Tablet computers, like the Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xoom and Kindle Fire, are all of the rage in households across America. With a wide range of applications, from games to video communication, available in online app stores, tablets are ushering in a new age of advanced capabilities, connectivity and mobility.
It was only a matter of time before these tablets began to find their way into the workplace. As employees began demanding the same advanced, mobile capabilities on the job as they did in their homes, government agencies began to look at tablets and identify ways that they could be utilized to increase efficiency and help accomplish their mission more effectively.
In fact, it was recently reported that the VA would acquire up to 100,000 tablet computers for use in their health centers. Also, according to a Nextgov article that was published today, the Android operating system that runs on tablets and other mobile devices is expected to win approval for use on military networks by April 2012. All proof that mobile devices and tablets are coming en force to the federal government.
However, the mobility and flexibility that mobile devices, such as tablets, bring to the federal government is wasted if the information and data that agencies need isn’t available outside of the office.
For many government agencies, records are stored either physically as paper, or in secure networks. This makes it impossible to access the data stored within unless one is physically in the office. If agencies are going to truly take advantage of the mobility that tablets provide, Web applications that make data available from anywhere are essential.
The ability to pull up records and requisite information from anywhere is one of the largest draws of tablets. By moving records and data into systems where they can be accessed online, and requiring authentication to ensure only government employees can access them, government agencies can bring everything an employee needs right to their tablet, regardless of their location.
Whether it is Department of Agriculture employees in the field, or Veterans Affairs doctors in examination rooms, the applications are almost limitless.
There’s no doubt that tablets are making a huge push into government agencies. The mobility and advanced capabilities that tablets can deliver are certainly worth the investment, but to truly make tablets a mission-critical technology for agencies moving forward, government records and data need to be available and need to be online.