February 26, 2024

Mobile Technology Procurement - A Guide for the Public Sector

Want to master mobile technology procurement in the public sector? Our guide offers insights and recommendations on what to consider when purchasing mobile technology. The guide addresses and provides hands-on advice on factors to consider from a purchasing perspective when designing public tenders for mobile devices, lifecycle management, endpoint management, and security.

Mobile Technology Procurement - A Guide for the Public Sector

In the dynamic world of technology, the public sector is facing a critical challenge – ensuring smooth integration and effective management of devices while maintaining robust endpoint security. Designing tenders for device lifecycle management, endpoint management, and security requires a strategic approach to keep pace with technological progress. It involves crafting tenders that address all elements necessary for scaling mobile technology usage. Below is a comprehensive guide on how the public sector can successfully navigate this process. 

1. Understand the Lifecycle Needs 

When creating tenders, it's important to map out the entire lifecycle of devices, from acquisition to disposal. Clearly define the criteria for each stage, including details for procurement, deployment, maintenance, and eventual decommissioning. Consider factors such as hardware upgrades, software updates, and end-of-life processes. Managing a large number of mobile devices means that you need to stay in control of your device inventory. Having strong asset management capabilities is essential for smooth operations. 

mobile technology procurement

Read: How can your organisation achieve full control and a comprehensive overview of the lifecycle of mobile devices?


2. Prioritise Standardisation for Improved Efficiency 

Standardisation is vital for effective device lifecycle management. An organisation should define specific standards for both hardware and software to streamline the processes of procurement, maintenance, and troubleshooting. A standardised environment will not only promote interoperability but also simplify support, and reduce the complexity associated with managing diverse devices. 

3. Emphasise Scalability and Flexibility 

As technology rapidly evolves and the public sector’s needs remain dynamic, it's crucial to focus on scalability and flexibility in tenders. Select solutions that can easily scale to accommodate growth and adapt to future technological and scalability needs. This ensures that the chosen systems, solutions, or partners can evolve alongside the organisation's changing needs, incorporating new features, while offering recommendations on how to make the most of investments in mobile working solutions. 

4. Implement Endpoint Management Solutions

Effectively managing endpoints is a key component of device lifecycle management. When creating tenders, make it clear that the company needs solutions for endpoint management that centralise control over devices. Specify requirements for remote monitoring, software distribution, patch management, and troubleshooting capabilities to ensure endpoint management is efficient. 


Prioritise Security Throughout the Device Lifecycle 

Security must be at the forefront of device lifecycle management. Clearly specify security requirements in tenders, covering measures from the procurement of devices to their end-of-life disposal. 

6. Include Regular Updates and Patch Management 

As vulnerabilities arise with time, incorporating regular updates and patch management is crucial. Tenders should clearly define the frequency and process for software updates, ensuring that devices remain resilient against evolving cybersecurity threats. Not only do regular updates improve security but also contribute to optimal device performance.

7. Establish Robust Endpoint Security

Securing endpoints is a critical aspect of safeguarding devices and the data they handle. Clearly outline the essential security measures, encompassing antivirus software, firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems, and data loss prevention mechanisms. Also, specify the necessary security certifications to ensure compliance with industry standards. 

Read: What is mobile endpoint security, and why should your company care?

Integrate Data Protection and Privacy Measures

Public sector organisations handle sensitive citizen data. Tenders should explicitly address data protection and privacy concerns. Requirements for data encryption, secure data storage, and compliance with relevant data protection regulations should be specified to ensure the highest standards of privacy and security. 


9. Prioritise User Training and Support 

Tenders should include provisions for comprehensive user training programs and ongoing support to empower employees and increase user adoption. Investing in a positive onboarding user experience is essential for successful large mobile rollouts. Helping end-users to get started increases and speeds up the user adoption rate and keeps the need for remote assistance minimal. 


10. Assess Environmental Impact

Take into account the environmental impact of device lifecycle management. Encourage your vendors to share information about environmentally friendly practices, such as recycling and responsible disposal of electronic waste. This supports the public sector's commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility. 

11. Consider Outsourcing as an Option

Managing mobility cannot be a part-time responsibility handled by a few IT generalists who attend to the mobile workforce's needs when time allows. The competence and time required to oversee the entire mobile device ecosystem need to be allocated, making the outsourced approach an appealing solution. This enables public sector IT professionals to scale mobile device usage and support the numerous digital initiatives that are transforming how work is done in several critical public service occupations. 

Read: With Techstep by your side, your company doesn't have to worry about managed mobility.

Summing Up

In conclusion, designing tenders for device lifecycle management, endpoint management, and security in the public sector demands a strategic, forward-thinking approach. Prioritising standardisation, scalability, security, and environmental elements ensures that government organisations' technology infrastructure remains resilient, efficient, and aligned with the evolving needs of both the organisation and its constituents. Carefully designing tenders and incorporating the necessary elements for managing all aspects of mobile lifecycle management sets the stage for a scalable, efficient, secure, and future-ready mobile technology ecosystem in the public sector. 


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