Employee mobility is a hot button issue across the business world – and yet most businesses are nowhere near where they need to be in terms of technical support and logistics.
After all, do you ever use your personal phone or computer for work purposes? Do any of your colleagues? I’d be very, very surprised if the answer was no. And yet the 2015 Forrester Report, which interviews top IT decision-makers in a broad range of companies, found that just 4 in 10 organizations actually support employee-liable smartphones, tablets or laptops. In other words, the majority of companies aren’t even thinking about how they securely handle mobile data management – or how they maximize the potential of their teams.
Worse, the survey found that many companies are failing to provide the apps and services to employee-liable devices that they need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. Thankfully, more than half did say that they offered employees Windows apps and corporate data access, but while most provided remote support for corporate-liable laptops, smartphones and tablets, few could say the same for devices owned by employees themselves. In a world where more and more people need to work remotely, to be responsive and agile in accessing mobile data and responding to client demands, these shortcomings can seriously undermine productivity and client service.
And the thing is, businesses themselves know this. The need for greater operational efficiency is the top driver for mobility initiatives, with 56% of respondents highlighting this as their primary concern – followed by 43% who cited cost reduction and 38% who selected better employee productivity, flexibility and satisfaction.
You simply can’t compete in a constantly evolving, technology-driven global market if you aren’t making every effort to make your operations fast, streamlined and cost-effective. You can’t hold on the top talent, or make the most of their talents while you have them on board. The smartest and most valuable employees want dynamic, forward-thinking workplaces that let them be the best they can be – and law, of course, is a field that relies on having the very best people working for you at all times.
At the same time, security fears are hampering attempts to go fully mobile. According to the Forrester survey, 64% of respondents said that securing apps and data presented a challenge, and 59% said the same of device security. Others said that they struggled with managing competing devices and platforms – especially when this involves devices that mix up personal and corporate content (45%) or when there are multiple, competing platforms and operation systems at play (44%). Four in 10 respondents also struggled to integrate mobile apps with their back-end systems.
Finding ways to reconcile progress and safety concerns apply all across the corporate world, but of course, when it comes to lawyers and mobile data management, it’s a particularly sensitive issue. You absolutely cannot afford to take risks with your, or your clients’ data. The reputational risks are huge. Equally, you can’t afford to let your clients down on the things that matter to them – rapid turnaround and response times, always-on support, high level communication and collaboration. In short, all the things that require the modern lawyer to be mobile.
So what’s a conscientious, but ambitious, law firm to do? Encouragingly, most companies – not just law firms – are waking up to the need for better and smarter technology to support them in reaching their goals. Nearly three-quarters of businesses are exploring enterprise-grade solutions to their mobility problems: you should be doing the same.
But what works? The answer, in the vast majority of cases, is cloud-based. Or more specifically, secure mobile workspaces that are hosted in the cloud by a provider that has been supporting your industry for over two decades.
Having a “Law Cloud” solution like this frees up both your legal team and your IT personnel. It means that employees can access their desktops remotely from any device, with complete consistency; all of their work apps, files and data are accessible, whether they are on their work PC or their personal smartphone. What’s more, you can engage third party legal providers, clients and other stakeholders to collaborate on documents in a single, shared location – no more attaching and sending files by email, only to end up with multiple clashing versions of the same document.
But because this is managed centrally, the same high level security applies wherever they are – and it’s overseen by your IT teams. It’s a winning combination of greater flexibility, improved operational efficiency, and top-notch security measures that helps lawyers to tackle the biggest technical challenges of the day.