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Work – where you are or what you do?

As someone who has been in the technology industry for more than 20 years; “work is what I do. Not a place.” I have been fortunate to be employed by organizations that have Telework and Mobile Workforce policies and that understand the have benefits of enabling me to work from just about any location (and at any time) you can imagine. As an employee this flexibility has given me much greater satisfaction in both my professional and personal lives. As organizations, my employers have seen much higher productivity and greater employee retention – during that 20+ years in technology, I’ve had exactly two employers!

In a recent blog I read, “Are We Farmers, Factory Workers, or Ideas People?” Josh Sawislak suggests telework is leading us to rethink “work.” From traditional work arrangements to how we will work in the future. Read More »

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Telepresence Could Help Lure Young Talent into the Government Workforce

How do the kids in your life spend their time after school? Do their activities involve video—either watching it, playing with it, or creating it?

For Cisco Consulting System Engineer Mike Harttree’s son, Tommy, after school time means gathering his Legos and those belonging to his neighborhood buddies, arranging them in elaborate constructions—like recreations of movie scenes— taking digital pictures of the arrangements, digitally gluing these photos together on a Mac, and uploading the glued photos in video format to YouTube.

Tommy is seven years old. His oldest friend/collaborator is 12. Check out their impressive work here. Read More »

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Transforming American Governance

In the midst of the debt crisis here in Washington, D.C., the nation teetered toward default, but eventually came to a compromise to avert that outcome. A recent article in The New Yorker likened the situation to “. . . members of an ordinance-disposal unit arguing about how to defuse a large ticking bomb.” Our nation faces a large—and growing—long-term fiscal imbalance driven by an aging population, which will dramatically increase healthcare and retirement costs.

The nation certainly faces other challenges: the continuing war on terror, increasing economic competition from emerging world powers like China and India, rising energy costs, environmental concerns, and other new and unknown problems and threats. Any one of these issues would provide a large enough agenda for a president and Congress. Their convergence creates an atmosphere of unparalleled complication for government management.

Overcoming these obstacles will require a “changed” government, a 21st-century government transformed to operate on demand. Read More »

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Secure Mobility: Is a Tablet in Your Future?

You may already be using a personal tablet — for news, social networking with friends, video on demand, and face-to-face video interaction.
Now, thanks to the Cisco® Cius™ tablet, government organizations with hundreds of thousands of mobile workers can apply these various uses to a work environment in a way that would be impractical and cost-inefficient with commercial and personal tablets.
The Cisco® Cius™ tablet is built specifically for businesses’ security needs — all data on the tablets is encrypted at all times and government IT teams control whether the built-in camera is operational, and can lock USB ports to prevent copying of data. The Cius does not allow employees to add software to the system, preventing the risk of malware that could threaten the government’s network or data. Read More »

Emergency Notification: Why You Need Plan B, and Plan C

Mass communications with a large agency workforce is easier when you have plenty of lead time, as you do for a policy change or training class. Challenges arise when you need everyone to take action as soon as possible because of an approaching tornado, building contamination, or an armed person in the building, for example.
Effective mass-notification processes are becoming a requirement for government organizations. Mass notification is also part of continuity of operations plans, because employees who find out that the office is closed can start working from home rather than wasting time on an unnecessary commute and possibly placing themselves in harm’s way. Read More »