Firms have taken three approaches to mobile device management:
In this scenario a firm decides to keep things simple and provide users with one device, this typically creates the least pressure on the technology group. In the past firms chose this route because it is easiest to manage and the most secure. However, recently this “one device” management has become increasingly difficult to sustain. Users are demanding use of their own devices which are not supported.
This typically engenders tremendous support among users as they can use any device to their liking. The attorney is responsible for purchasing the device. However, all other aspects are placed in the hands of the firm who is tasked with managing the multitude. The downside is that the firm is responsible for dozens of varying platforms, operating systems and devices. Security can be a huge concern under this “free-for-all” policy.
This approach allows some devices to be brought in from outside, but those units are from an accepted list. This seems to be the trend among law firms as they find more flexibility with users, thus offering them a choice.
When crafting your policy consider these lessons learned from experienced firms:
At the end of the day, when crafting your policy for mobile devices the juggling of security, firm culture, and manageability of the devices will be the most important variables to consider. Each of these aspects will vary depending on the firm and should be weighed and adjusted accordingly.
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