CDW-G Federal Telework Report Reveals Roadblocks to Broader Telework Adoption
Legislation, Federal Workers Strongly Support Expanded Telework Programs; Federal IT Professionals Concerned With Security, Support, and Productivity
Herndon, VA - January 31, 2005 - CDW Government, Inc. (CDW-G) - a wholly owned subsidiary of CDW Corporation (NASDAQ: CDWC) and leading source of information technology (IT) solutions to governments and educators - today announced the findings of its first annual CDW-G Federal Telework Survey. The report reveals a gap between Federal workers' interest in teleworking and the Agency policies and technology infrastructure necessary to support an effective telework environment. A full 87 percent of Federal workers indicate interest in teleworking, but only 19 percent said that they do telework. In addition, the report clearly underlines IT security as a structural roadblock to broad telework adoption.
"Federal IT professionals are focused on exactly the right issues for successful teleworking initiatives - security, support and productivity," said Jim Shanks, president of CDW-G. "With a clear understanding of what the real problems are, Federal policy makers and industry leaders now have a real opportunity to resolve them. The benefits of telework are simply too great to delay any longer."
Federal Telework Report
Complete our brief survey and download your copy of the 2005 Federal Telework Report.
The CDW-G Federal Telework Report, based on in-person interviews with 139 Federal employees and an online survey of 148 Federal IT professionals, is the first concurrent survey of both stakeholder groups.
"Despite the legislative mandate and strong support from the Federal workforce, it is evident that telework is still not a major priority among Federal policy-makers," said Dr. William M. Mularie, chief executive officer of the Telework Consortium, a Federally sponsored research center focused on implementing telework pilot projects. "None of the technology or security issues highlighted by Federal IT professionals is insurmountable. We see private sector companies managing these same concerns to realize the benefits telework provides today."
Benefits of telework include reducing traffic congestion and pollution, improving Federal employee recruitment and retention, increasing productivity and reducing the need for office space. Allowing Federal employees to telework has the potential to save U.S. taxpayers a substantial amount of money in real estate costs for the Federal government, in addition to reducing transportation infrastructure requirements.
$5 Million Fines for Not Speeding
The Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2005 includes a provision, penned by Rep. Frank Wolf (VA-10), to withhold $5 million from agencies within the Departments of Commerce, Justice and State, as well as the Small Business Administration, that do not have acceptable teleworking policies in place. These agencies must report on compliance with this, and other existing telework legislation, by February 8, 2005.
Technology Roadblocks - Information Security
Despite the significant benefits of teleworking, widespread uncertainty regarding the necessary IT security infrastructure continues to delay progress. Federal IT professionals cite information security as their top concern related to telework, especially given that two-thirds of Federal employees telework using a personal - versus a government-issued - computer. Moreover, 56 percent of the IT professionals surveyed were unsure of the best technology tools to meet telework security requirements.
While the CDW-G Federal Telework Report focused on personnel and technology obstacles, the report also highlights potential policy conflicts between legislative mandates for telework and Federal information security requirements. Public Law 106-346 requires that 100 percent of the eligible Federal workforce must be able to participate in telecommuting to the maximum extent possible without diminished employee performance by 2005. At the same time, the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) mandates certification and accreditation of every system that has access to Federal information. Yet, 65 percent of Federal IT professionals are unsure of telework's impact on meeting FISMA requirements.
Other CDW-G Federal Telework Report findings:
- 49 percent of the Federal workforce is either ineligible to telework or unsure if they are eligible
- 45 percent of Federal employees report that their managers generally view telework favorably
- Federal employees cite the elimination of their commute (74 percent) and an improvement in work flexibility (60 percent) as the primary reasons for preferring telework
- Of the 13 percent of Federal employees who would not telework if given the option, 53 percent say isolation is the primary deterrent, followed by 42 percent who believe that they would have reduced productivity
- 41 percent of Federal employees connect from home offices using a dial-up connection, with cable modems outpacing DSL connections among broadband users by a two-to-one margin
- Only 24 percent of Federal IT professionals are aware of the agency fines included in the FY2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act
- Authentication and PKI/Encryption devices top the purchase list of Federal IT professionals looking to meet telework security requirements
A wholly owned subsidiary of CDW Corporation (NASDAQ: CDWC), a FORTUNE 500 company, CDW Government (CDW-G) is a trusted technology advisor to federal, state and local government agencies, as well as to educational institutions at all levels. CDW-G offers best-in-class technology products and services from top-name brands such as APC, Apple, Cisco, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Sony, Symantec, Toshiba and ViewSonic. For more information about CDW-G product offerings, procurement options, service and solutions, call 1.800.863.4239, or visit the CDW-G Web site at CDWG.com.