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The Pressure is on Law Firms to get BYOD Right

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Who doesn’t want happier employees and the ability to reduce IT costs? Sounds like a winning combination to me.  A survey conducted by American Lawyer found that enabling BYOD at law firms can result in just those outcomes. Seventy percent of CIOs and technology executives surveyed said that BYOD programs produce “more cheerful users” and 27 percent said BYOD reduces budget spent for equipment.

Secure Client File Sharing

But, IT professionals aren’t all smiles quite yet. Eighty-two percent of survey respondents said their chief concern about BYOD is data security and secure client file sharing at law firms – rightfully so. At a panel discussion of in-house attorneys at large financial firms that took place over the summer, BYOD was a hotly debated topic. The consensus was that top Wall Street organizations do not want their outside law firms allowing employees to bring their own mobile devices to work because of security concerns. Lani Quarmby, associate general counsel at Bank of America, warned that her company would not take kindly to a data breach caused by an outside firm's BYOD program. "Can you imagine if a law firm had a breach? We wouldn't work with them again."

Fair enough, but BYOD does not need to result in diminished security controls, if done correctly. In fact, it is possible to implement strong data security and, at the same time, generate huge productivity benefits that will bring out the “cheerfulness” of users. The key is to make sure that secure mobile productivity is the central piece of any BYOD plan.

With the right IT-sanctioned file sharing solution, BYOD can play an important role in daily law firm activities. The impact can be significant to an organization to:

- Help improve case management and litigation support, supporting around-the-clock access to needed files and collaboration

- Know exactly who’s accessing which files, and when, via an automated audit trail with all file sharing activities time-    and date-stamped

- Maximize billable hours by supporting employees’ uninterrupted, continuous workflows, allowing attorneys to create new documents on the go; securely review, edit, and share files from anywhere; as well as maintain version control and lock documents once complete

- Create virtual deal rooms to support litigation, arbitration, or mediation; secure mobile file sharing allows documents  able to be stored, organized and accessed by all internal and external team members

- Access documents of all sizes anywhere, anytime, including thousands pages of background materials or dozens of video files, right from their phones or tablets

- Save time when sharing large files, making CDs, overnight couriers, and unsecure FTP obsolete

Is BYOD right for you? Read how Linklaters made the case for secure mobile productivity and is reaping the rewards.


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