Not long ago, on The Categraph blog, I elaborated on several topics that Cartegraph has forecasted as being especially relevant to the way agencies like yours will do business in the future. Chief among those topics was the rapid emergence of mobile services and devices.
Recently, that forecast was corroborated in a big way.
In a press release issued earlier this month, Samsung announced that its GALAXY line of smartphones and tablets has been granted Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2 (FIPS) certification - a federally issued, U.S. information security standard certified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
What does this mean for you?
It means that government agencies like yours - along with regulated industries, such as financial and health-care institutions - can now use the global version of the Galaxy S II smartphone, Galaxy Tab 10.1 WiFi, and the 4G LTE-enabled Galaxy Tab 10.1 with Verizon Wireless to add an important and efficient, sustainable layer of mobile capabilities to the way you do business.
"Our field guys won't know how to work that."
I haven't worked in this industry for an exceptionally long time. But I've been around long enough to have heard that declaration on countless occasions. Aside from budget concerns, reluctant personnel and lack of technical savvy are two of the most commonly cited reasons public sector agencies give for not integrating mobile technology.
The Samsung announcement is proof that those reservations are effectively null and void.
How, you ask? Well, according to recent statistics, smart phone technology - the same stuff that powers the aforementioned Samsung devices - currently resides in the hands of some 95 million people in the United States alone.
In short, the comfort and familiarity are there. Now the products - complete with federal certification - are too.
And in much the same way common applications for GPS and mapping, and time and document management have been optimized for use on smart devices, applications used to manage work, assets, and infrastructure will soon experience a similar transformation.
As we speak, the Cartegraph team is busy preparing the next generation Cartegraph system. And the platform our users know and use today will be evolving to a new, highly connected, state-of-the-art browser platform.
Though the system is changing, it will not change how these agencies use it. In fact, it has been designed to help them work more efficiently and effectively than ever before. And a big part of that is making our applications compatible with modern day devices - be it in the browser, a Trimble device, a smart phone, a tablet, and/or whatever other innovations companies like Apple, Google, and Samsung might have up their sleeves.
Now for a little bit of tough love. Everything I've talked about is happening whether the public sector likes it or not. Technology is on the fast track, and there's no going backwards.
"Before everything else, getting ready is the secret to success."
That's a piece of simple, sound advice from someone who knew a little something about success - Henry Ford. Somehow, it seems especially relevant to a public sector that has, in large part, been caught in reactionary mode far too long.
Agencies are rapidly running out of excuses to sit on their hands. Mobility and smart technology will soon be the norm.
My advice: even if you can't invest in mobile technology now, learn as much about it as you can. Because, when you work in government, you owe it to your community and your profession to be prepared. Especially when it comes to the inevitable.
Find out how agencies like yours are using technology to engage citizens, increase sustainability, and cultivate intelligent workflow. Visit the Cartegraph Blog.