Federal agencies are increasingly using mobile operating systems other than Blackberry, a trend that is matched outside government as well, NextGov reports.
According to research by the Government Business Council, the 77 percent of federal managers that used Blackberry phones in 2009 has since reduced to less than half.
The research group also found iPhone use nearly tripled in that time, reaching 23 percent.
Age and the ability to use more sophisticated applications are driving factors behind the change, the report said.
Managers older than 40 opted for simple operating systems, such as Apple’s iOS for iPhones and iPads, while managers under 40 tended to favor Android-based devices.
This trend shows through with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is preparing to switch its agency devices to Androids and iPhones to meet employees’ preferences.
NOAA’s contract with Research in Motion expires this summer.
According to Stefan Leeb, a NOAA program manager, the agency needs devices that will help recruit talent and provide the agency its desired capabilities.
Leeb said NOAA will use a platform-agnostic approach to devices and looks to assign iPhones and iPads first, since they are easiest to use with existing computing components.
NOAA will also continue testing Android devices to ensure they comply with agency security measures.
The device switch was also motivated in order to reduce cost, Leeb said, adding that NOAA does not yet have a plan of what to do with the phased out Blackberrys.
Nextgov notes that the trend in government is mirrored in the private sector as well, where users are increasingly using devices other than Blackberry.
Bring your own device is a trend that many federal managers indicated they could not put their support behind since it sometimes results in workers inadvertently compromising the network.
Tom Hallewell, president of the Information Systems Security Association’s Washington chapter, suggested that while Blackberry is not perfectly secure, it does not permit users to download unauthorized apps and other actions that have resulted in security issues.