DoD releases plan to implement commercial mobile devices

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In an effort to better support the Defense Department's 600,000 mobile device users, DoD on Feb. 26 released a Commercial Mobile Device Implementation Plan designed to address rapidly evolving warfighter requirements in the area of mobility, according to a press release. The plan (.pdf) is to serve as a framework for the department's utilization of secure classified and protected unclassified mobile solutions that leverage commercial technology.

According to the announcement, the DoD plan focuses on three key areas of mobility -- mobile devices, wireless infrastructure, and mobile applications -- which were previously identified in the department's June 2012 Mobile Device Strategy. However, the Pentagon says the new implementation plan goes further by highlighting specific goals and objectives in order to "capitalize on the full potential of mobile devices," including a series of operational pilots that will incorporate lessons learned, ensure interoperability, refine technical requirements, influence commercial standards, and create operational efficiencies.

"This is not simply about embracing the newest technology -- it is about keeping the department's workforce relevant in an era when information accessibility and cybersecurity play a critical role in mission success," =states DoD Chief Information Officer Teri Takai in a written statement.

Given DoD's mission and inherent security concerns with commercial mobile technologies, the department is trying to put in place security standards and a certification process that is agile enough to keep pace with the fast rate of technological change, while at the same time promotes the development and use of mobile applications that "improve functionality, decrease costs, and enable increased personal productivity."

According to the implementation plan, the DoD CIO's aim is to develop an overall governance process, a centralized library, and a development framework where mobile applications can be quickly developed, purchased, certified, and distributed to users.

However, when it comes to a bring your own device" strategy, DoD's implementation plan is taking a wait-and-see approach by designating BYOD as a long-term objective.

"Despite the benefits, existing DoD policies, operational constructs, and security vulnerabilities currently prevent the adoption of devices that are unapproved and procured outside of official government acquisition," states the plan. "As the technology matures and is proven to meet DoD security requirements for the mobility environment, DoD CIO will monitor and generate the necessary DoD implementation policies to support BYOD."

For more:
-read the DoD press release
-download the Commercial Mobile Device Implementation Plan (.pdf)

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