NASA Launches Mobile Apps Store - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Mobile
News
11/28/2011
04:06 PM
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
[Best Practices] Managing Multiple Clouds
Jul 26, 2017
Putting all your eggs in one cloud basket is risky, because clouds are not immune to denials of se ...Read More>>

NASA Launches Mobile Apps Store

Agency employees and contractors can download apps for smartphones to access internal information, although choices are thin to start.

14 Most Popular Government Mobile Apps
Slideshow: 14 Most Popular Government Mobile Apps
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
NASA has launched a mobile apps store so agency personnel and contractors can access information from some internal systems from their mobile devices.

Apps@NASA--a service provided by the NASA Enterprise Applications Competency Center (NEACC)—is part of the agency's aim to act not merely as an agency but an "IT service provider" by using mobile devices to give employees anywhere, anytime access to information crucial to do their jobs, according to a blog post by NASA CIO Linda Cureton.

"Whether or not IT providers are ready or not, mobile devices both enterprise-issued and personally-owned are in the workplace," she said. "This service advances us a bit further beyond debate and into the world where IT service providers must enter--a world where the driving force of technology and customer expectations advance faster than policy and procurement cycles and the restraining force of security and legal issues like e-Discovery and records management keep our feet firmly grounded in reality."

Indeed, NASA has been ahead of many agencies in embracing technology more like a private-sector business than a traditional government agency, despite traditional constraints on agencies' ability to do so.

[NASA is holding an International Space Apps Competition to address global challenges. See NASA Unveils Space Apps Challenge.]

The agency was at the forefront of the feds' adoption of cloud computing, building its own cloud infrastructure, Nebula, that it is using internally to host applications and services.

Mobile applications are another area in which NASA has been an early adopter, offering apps for both iPhones and Android devices.

However, its mobile apps store for employees is a bit thin at the moment; the site currently has only two applications available in its apps store, but NASA plans to add more in the future.

Applications available in the store are WebTADS Mobile, which enables NASA employees to view and edit their time and attendance remotely from iPhones and BlackBerry devices, and NASA Contacts, which lets people look up NASA employee contact information directly from their iPhones.

The NEACC has a Center for Mobile Apps, which includes a range of services to support the agency's creation of internal mobile apps, Cureton said. Services include the ability to host, distribute, and provide support for internal mobile applications; develop mobile apps; and provide secure, NASA-approved authentication methods so employees can securely access agency resources, she said.

Allowing employees to access information behind the firewall on mobile devices is becoming more prevalent among federal agencies. Although BlackBerry devices have been used for some time--mainly for email access--the increased use of smartphones such as iPhones and Android-based devices has paved the way for agencies to create applications for greater access to internal systems.

Our annual Federal Government IT Priorities Survey shows how agencies are managing the many mandates competing for their limited resources. Also in the new issue of InformationWeek Government: NASA veterans launch cloud startups, and U.S. Marshals Service completes tech revamp. Download the issue now. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Strategies to Conquer the Cloud
Chances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll