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May 24, 2012


New Research Finds Federal Managers Optimistic Mobile Technology Can Contribute Significantly Toward Improved Productivity And Savings Of Taxpayer Dollars

Half of Federal Managers Surveyed Think They Could Redeploy At Least Seven Hours Per Week For Work Toward More Productive Work If Enabled Fully Mobile

WASHINGTON, D.C. (MAY 24, 2012) - AOL Government today announced the release of new research findings on the impact mobile technology is having on the productivity and operations of federal government agencies. The findings confirm a widespread belief that provisioning mobile technology to federal employees would significantly improve productivity and result in cost savings over the long term.

Among the findings, the research found:

  • About half (49%) of federal managers surveyed said "government employees like themselves could redeploy at least 7 hours per week toward more productive work if fully enabled to work mobily; 19% said they could redeploy more than 12 hours per week.
  • Three out of four respondents (75%) said "productivity" and "cost savings" will result from mobile technology by making it easier to complete work from the field; 82% said mobile technology would make it easier to telework; 67% said by providing immediate access to agency data through mobile devices, it would facilitate decision making.
  • Among areas offering the greatest potential for savings by transitioning to mobile technology: 57% anticipated lower real estate/facilities costs; 49% anticipated reduced net computer hardware costs and 42% anticipated lower software licensing costs; 35% anticipated lower help desk/support costs.
  • In terms of overall department IT savings, 43% expect a shift to mobile technology could result in savings of at least 10% -- and as much as 29% -- annually over time. The White House Office of Management and Budget reported it expects to spend $78.9 billion on IT products and services in fiscal 2013.

The study, however, also pointed to several struggles and barriers in transitioning to mobile technology that need to be addressed if government agencies are to begin achieving expected productivity gains.

"A primary concern is the need for near term investment at a time when federal agencies are facing some of the most draconian budget cuts in a generation," said Wyatt Kash, Editorial Director, AOL Government. "Sixty percent of respondents said the budgets allocated to adopting mobile technology at their agencies are not sufficient to meet their agencies' needs and fifty-four percent believe that budgets would need to be increased 'significantly' to meet those needs."

Federal managers also anticipate that certain costs are likely to increase as a result of transitioning to mobile technology: 72% expect that transitioning to mobile technology will result in increase spending for wireless and carrier subscriptions; 68% expect a jump in costs for adding mobile devices; and 62% expect added costs for securing mobile devices and the platforms needed to support them at agencies.

"Another stumbling block is the potential disconnect between who bears the costs and who benefits from the savings within an agency from transitioning to mobile technology in the workplace," said Kash. "Unless there's broad upper management support, IT departments may find themselves having to pay for mobile implementations from savings that don't come directly back to their departments, which is tricky to execute, especially as budgets are getting cut across the board."

Securing mobile devices and the data that moves back and forth from agencies to employees who use them is also seen as a significant barrier by 70% of respondents, the study found.

A number of respondents (44%) said that what they need most now from senior government IT officials is more guidance or roadmaps on how best to move forward with mobile technology, rather than just policy statements, and 41% would like to see better acquisition processes to buy mobile technology.

The study's findings come at an important time in the federal government as the consumerization of technology products is forcing federal officials to rethink how the mobile revolution is changing the way government delivers digital information and services securely with fewer resources.

The findings are based on responses of 300 federal managers who are involved in establishing polices, initiatives, purchasing, or designing systems that involve mobile technology. The survey, conducted for AOL Government by Market Connections, Inc. in late March, has 95% confidence level where the responses are accurate to within 5-6% either way. These initial findings will be presented by Kash at a forum in Washington, D.C., where details of the Federal Government's new digital government strategy will be discussed. The full findings will be released on Tuesday, June 26th during an AOL Government Online Panel. Details will be provided on in the coming weeks.

"We're pleased to provide these new insights to the government marketplace and advance the dialogue on how the government can do a better job of harnessing mobile technology," said Bill Klanke, General Manager, AOL Industry. "We see this, and AOL Government more broadly, as a valuable resource for anyone who is working with or for the government, or is simply interested in keeping up with the latest news in this challenging world."

AOL Government is part of AOL Industry, which offers subject-specific news and analysis, tools and video to foster singular communities that enable professionals, experts and thought leaders to engage each other on the topics of energy, government and defense. AOL Industry also includes AOL Energy and AOL Defense, launched in May and June 2011, respectively.

About AOL:
AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) is a brand company, committed to continuously innovating, growing, and investing in brands and experiences that inform, entertain, and connect the world. The home of a world-class collection of premium brands, AOL creates original content that engages audiences on a local and global scale. We help marketers connect with these audiences through effective and engaging digital advertising solutions.

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LaToya Drake
AOL Corporate Communications