Greater mobile use a part of FDA plans

For government agencies, increasing mobile device use requires a format that is accessible to all devices and can support older legacy applications and data. As part of its "Focus on Mobility 2015" report, FedScoop recently interviewed the acting CIO of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Walter Harris.

He said that his vision for the way IT at the FDA should develop requires a special unified platform for Administration inspectors to access out in the field. This would reportedly make important information more available and shorten inspection times.

One of the biggest reasons this organization wants to improve mobility is to address the sheer amount of data it has to support on a regular basis. Harris said the department is also looking for a secure and financially feasible BYOD program: right now, much of the administrative FDA tasks are performed via BlackBerry, but with the right modernization, inspectors could run operations on location and accomplish their tasks on a single device.

"Mobility is the ability of our staff to work anywhere using data any time on any device, and we think we need to update our infrastructure to support that type of activity," Harris told the source. When asked about the biggest challenges to achieving mobility goals, Harris cited changing their culture and informing the industries that the FDA works with.

Achieving greater mobility does not have to be overly complex: some terminal solutions force government employees to work around their current lack of connectivity by having another party use a laptop-based terminal emulator.

A more direct solution is the Inventu Flynet Viewer, which brings other kinds of mobile devices into the cloud through an online option that functions like a web link in different browsers. Government agencies should embrace newer technology with a convenient mainframe modernization plan.