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Do agencies need a platform to share info on iPad deployments?

As agencies prepare to deploy iPads for their employees, it would be great if they could share information on a Facebook page or another platform, suggests a project manager at the Agriculture Department.

Satish Iyer, IT project manager at the USDA office based in Des Moines, Iowa, said he has been looking — but has not been able to find -- a common Web platform or wiki where multiple federal agency managers can collaborate and share information on tablet deployment and other Web 2.0 programs. He has asked permission to create a Facebook page for interagency collaboration for those purposes.

The Veterans Affairs Department, General Services Administration and USDA are all involved in iPad deployments. For example, the VA expects to allow employees to use their personal iPads on VA networks by Oct. 1, VA CIO Roger Baker said recently.

“At the USDA, we’ve initiated identical pilots and are addressing similar challenges to other agencies," Iyer said. "However, I’ve not come across a platform where multiple agencies can collaborate on their Web 2.0 and tablet deployment initiatives, share ideas and pool resources,” he added.

Here are some questions he wants answered:

  • How do we measure the cost-effectiveness of an iPad deployment and justify it compared to existing laptops or desktops?
  • Should we purchase devices in bulk?
  • Should we purchase directly or from resellers? Who are some of the resellers out there?
  • What kind of maintenance agreement should be written for the devices? Should we build in a provision to replace all devices to a newer version of the iPad at a discounted price when one is released?
  • Are there any vendors who can assist federal agencies with the technical feasibility study, planning, and rollout of iPads?
  • Should we let employees use their personal tablets for work?
  • What kind of iPad-relevant technology training should be given to IT teams?
  • What kind of training should the IT helpdesk be given?
  • What are agencies’ experiences with Apple’s ‘IOS Enterprise Developer Program’?
  • What are agencies’ experiences with Apple’s volume purchase programs?

Posted by Alice Lipowicz on Aug 08, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Reader Comments

Fri, Aug 12, 2011 Mike CARRICK

How come the Tea Party is always the first to post? Where the poster gets the idea that portability means a proliferation of devices is unclear to me. As a member of the Department of Veterans Affairs, I bought my OWN, and I look forward to not lugging 20 pounds of cheap Dell junk that takes 20 minutes to boot up. As to the blackberry - take it - when I get grief for texting a colleague? About work? It will cost you more in missed messages and " free labor" to all hours of the day - than it would for just about any rate plan out there. The phone bills DO need to be audited, though, and anyone calling their relatives for free can be executed as far as I am concerned, since that gives rise to the NEGATIVE viewpoint of the poster above.

Thu, Aug 11, 2011

Want an iPad? Give us your Blackberry, Laptop, and Desktop. Yes, we already have an agency policy that says only 1 computer per employee but the same people earmarked for the iPad projects are the same people who push back and get waivers for multiple machines. It's time to stop the entitlement mentality.

Wed, Aug 10, 2011 John

Sorry, but I personally think that in the time of cutbacks the idea of giving employees "toys" such as iPads is something the government needs to look into. These products have limited benefit versus a slimmer laptop with docking station and even less when you can't get them to work on a gov't network. In the end, I have seen these products given to top executives and never pushed down to the standard worker anyways. With this in mind, can someone please explain why an executive needs a laptop/docking station, iPad and a BlackBerry? If a gov't worker wants an iPad at this stage of the game they should buy it own their own until there is some sort of standard understanding these things actually give a positive ROI.

Tue, Aug 9, 2011 Noah Nason Washington DC

DOJ also has several iPad Pilots underway. Collaboration is essential to reducing deployment costs. OMB should take the lead on this and this area would be a good place for the new Federal CIO to start making an impact.

Tue, Aug 9, 2011

Use Google plus or prop up your own wiki...jeez. dumb article

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