The eternal war between security and collaboration/convenience is one that exists across industries. On the one hand, employees demand a richer mobile experience. More convenient, more intuitive business applications – like the apps they use in their day-to-day – help them to work more efficiently and effectively, leading to improvements in both productivity and creativity.
On the other hand, IT departments need to ensure that sensitive corporate data is kept secure. Employees need easy access to corporate resources, true, but the productivity gains aren’t worth the cost if giving them that access will expose intellectual property or regulated information to. It’s a struggle with which international law firm Trowers & Hamlins was intimately familiar.
The firm’s 900 employees wanted the same mobile experience in the workplace that they got out of the workplace. They demanded better applications and the ability to use Android and iOS. The problem was that what they were asking for was anything but secure.
“People are used to using both Android and iOS,” notes Trowers & Hamlins Infrastructure Analyst James Chandler. “It’s familiar to them, so we quickly came to understand that we needed to support both in some capacity. The challenge was staying compliant while doing so.”
Both operating systems presented their own distinct challenges in this regard. Although the firm’s IT department quickly concluded that unregulated support of either was out of the question, several things remained clear:
- They needed to give their IT department the ability to easily manage multiple operating systems.
- They needed to provide staff with all the applications they needed to do their jobs.
- They needed to do both of the above without sacrificing or compromising on security.
“When it came to our mobile deployments, we wanted to be consistent with the things we knew we had to be able to do,” says Trowers & Hamlins Director of Information Services Richard Elson. “We needed to be able to control what happened on a device, and what was delivered. At the same time, we had a business requirement to fulfill – we needed all lawyers, no matter their rank, to own a firm-expensed device so they could be contactable both at work and at home.”
It was only after a lengthy evaluation period that the firm decided to roll out BlackBerry BES12 (with plans to upgrade to Blackberry UEM in the near future) for device management. It also deployed a fleet of BlackBerry DTEK50 Android devices, secured with Android for Work. And on iOS, it’s using BlackBerry Dynamics for app-level security.
These solutions combined have allowed Trowers & Hamlins’ lawyers to be more efficient and productive than ever before. Not only do they have secure access to corporate resources whenever they need them, they’ve employed mobile apps in some unexpected ways to better do their jobs. One lawyer, for example, received a contract on Christmas Day, and it was one of the firm’s largest deals of the year.
Using his iPad, the lawyer was able to review, sign, and send the contract back – he accomplished in minutes what may once have taken hours, without having to be anywhere near his office.
The legal services industry is no stranger to the battle between convenience and security. Through BlackBerry, Trowers & Hamlins has ensured that’s one battle they no longer have to fight. Its users receive the rich mobile experience they demand, and its IT department can rest easy that no data’s being put at risk in the process.