U.S. Army Chief Information Officer Raj Iyer confirmed on LinkedIn that the service branch has updated its download policy for Office 365 users to allow for more use of personal devices.

The update comes as part of the service branch’s Army365 initiative, which is rolling out new cloud-based Office 365 software to replace the Army’s current on-premises email system run by the Defense Information Systems Agency. The previous email solution, known as Defense Enterprise Email, is slated to close up shop in March.

In a Jan. 11 post, Iyer addressed “Team Army” and said, “We heard your feedback loud and clear. The inability to download and digitally sign PDF files and forms from Army365 Email using your personal devices has been a pain for many of you – especially for the Guard and Reserve.”

Iyer explained that when the Army initially transitioned to Office 365, it was “not ready to address the cybersecurity risks associated with allowing users to download/upload files from your personal devices.” However, since the rollout began the Army now has a solution in place to allow Office 365 users to download and upload files on personal devices.

“Be on the watch for detailed instructions on Army365 in the next few days on how you can leverage this new functionality,” Iyer wrote. He added that the Army is getting ready to pilot bring your own device (BYOD) and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure that will “tremendously enhance the user experience this year.”

Iyer concluded by asking Army members to “keep your feedback coming and keep me straight.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.