will not allow people to bring in their own devices to be configured with internal email systems, as some federal adoptees of smartphones have done, but instead will procure the devices for them.
"The policy is clear that personally-owned devices shall not be provisioned to be used with Coast Guard wireless email," Novak said, but did not provide further details.
The use of smartphones is rapidly spreading throughout the federal government, with numerous agencies and departments--from the Department of the Interior to the Department of Veterans Affairs to Congress--approving them for use by employees.
So far agencies are mixed on whether to procure the devices themselves for users or to allow them to purchase their own and then securely configure them to access internal applications such as email and collaboration. Former U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra floated the idea that rather than make broad deployments of the devices, it might be better for agencies to do the latter.
The House of Representatives, for example, allows members of Congress to use their own iPads and iPhones on the chamber floor, and recently struck partnerships with Skype and ooVoo to allow secure videoconferencing over the House WiFi network.
At a full-day virtual event, InformationWeek and Dark Reading editors will talk with security experts about the causes and mistakes that lead to security breaches, both from the technology perspective and from the people perspective. It happens Aug. 25. Register now.
InformationWeek Elite 100Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
The UC Infrastructure TrapWorries about subpar networks tanking unified communications programs could be valid: Thirty-one percent of respondents have rolled capabilities out to less than 10% of users vs. 21% delivering UC to 76% or more. Is low uptake a result of strained infrastructures delivering poor performance?
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of April 24, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week!