Even the Army is accepting BYOD

Tools

A select number of soldiers and civilians working for the U.S. Army will be able to use their personal mobile devices for work starting next year, reports InformationWeek's J. Nicholas Hoover. The shift in practices is part of a larger mobile strategy for the entire Department of Defense.

Within the coming year, the Army is planning to shop for a host of new mobile technologies, including virtual mobile clients and Bluetooth readers. An ongoing migration to a consolidated email system will further promote the mobile strategy. Once the migration is complete, approximately 10 percent of the system's users will be mobile, said Mike Krieger, deputy CIO for the Army. The new system should give the Army improved mobile security and management, as well as a better idea of where mobile devices are being used.

"Enterprise email is really just the first step in moving to Department of Defense (DOD) enterprise services," Krieger said. "It has little to do with email."

In Krieger's view, mobile capabilities will vary depending on whether or not a user is in the field. For civilians and soldiers who are not on the battlefield or other sensitive environment, there may be the option of using a personal device. These BYOD devices could be secured in a "zero-client" environment that does not permit data storage on the device.

"I should be able to walk into my office with my phone and sign a form to allow the government to put a zero client on the phone and still be able to use it on the network," Krieger said.

Soldiers in the field would face tighter mobile restrictions and would not likely be allowed to use personal devices.

For more:
- see J. Nicholas Hoover's article at InformationWeek

Related Articles:
Government employees jump on BYOD bandwagon
BYOD has benefits, but reduced costs may not be one
Why not to secure personal devices like the company's