In previous posts on Fed UC, we’ve discussed the benefits that a more mobile and agile federal workforce could deliver for the government and its agencies.

Well, a recent survey of 300 federal IT managers has provided some additional ammunition in the battle for a more mobile federal government. The survey revealed that mobile solutions could save the government some much needed budget dollars, drive productivity and produce other positives for federal agencies.

The survey, which was conducted by Market Connections on behalf of AOL Government, found that:

  • 75 percent of respondents thought mobile solutions increased productivity and cost savings by enabling off-site work
  • 82 percent of respondents felt mobile solutions powered telework initiatives
  • 70 percent of respondents felt mobile devices expedited decision making by making important data available from anywhere
  • mobile solutions could deliver 29 percent in savings per year

By enabling work off-site and powering telework initiatives, mobile devices can deliver significant cost savings to our cash-strapped federal agencies. Employees that are off-site and teleworking require less office space, use fewer utilities and otherwise consume less agency resources. The end result for agencies is savings from reduced office footprints, smaller utility bills and fewer equipment purchases.

Although the survey respondents agreed that mobile devices could deliver these savings and more, they also raised concerns about the other costs that could come with them. These costs included: increased carrier and service charges, additional expenditures on mobile devices and added investment in mobile device security.

These are all valid concerns that could cut into savings. However, the respondents failed to consider something else that mobile devices can deliver: video.

Today’s advanced Unified Communications (UC) solutions, such as video teleconferencing (VTC), are now available on mobile devices. In fact, there are many HD mobile video applications available for popular mobile devices that effectively turn smartphones and tablets into mobile video teleconferencing solutions.

By enabling video communication, these mobile devices are delivering additional savings to agencies. Agencies utilizing mobile video communication solutions can drastically reduce their travel budgets by enabling the federal workforce to attend meetings, trainings and other events via video. This is a vastly less expensive alternative than physically sending staff to events.

In addition to the cost savings, mobile video can also further expedite decision making, increase collaboration between distributed agency workforces and improve information and data sharing.

Although the adoption of mobile devices in the government could come with some cost, the savings that come from their adoption and the capabilities they deliver can benefit strained federal budgets. By delivering information and video to distributed workforces, mobile devices can cut costs, increase collaboration, provide continuity of operations in the face of emergencies and otherwise make today’s federal workforce more productive, agile and effective.

How has your agency looked to get more mobile? What benefits have you seen? Drop us a comment and let us know!