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Microsoft for Public Safety & National Security

Devices deliver more for situational awareness and connectivity

05 December 2013 | Marco Manuello, Windows and Device Strategy lead for Worldwide Public Sector

Last year, the U.S Department of Defense unveiled a Mobile Device Strategy with the intention of maximizing the productivity and flexibility of its mobile workforce through better access to mobile devices, wireless infrastructure and mobile applications. When the U.K’s Cabinet Office rolled out its Government Digital Strategy that fall, a section of the policy was devoted to making government services more accessible to mobile device users, announcing a new requirement that agencies design digital services to be accessed via mobile devices as well as desktop and laptop computers. And the Australian Secretaries’ ICT Governance Board (SIGB) endorsed a roadmap in March to help adopt a government-wide mobile technology policy that will help its agencies use innovate mobile technology to “extend services to citizens, improve agency and staff productivity, and engage more effectively.”

These are just a few examples of the ways in which the Consumerization of IT and the rapid adoption of commercial mobile technologies have revolutionized the ways that governments work. Military, law enforcement, and first responders are increasingly turning to mobile devices to access the tools they need for better situational awareness and connectivity in theater and in the field.

In response, the devices and apps they use must reflect their unique needs with capable, flexible, yet cost-effective solutions. Part of the solution lies in continually upgrading the performance of tablets and phones for better functionality – which is why devices like Surface feature improvements in battery life and screen resolution that make it easier than ever to stay productive on the go. Before these improvements, mobile workers could pick two traits for their devices: light, fast, or long battery life. Now, devices deliver all three qualities simultaneously, for incredible productivity in the field or on the go. Accessibility of this hardware is also key, which is why Microsoft is making it easier than ever to customize commercial-off-the-shelf tablets and phones with the security and accessibility features that allow agencies to bring these devices to more users.

Now, critical information is with the user, not just on the desktop or at the office.  A fire chief or police chief can create makeshift headquarters wherever they are, with the ability to transit pictures via wireless device to people in the room, or to project images via a device to share urgent information. Apps allow users to securely access even more data and features at their fingertips. The possibilities are truly astounding.

Describing the U.S. Mobile Device Strategy, DoD Chief Information Officer Teri Takai said, “This strategy is not simply about embracing the newest technology – it is about keeping the DoD workforce relevant in an era when information and cyberspace play a critical role in mission success.” As devices become more versatile, accessible, and effective, their role will become increasingly critical to that mission.

Check back often to learn more about how mobile devices for government are helping improve national defense and citizen safety. To ask questions, share ideas, or receive more information, please contact us at safetyanddefense@microsoft.com or @MicrosoftPSNS.

Marco Manuello
Windows and Device Strategy lead for Worldwide Public Sector

Microsoft on Safety and Defense Blog

About the Author

Marco Manuello | Windows and Device Strategy lead for Worldwide Public Sector

Marco joined Microsoft in 1997 after working at Informix and serving in the (West) German Army in electronic warfare. He has since worked in a variety of positions in Redmond HQ and abroad. Read more