Department of Homeland Security

Replace Several IT Devices with Smart Phones

All employees whose duties require field work or a significant percentage of travel are issued a number of devices that can be consolidated into a signle purchase of a smartphone. For my job as a Vulnerability Assessment Team Lead, I was issued a laptop, air card, Blackberry, vehicle Global Positioning System (GPS), hand-held GPS, flashlight, camera, and a backpack and Pelican case to hold all of it. This totals 7 devices and 2 pieces of travel gear. Even with all of this technology, our teams are forced to print paper copies of assessment templates in order to capture the required data, and their handheld GPS devices are not able to be connected to our related Geographic Information System (GIS) products.

 

Therefore, I propose that all employees whose duties require field work or travel are issued smartphones that are enabled to serve as wireless hot spots, GPS, cameras, and flash lights, and that provide basic functionality for viewing typical products formatted in Microsoft Office, Adobe, and other typical workplace software.

 

This single purchase will replace 6 separate devices for all employees who are currently issued this set. It will also reduce the number of employees who require laptops to be issued by providing basic functionality for infrequent travelers. It will reduce the number of employees who require carrying gear to be issued, and it will reduce printing costs by providing tablet-like functionality for field work.

 

I would recommend implementing the purchase program by attrition of older devices to avoid an initial capital requirement. In addition to the savings realized after the initial purchase, the maintenance, air/data time, and technical support (i.e., contract employee hours) required to maintain these devices will be significantly reduced. Finally, employee morale and efficiency will be increased due to reduced administrative burden.

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Idea No. 10581