Personal computers, laptops, and tablet PCs have dominated the workforce toolset within the Federal government up to the present day. The development of web-based content has traditionally been targeted at personal computing (PC) by Federal developers. The combination of these two factors has led to the workforce carrying expensive, bulky and sometimes fragile equipment as a necessary toolset into the field in order perform their duties. To date, the concept of a mobile web as a standard and has continued to rely on traditional web platforms as its primary content delivery mechanism. Strategic implementation of mobile-ready sites will not only reduce the equipment footprint of the Federal workforce in the field, but will also improve the ability for the American Citizen to obtain information when a PC is not readily available.
For the Federal government, the end result is a net decrease in costs for several key areas:
1.) Equipment replacement and maintenance;
2.) Software maintenance when open source web sites are developed (platform independent); and
3.) Paperwork reduction due to the content that is necessary being available on the mobile device.
Without this strategy in place the Federal workforce will continue to emphasize the use of laptops, tablet PCs, and slate technology in cases where there is not a need. For instance, if a employee only requires access to a list of content that can be readily fit in a mobile web page they can essentially access this at any point using their phone, as opposed to printing it or bringing their laptop with them.
Implementation of this strategy should be combined with a working group, style guide and “best practices” standards for open platform development. The end solution should not be platform dependant and the benefits should ultimately be used to enhance the Federal Service to Citizens role.