As the adoption of mobility accelerates within government agencies we recently sought to answer a few key questions about state and local (S&L) mobile readiness:

  • How successfully are S&L agencies enabling their mobile workforce?
  • Are they leveraging mobility to prepare for disaster recovery?
  • What benefits are agencies experiencing and what challenges do they face?

The resulting study, “State & Local Mobility Map:  Road to Mobile Readiness,” surveyed 150 S&L IT managers familiar with their organization’s mobile work strategy and policies.  Our goal was to explore the mobility behaviors of S&L governments and provide perspective into their mobility strategies.  We found that today we are seeing forward momentum with 40 percent of S&L employees using mobile devices for some work-related tasks, and 65 percent of S&L IT managers expecting the number of mobile workers to increase in the next five years.  However, despite this progress, we found many agencies are unable to shift mobility out of first gear with a majority reporting their agencies are not fully mobile ready – citing security (56 percent) and lack of budget (52 percent) as top concerns.

Looking at the mobility outlook for S&L agencies, we found that 17 percent of employees are eligible to telework and 62 percent of the IT managers surveyed say that their agency has adopted a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to support mobility.  And, mobile-ready agencies reported gaining three additional hours of productivity per employee per week with improved remote communications, collaboration, and business continuity as other benefits of mobility.

While it is evident mobility provides vast benefits, we must ask, what is slowing S&L agencies down on their path to mobility?  The study found that, in addition to security and budget concerns, lack of technology infrastructure, management resistance, and cultural barriers are other road blocks to mobile readiness.  And, nearly sixty percent of the S&L IT managers surveyed say their agencies are not mobile ready and do not adequately provide the plans, tools, and support necessary to manage a mobile workforce.  All of these roadblocks contribute to a larger issue – fewer than one in five respondents, just 17 percent, say their agency is both mobile and COOP ready, affecting their ability to deliver constituent services when offices are out of reach due to natural disasters or other events.

Our research clearly illustrates that S&L agencies face both immense opportunities and formidable challenges in the journey to achieving the next generation mobile workforce.  That said, with the findings we also identified the keys to driving mobility forward, including:

  • Taking an enterprise approach to preparing for and implementing mobile programs
  • Addressing the mobile readiness gap by establishing an infrastructure that can support mobile work styles
  • Addressing security concerns by educating and training end users and implementing VDI, enterprise management, and device management technologies
  • Establishing legislation or incentives to prioritize telework and spur mobile adoption
  • Incorporating telework into COOP strategies through expanded employee telework eligibility to increase operations during a disaster
  • Requiring frequent mobile training for end users and IT to ensure all users understand and comply to protocols

With 65 percent of S&L IT managers expecting the number of mobile workers to increase in the next five years, we are starting to see promising progress and great strides towards mobility.  Underscoring this, respondents asserted that more than one third of agencies have matured their mobile strategy in the past year – those that did not will invest going forward.

Our Citrix team looks forward to the future of S&L mobility and supporting our government partners as they continue on their paths to mobile evolution.  We invite you to take a look at the “State & Local Mobility Map:  Road to Mobile Readiness” study to explore where S&L agencies are and where they are headed on the mobility map.  If you have any questions about our solutions or the study, please free to drop me a line at or @DavidSmith_IT.

Click to get the study “State & Local Mobility Map:  Road to Mobile Readiness