Saturday, July 12, 2008

Does wireless internet access improve government productivity?

The Federal Mobility 2.0 Study, released a couple of days ago in the US, has reported that wireless internet access for Federal public servants improves their productivity.

In fact over 70% of respondents, who all used wireless internet, reported that it improved their productivity.

At the same time only 40% of Federal agencies reported that they allowed wireless internet access.

I'm currently blogging on my personal laptop using wireless and would agree with the productivity benefits.

I primarily use my laptop for work reasons, from conferences, at home and around town. I use it for taking meeting notes, developing wireframes, writing strategy papers, referencing net sites and monitoring activity on our website - amongst other things.

Internet access is a critical requirement for all of these tasks and I can generally access a wireless network wherever I go.

Except for one place - my office.

My agency has no wireless network in place for staff, although there are a couple of test networks in use by the IT team I can see when my laptop is at work.

This presents an interesting issue for me and for others. When at the office I am often in meetings in rooms with no computer, electronic whiteboard or any way to access resources on our internal network or on the web.

This leads to the need to print out any documents needed and bring them to the meeting. I don't know how many people attend how many meetings each day at my agency, but all that paper, printer ink and elecricity adds up quickly.

It would both be a major cost for the agency as well as a major timewaster - printing the documents in the first place, finding the references within the documents, then taking hand notes in the meeting and retyping them into a computer afterwards.

I'd like to see an inhouse wireless network we could use to save all this money and environmental cost.

Would that be secure you ask?
The same report indicated that 83% of IT Executives said that wireless networks can be secure.

Do you have wireless internet access in your agency?

And do you believe it improves productivity?

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