NSW Crown Solicitors Office uplifts security with Content Manager in the cloud

The NSW Crown Solicitor’s Office (CSO), through Micro Focus implementation partners Citadel and Microsearch, has recently completed its move to cloud with Content Manager Select, combining an innovative managed service solution with a content search and information retrieval solution using IDOL.

This project is the latest in part of a large program of work to modernise the CSO,  which undertakes core work NSW Government departments and agencies and also compete with private sector for other work.

It holds highly-sensitive, protected information that needs a strong level of security. It was looking for a cloud-based solution that would give it more control over the information being held on behalf of the NSW government agencies.

The main requirement was to achieve Information Security Registered Assessor Program (IRAP) certification. Additionally, Content Manager Select in the cloud was chosen because of its ISO 27001 certification as well as uses cases including Royal Commissions in Victoria.

In addition, the greater reliance on collaboration and working securely from any location highlighted by COVID-19 further reinforced the sensitive nature of the information being held and the need to have a secure, robust, and reliable cloud-based solution.

The CSO commenced a program of work in 2019 to digitally transform the organisation and retire a range of legacy systems and technology.

Speaking at the 2021 MicroFocus IM+G Forum, Sally Last, NSW Crown Solicitor's Office Information Services Manager, said “One challenge we faced was we were using Content Manager 9.1 which was leaving support. As CM has been embedded in our business for 16 years it was important we keep that stable for our users ongoing.

“Another challenge was the cost of our infrastructure. It was quite a significant operational expense each year and we had to rely on a lot of internal resources for managing that infrastructure and it became very complex sometimes. There was often stress about increasing storage which was a process that took up to 6 months so it became quite a challenge or my team to predict how many records we would be ingesting over the course of the next 6 months and how do we adequately plan for that.

“The security landscape in NSW government has changed significantly and as a legal provider we have access to a lot of very sensitive information. Our users who work in those legal environments are saying to us we need to get paper out of safes and we need to be able to work digitally with all of our records and we needed a more secure environment to operate within.

“So, when we sat down with Citadel it was pleasing that Citadel really listened to our needs and our challenges. When I dropped the suggestion that we should maybe consider having an IRAP-assessed environment they really stepped up and listened to what we needed and partnered with us

“We realised a lot of value from the business outcomes of this project. There is a cost saving that is going to be delivered each financial year which is a good outcome for our agency and also the state of NSW. We now have a supportable platform with an experienced provider overseeing that for us and that stress of worrying about the storage has been completely eliminated. I don’t have to be concerned at all.

“We are very close to receiving our certification to deliver an environment where our users will be able to store and access protected records and that’s really important for my team to deliver to our office. It shows that we are listening to our users and that we are delivering benefit to improve the way that they work.

“It’s just a great comfort knowing that Citadel is in the background monitoring and looking after our environment and they’re always there to support us when needed. After 16 years of using Content Manager Micro Focus continues to deliver a system that is dynamic and changes the way the users need it to and will continue to evolve in the future.”

The CSO, in partnership with Microsearch, also integrated and deployed cloud-based enterprise IDOL software. IDOL is an enterprise search, knowledge discovery, and analytics platform that helps organisations search, analyse, and access all types of secure data.

Content Manager Select in the cloud uses IDOL for fast and deep document content search. IDOL is also the underlying platform for the InfoSource system relied on by solicitors for researching reference and legal content used to provide advice to clients.

Michael Antonios, program manager, said, "The NSW Crown Solicitor’s Office was pleased with the rapid roll out, which saw the project delivered within one week and under budget. With Content Manager Select in the cloud, the NSW Crown Solicitor’s Office now has a more secure, faster, more flexible, and more cost-effective content management solution. All staff can now work remotely with confidence and can access Content Manager Select through an encrypted internet link that can be accessed from any device, anywhere.”

Content Manager Select SaaS  provides the NSW Crown Solicitor’s Office with a solution that protects critical information and gives it the independence and control it was looking for. The solution can hold all sensitive information in a way that gives the NSW Crown Solicitor’s Office full control and can be partitioned as required to ensure that only authorised agencies can access the information they need. The IRAP assessment is complete and there is an ongoing process to ensure compliance against the standard as well as the identification and management of threats accelerated and compounded by COVID-19.

Brandon Voight, regional director of sales, information management, Micro Focus, said, “With Content Manager Select in the cloud, the NSW Crown Solicitor’s Office can be assured that sensitive information is protected. Securing information and having IRAP-protected solutions is critical for government organisations.

“Many government agencies are grappling with increased cyberthreats, and increased expectations around flexible work. The two most important assets for any organisation are its people and its data, and these are both becoming increasing separated.

“Content Manager Select in the cloud provides a modern and secure approach to capturing, finding, and managing information while meeting compliance obligations.”

All of the sessions at Micro Focus IM&G Forum 2021, including the presentation from NSW Crown Solicitor's Office​, are available to View On-Demand HERE