Utah’s iPad User’s Manual Could Serve as Example for Other Agencies
Homeland security officials in Utah use iPads to keep in touch with emergency responders.
A growing number of Utah government workers rely on iPads, with the support of a proactive IT department. In fact, Utah’s tech team took an early lead, producing a user’s manual for state employees in August 2010. The document has become a go-to guide for iPad users in the state and was updated in February.
Some 3,000 to 4,000 users have brought their own iPads into the system: It’s a rough number based on how many sync to the state’s email and calendaring applications. Other types of tablets are in play, but the state IT leadership has chosen not to support them.
iPad use cuts across all government agencies. Executives use the devices for mobility; homeland security officials use them to keep in touch with emergency responders; agriculture field workers use them to keep connected in a state where agricultural facilities may be separated by hundreds of miles.
Utah’s Department of Technology Services started supporting iPads in an experiment involving an RFP for a hosted email system. “Normally every member of the committee would get a copy of these RFPs and print them,” said CTO Dave Fletcher. “That’s a couple hundred pages each with seven or so responses. Now with the iPad that’s very easy to do and it eliminates a lot of paper.”
Formal adoption began in June 2010 with the publication of iPad Functionality: A User Experience, a Department of Technology Services paper that outlines 20 user success stories.
Go to Government Technology to learn more about Utah’s iPad guide.