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US Army soldiers will soon be able to bring their own approved devices to use at work on an enduring basis. The US Army is looking to support the service’s shift to telework by expanding its use of bring-your-own devices (BYOD) through a new pilot program.
Within the framework of the pilot program which has already passed key security tests, the Army will be operating in a hybrid work environment for the “immediate future,” “focusing on prioritizing communication and collaboration tools,” including access to email, said Raj Iyer, the Army’s CIO. “The pandemic has shown us that we need to prioritize user experience for our 1.4 million users worldwide because they are now working in a remote work environment.”
The Army is still developing the framework for the pilot program and how many users will be included but officials expect it to be “significantly expanded” compared to the initial program this fall.
The move is part of a broader effort to unify the Army’s enterprise and tactical network capabilities so that communications remain relatively seamless even in tough environments and conditions.
The Army plans to start with the National Guard and Reserve components because their organizations are more mobile, officials said. The pilot, which will include mobile devices and virtual desktops, could also include other commands to evaluate how missions, such as training and logistics both domestically and internationally, are affected by having soldiers and personnel bring their own devices to work, according to fcw.com.
The pilot comes following the successful run of the Defense Department’s commercial virtual remote environment at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which allowed all DoD personnel to access official information from anywhere on their personal devices, according to armytimes.com.