DOD Plans for Mobile Devices

The Department of Defense released their “Commercial Mobile Device Implementation Plan” that focuses on improving areas critical in using mobile devices, wireless infrastructure, and mobile applications. The Plan emphasizes the need for reliable, secure, and flexible devices to keep up with fast changing technology.

The Plan establishes a framework to equip the department’s 600,000 mobile users with solutions that leverage commercial off-the-shelf products, promotes the development and use of mobile applications to improve functionality, decreases costs, and enables increased personal productivity.

The Plan will provide for a series of operational pilots from across DOD components that will incorporate lessons learned, ensure interoperability, refine technical requirements, influence commercial standards, and create operational efficiencies for DOD mobile users.

To specifically meet DOD’s need to deal with classified information, the agency is rolling out a program to enable users of a range of mobile devices working anywhere from remote battlefields to the Pentagon, to rapidly share classified and protected data across all components. Several thousand of mobile devices in use in DOD are capable of handling classified data.

According to Teri Takai, Chief Information Officer, “The challenge for the Defense Department is to design a unified system capable of fully leveraging the potential of devices that often differ in capabilities and sophistication in a way that will allow users to communicate in a secure, wireless environment.”

“The commercial mobile device market is moving so quickly, that we can’t wait to develop the full capability of these devices. If we don’t get something in place, we will end up with multiple solutions just because the demand to use these devices is so strong”, she added.

Officials are planning for a phased implementation involving vendor competition for developing a system to meet the needs that Takai suggests. Takai also thinks that DOD’s three million plus employees could prove to be a model for large companies that also need to protect the transmission of both open and confidential data.

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