Even the scenic shoreline of Söderhamn, Sweden, is not exempt from the pressures of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the persistent threat of cyberattacks. Local government within this coastal municipality chose to modernize its IT environment, providing enhanced security while empowering its workforce and preparing for the future.
A popular fishing and tourist destination, the municipality of Söderhamn is located two and a quarter hours north of Stockholm and is made up of an archipelago of 500 islands. Its local government body employs over 2,500 full-time workers, and is responsible for the area’s schools, healthcare, and other essential public services.
Although Söderhamn is famed for its “blue hills” and farming heritage, local government is well aware that its IT estate must keep up with modern trends to guarantee security and productivity. And, with an aging on-premises infrastructure and evolving employee requirements, Söderhamns Kommun required a robust solution to ensure compliance with the GDPR.
“The environment we had before worked well, but demands were shifting with people using their own devices,” says Anders Natander, IT Strategist at Söderhamns Kommun. “We’ve also turned to a more flexible way of working. People have to work faster rather than duplicate effort by taking notes remotely and then transcribing them in the office.”
A flexible working style meant that employees needed more immediate ways to access information, often opting for consumer file sharing tools to complete their work. With employees working both at home and onsite, file transfer was a key concern. Documents and data were regularly shared through email and written down for easy access, posing a threat to sensitive information and limiting productivity.
But rather than deny access to familiar and less secure methods, Natander and his team decided to learn from them.
“We saw the benefits of what they were doing,” says Natander. “We didn’t want to ban people from using data in ways they shouldn’t, because it was much more convenient. We had to provide a solution and an environment where people didn’t have to come up with their own ways of doing things.”