As office workers around the world continue to grapple with the need to collaborate with colleagues and remain productive working from anywhere, IT teams are learning how to enable these employees with the tools and security they need while maintaining visibility and control over the devices, the applications and the network. It’s a digital balancing act that requires a new approach in order to stay ahead of bad actors.
For organizations in the finance sector, the additional burden of reporting and compliance mean that any changes in the way that employees connect and interact with customer data come under heavy scrutiny. And depending on the kinds of services they offer, many of these firms choose to maintain certain parts of their operations in-house or on-premise, as opposed to moving everything to the cloud.
One such company is Lincoln International. This renowned institution offers its customers several key services, including mergers and acquisitions, acting as a capital advisory and more. The firm has established an enviable reputation among business owners and senior executives from leading private equity firms and public and privately held companies around the world.
With its headquarters in Chicago and more than 625 professionals spread across 16 countries, Lincoln has a strong local presence in many of the world’s most important markets. What sets the company apart is its long-standing ability to deliver the same level of service and expertise to customers from any of its locations. This global integration underpins Lincoln’s success, and requires a great deal of planning and operational know-how from the company’s IT team. Even over the last year, the company transitioned seamlessly to a primarily remote working environment without any great disruptions.
A hybrid cloud strategy for a hybrid working environment
One person at the forefront of Lincoln’s transformation is Sven Goelles, head of IT at the company’s Frankfurt branch.
“In the finance industry, the data that we deal with is our most important asset. In the past, we focused on having everything on premise and creating a robust security system around our data.”Sven Goelles, Head of IT, Lincoln International
“We could move everything into a cloud-based system that is secure and offers fast access,” continued Goelles. “We are still working on a cloud-first strategy that will see us move every service and every IT resource into the cloud. Our VPN solution is going to be cloud-based, too, with the same set up and the same kinds of resources at each of our global offices.”
This approach to IT lends itself well to the finance industry, where many employees had already been working independently. For companies that face mandatory reporting, the ability to see and understand what is happening on devices outside the organization’s network is a critical part of protecting customer and company data and keeping it out of the wrong hands.
Goelles explains that although many of the company’s needs could be met by cloud-based solutions, Europe’s GDPR requirements mean that it doesn’t make sense for Lincoln to migrate everything – all of its data, services and applications – to the cloud.
Be prepared. Be flexible.
“One of the lessons we learned last year is to be prepared for everything, because big changes can happen in just a few hours.”Sven Goelles, Head of IT, Lincoln International
“People have shown that they can be productive working from home, so I don’t necessarily believe that everyone has to work from an office,” added Goelles. “I think there will most likely be a hybrid environment, with people working from home, from the airport or from an office in the city.”
“We are well-prepared for this scenario, because we learned a lot over the last year,” Goelles concluded. “One thing we know is that people love to work from home for a few days every week. That gives them more freedom to plan their work rather than being stuck in an office from nine to five every day.
At the end of the day, Goelles say, organizations need to have the right tools in place that give them visibility and control over company devices. “If companies want their employees to work successfully from anywhere, they should be prepared for any situation.”
To hear more about Lincoln International’s strategy for hybrid cloud adoption, watch the Words of Wisdom video below.