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Steve O'Keeffe

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Posted: 11/6/2012 - 3 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]

Voting for Change

One year of ads about why not to vote for the other guy. Twenty-one campaign robocalls to our house on the evening of Sunday the 4th alone. Whether you’re delighted or dashed by the election - both donkeys and elephants want a cheaper, faster government. Feds are spelling out the future of IT - and it’s B-Y-O-D.
Isn’t it only fitting that the Equal Opportunity folks should focus on bring your own device - BYOD - choices? Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - EEOC - is cutting its BlackBerry vine and slashing its support bill by 44 percent. Who’d vote against that?
In January 2012, EEOC had more than 550 BlackBerrys - at a cost of $800,000 a year. Kim Hancher, CIO at the agency, took a closer look at EEOC’s bill - and found a small number of zero-use devices, incorrect billing, and the like. They harvested rotten Berrys - and cut the number of devices to 460, slashing cost by $160,000. 
Secure the Platform
Next, Hancher focused on policy - security and privacy. Incidentally, EEOC’s policies are now part of the White House BYOD Toolkit. EEOC launched its BYOD pilot in June of this year. Twenty-three percent of the Berry band voted for BYOD - but 77 percent chose to keep the RIM relics.
Turning Out the Vote
Great returns, but Hancher wasn’t satisfied. Her team polled users to get a bead on why they weren’t ready to let go. Here’s what they found. Top concerns - work/life separation and cost. Sixty-five percent of the BlackBerry battalion cited the preference to keep personal and work equipment completely separate. Twenty-six percent raised privacy concerns with BYOD. Thirty-seven percent worried that BYOD would spike their personal plan costs. Thirty-five percent said they don’t own a smartphone or tablet to support BYOD. Ten percent said call me later - noting they want BYOD, but check in next year.
And, there’s always the hard core - 25 percent said they think the BlackBerry is the best tool for their job. 
Exit Poll Results
But, EEOC wasn’t taking no for an answer. They asked, what would change your BYOD decision? Seventy-eight percent of EEOC folks said they’d jump to BYOD if they were reimbursed for their work usage. Forty percent said they’d switch if the agency offered a one-time reimbursement for employees to purchase their own smart device. So now we know the buttons to push to drive the switch and unlock savings.
Early Returns
While the mobility bill is not the largest line item in the Federal IT budget, every little bit helps. EEOC managed to cut its $800,000 mobile device budget down to size nicely - it’s now just $448,000. And, Hancher knows the levers to pull to drive that number down.
And, yes, those Feds who voted for BYOD assumed the cost of their total work and professional wireless service. Hancher recognizes the need for an employee reimbursement model - and EEOC is a prototype framework. The Telework and Mobility Exchange is working with EEOC on the new model.
Surfing away from the past. Dialing into change. Empowering new productivity. And yes, even working across the aisle - iOS and Droid.
PS. Check out Kim Hancher on the cover of Fed Tech magazine.

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