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Report: Mobile Adoption by Public Sector Could Be Worth $50B Annually

Tue, 02/19/2013 - 10:51am
Andrew Berg

Continuing adoption of mobile technologies by government agencies could result in $50 billion in added value annually, according to new research from Deloitte.  

The report found that the public sector lags in its ability to use new technologies to their fullest. Stronger mobile utilization offers the public sector an opportunity to make considerable strides at a modest cost, which can result in the type of efficiency gains already prevalent in the private sector. 

Jessica Blume, vice chairman of Deloitte and U.S. public sector leader, said the private sector's enthusiastic adoption and use of mobile technology to drive efficiencies should be a lesson for government. 

“With these experiences as a guide, mobile advancement within the public sector can do the same," Blume wrote in a report detailing the results of the research. "Taking it a step further, government agencies can redesign their business models by engaging individual citizens as co-creators who contribute information and services with their government, rather than simply receiving it from them.” 

The research cites examples of places where government is already adopting mobile technology, such as the introduction of iPads in Air Force cockpits. According to the U.S. Air Force Electronic Flight Bag team, shifting away from paper maps, manuals and charts to an electronic flight kit led to a 90 percent reduction in staff hours required to build and maintain paper-based materials, saving 22,000 staff hours per year. 

Transporting less paper also means lighter planes, to the tune of the Air Force spending $770,000 less on fuel annually. 

According to the report, aggressive mobile technology deployment to transform service delivery could result in significant benefits for both taxpayers and government workers. 

The report claims that if mobile-generated productivity reduced new U.S. federal government hires by even 10,000 over a decade, the corresponding lifetime salary and pension savings could exceed $25 billion. Likewise, mobile data access can help police officers save 30 minutes every day. Assuming that half of the 636,410 officers in the U.S. lack access to this technology, adopting it could save them more than 50 million hours or $1.3 billion in monetary terms.

The 2012 Telework Report shows that 32 percent of the federal workforce is eligible to telework, yet only 7 percent actually do. By increasing the number of teleworked hours to half the work-week for eligible employees, estimates in the report show that $5.4 billion could be saved through reduced turnover and absenteeism, increased productivity gains and downsized office space. 

A full copy of the report can be found here.

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