Eversheds is to revolutionise its IT arrangements, with the firm moving to ’cloud-based’ virtual networks while floating the possibility of giving staff allowances to buy the equipment they want.
Eversheds is close to completing a two-month pilot in which around 50 members of staff tested iPads with a view to every lawyer being given their own in future (TheLawyer.com, 30 June).
Those on the scheme, from trainees and office managers to managing partner Lee Ranson, were able to access the firmwide network via a secure interface provided by technology provider Citrix.
However, the firm has decided not to roll iPads out to every member of staff and instead will allow employees and partners to choose the most appropriate technology for their needs.
“Through Citrix technology we can now access Eversheds software through any technology, so we can provide complete flexibility. Rather than saying ’you’ve got to have a BlackBerry or an iPad’, staff can have whatever they want,” chief information officer Paul Caris explained. “You can get all this technology through cloud-based solutions – it’s about allowing consumerisation of technology in professional services.”
Caris added: “Maybe we’ll even provide allowances – it’s all about flexible working and complete choice and mobility. We have a standard entry-level cost, how you want to spend it – that’s your choice.”
He said that under such an arrangement any fee-earner leaving the firm could walk away with the hardware, although they would not be able to hold onto the data, which would remain with the firm.