NASA launched apps@NASA (http://apps.nasa.gov), a website where NASA employees and contractors can download mobile apps that securely access NASA systems. These apps enable our users to perform critical job functions at anytime from anywhere via personal and NASA mobile devices.
This is part of a full suite of services that is provided by the NASA Enterprise Applications Competency Center (NEACC). The NEACC resides at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. It is supported by SAIC under the Enterprise Applications Service Technologies (EAST) contract of our Information Technology (IT) Infrastructure Integration Program (I3P). The NEACC’s role is to help NASA improve business processes and to deploy enabling technology needed to implement our Agency’s strategic plan.
A wide range of services are available under NEACC’s Center for Internal Mobile Apps (CIMA). This includes the ability to host, distribute, and provide support for internal mobile applications; the ability to develop internal mobile applications for NASA mission needs; and the ability to provide secure NASA-approved methods for authentication and access to Agency internal resources.
Even though apps@NASA is only available to NASA employees and contractors (don’t you wish you worked at NASA?), the use of internal apps stores has a broad interest. There’s a lot of debate in the IT community relative to the use of mobile devices in the workplace in general. Whether or not IT providers are ready or not, mobile devices both enterprise-issued and personally-owned are in the workplace. This service advances us a bit further beyond debate and into the world where IT service providers must enter – a world where the driving force of technology and customer expectations advance faster than policy and procurement cycles and the restraining force of security and legal issues like e-Discovery and records management keep our feet firmly grounded in reality.
Managing diversity like this is where CIO’s tread carefully. apps@NASA is a first small step for the mankind that work at NASA into a daunting world where customer expectations are measured in hours or minutes and not in 18-month software develop lifecycles.
Linda Cureton, NASA CIO