The U.S. government is no stranger to throwing money at various projects, including a project that sought to make mobile unified communications between defense administrators more secure and hacker-proof. Called the secure mobile environment portable electronic device (SME-PED), the device is now obsolete due to the move to 4G technology. The device could be considered a failure, but it also proved to be a valuable tool for strategic advice.
According to this PC Advisor report, the device was hardware-focused, which is not the way mobile unified communications projects are typically designed. There should be a higher focus on the software behind the project. Too much focus on hardware in an era where technology seems to change daily and an inflexible piece of hardware can find itself outdated and rendered useless very quickly.
Mobile unified communications designers have to grasp that not all employees require the same level of security and that time should be allocated wisely to those who need heightened security. This is especially true for the Department of Defense (DOD), where there is a wide spectrum of security clearances for the thousands of employees. While every device must have some level of security, a person without access to sensitive data shouldn’t have the same level of security put into their device as someone who reviews classified documents on a daily basis.
The Department of Defense has a mobile unified communications strategy that relies on interoperability across multiple mobile applications. This means that apps that are on-premise, in the cloud and mobile must all be interoperable. Security is best achieved in a “closed technology” environment, but today’s communications resources don’t operate that way with much effect. There is an app for just about everything and mobile unified communications should be able to achieve a modicum of security for any app available.
The Department of Defense has also learned that a mobile unified communications strategy should include the ability to centrally manage all devices that have been secured and enforce security policies centrally. The DOD relies on a remote wipe capability as well as training to keep the security at top levels, something that should be in place for any enterprise using mobile technologies to support widely dispersed employees.
A mobile unified communications platform approaches users as individuals. Not every user is the same and they require different solutions based on their personal preference and job description.
The failed SME-PED proved that a static device does not come close to addressing the complex makeup of each individual. While most enterprises won’t see the extremes in job description differences like those at the DOD, an employee who sits in an office pushing paperwork is likely to have different needs than a person who is performing manual labor in the field.
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey