The rise and rise of staff and Partners using their own mobile devices to access confidential case and client information is something all professional service firms need to accept and manage.
It’s called BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), and it’s rapidly changing the way professional service firms in Australia and around the world operate on a day-to-day basis. IT, work practices, and client relationships are all being reshaped by BYOD – as is security.
While delivering a range of commercial benefits (reduced costs, improved balance sheet, greater productivity, staff retention and more), BYOD exposes Australian firms to a number of new risks and challenges.
Perhaps the greatest of these is security. After all, who wants client information sliding around the floor of a taxi somewhere in the world on a personal mobile device?
It happens. According to the Global State of Information Security Survey 2014, conducted by PwC, CIO and CSO magazines in the USA, at least someone loses a laptop every minute, and of those reported, 29% are lost in transit. Add the fact that a mobile phone is reported lost or stolen every three minutes, and you can see the problem.
So with the pace of BYOD entering the professional workplace, it’s time your firm adapts and puts proactive measures in place to regain control.
Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) will help.
DaaS is a cloud-based solution enabling staff and Partners to effectively login to their desktops from anywhere, anytime, using the device of their choice including laptops, tablets, and smart phones.
A staff member’s desktop computer becomes virtual and therefore accessible to remote users on-demand. They can securely connect to their virtual workspaces from a wide range of devices including PCs and Macs, as well as iPads, iPhones and Android tablets or smartphones.
Facilities can easily be scaled in peak times, remote collaboration for project teams and contractors in multiple locations is served seamlessly, and the complexity and cost of owning and managing all this infrastructure is greatly reduced with DaaS delivered by a 3rd party called a DaaS Service Provider, and offered on a subscription basis to tie cost to value.
However, perhaps the greatest benefit to a professional service firm that relies on its knowledge and client service for success is the fact all your data is stored safely and securely in the cloud with each and every login and logoff session.
All activity is logged and data encrypted as it moves across the network, so now your confidential information and collective knowledge is no longer able to simply walk out the door with your staff.
Of course, it all demands a comfort zone around the idea of having all your IP, client data and knowledge base in the cloud and off-premises. The fact is, you’ll probably find your DaaS solution has security protocols that exceed the firewalls of your own environment today. In addition, your firm is protected against on-premises disaster too including fire, flood or theft.
Finally, with data being the most valuable asset for any professional services firm, it’s important you check the credibility of your potential DaaS service provider before moving forward.