How centrally-managed software helped MacRoberts transition to remote working

DocsCorpBy Legal Futures’ Associates DocsCorp

Earlier in the year, Scottish firm MacRoberts closed its offices in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Like many firms, it transitioned to remote working virtually overnight.

Remote working presented challenges to every department in the firm, but perhaps most obviously the IT department. CIO Graham Thoms and his team had to ensure everyone at the firm still had access to the required software for their role.

Keeping efficiency and security front and centre

MacRoberts is an ISO 27001 certified firm, and it puts information security at the core of its operations.

The firm implemented measures to prevent data loss and unintentional breaches. These included technologies to avoid human error – like misaddressed emails – and impersonation attacks. These protections needed to remain in place when staff began working from home.

“We’re really trying to work efficiently and keep information security at the heart of what we do, Graham explained. “Because if you don’t have that, the trust isn’t won with the client, and legal work is all about establishing trust.”

Better software management for remote workers

Some firms use virtual private network (VPN) technology to remotely deploy and update software. Certain software, however, supports deployments and updates through central configuration management via a cloud-located drive. For MacRoberts, this is OneDrive.

“Software deployment via our own cloud central configuration was crucial for our transition to remote working,” explained Graham. His team remotely deployed vital software, like the firm’s PDF editor and bundler, and email security application.

The ability to deploy quickly to remote staff meant they were up and running very quickly.

With this method, Graham’s team can now apply settings changes or upgrade once in OneDrive. Then, when staff next restart or open the application, the changes automatically deploy.

“The ability of the software to work anywhere, without the need for VPN technology, was absolutely key for us,” Graham explained. “It’s allowed us to make the applications run as fast as they possibly can, but in a controlled manner.”

Support in unprecedented times

MacRoberts tries to minimise the number of suppliers it works with to simplify product support. Rationalising the number of software vendors means Help Desk staff can go to one place for support across many applications.

“Rationalisation is about consolidating the number of vendors that you work with,” Graham said. “And getting the most that you can out of what you have.”

Read the full case study to learn more about MacRoberts’ software strategies. Find out how the firm rationalised PDF applications, reduced paper use, implemented best-practice information security strategies, and improved legal document comparison.


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