Just as technology is becoming more ingrained in our daily lives, technology adoption is also growing within the legal industry. Law firms big and small are making investments in personal technology and IT infrastructures to ensure equipment, files, and data are always accessible to staff. Legal businesses are also making investments in cybersecurity technologies to secure clients’ data and other intellectual property. And while some company leaders may be reluctant to change, it’s becoming clear that not only are advances in tech inevitable, they’re also desirable. These changes have the potential to bring benefits to clients and to enhance many firms’ competitive advantage.
But to keep technology current, the legal establishment needs to strike the right balance – how do you balance clients’ legal responsibilities vs. investing in and updating technology?
If you or your firm partners frequently wrestle with this debate, it’s an excellent time to consider outsourcing. More and more legal firms are turning to technology specialists to stay focused on client work while still making IT projects a priority. Let’s dive into common questions about technology so you can make the best decision possible for your organization.
- How much can I afford to dedicate to technology? For businesses considering hiring a full-time IT employee, or adding additional in-house IT personnel, get ready to shell out the big bucks. Glassdoor reports that an average IT manager base salary is near $100,000, and an IT director is upwards of $135,000. And depending on your goals, an IT professional with specialized skills, such as security, could be much higher.
- On the other hand, relying on a managed IT partner is equivalent to hiring a team of specialists that can address various IT issues and provide proactive planning for a lower monthly cost. The best partners will also pair your company’s specific work and areas of focus with your goals, and they’ll gear technology solutions directly to these critical areas. Because technology advances so rapidly, IT personnel also require ongoing training and certifications to stay current and on top of their game, which costs time and money. A specialized IT partner means law firms get highly-trained experts, without having to spend more on training.
- Where should I start with a technology partner? While technology needs vary by firm size, geographic location, and client needs, there are several areas to consider for IT outsourcing. Here a few top examples:
- Cloud applications and software – Many law firms utilize financial management, document management, or case management applications that are delivered from a software provider via the cloud, or they’re run from a data center managed in-house or outsourced. These applications also generally include annual support and maintenance contracts. Any additional support for the application or processes for managing application availability or access may require a specialized IT partner.
- Web development and design – Is your IT familiar with responsive design concepts to support mobile users? Or voice search optimization best practices? These are just two of the biggest web development trends in 2020 that legal firms should understand. Many firms benefit from hiring a web design team for development and maintenance. Web development teams have the expertise and complete team to manage these responsibilities.
- Data backup and storage – While replacing hardware and software systems after a disruption is an option, replacing intellectual property and client information stored on these systems is not. That’s precisely why legal teams opt to rely on managed storage partners as well as backup and recovery specialists.
- Can technology investments really make us more competitive? The truth is that the legal industry is highly competitive, and clients expect a great deal. They want a legal team that is available for consultation 24/7. Legal professionals cannot afford to miss calls, emails, or have other communication issues that impact customer experience. Even small connectivity or network issue that slows down access to online files or applications can severely hurt your business. A full-time IT service partner can be proactive and ensure your network, systems, data, and critical business applications are always up and available.
Do what you do best
Most lawyers and other legal professionals got into the field because they want to uphold the law and provide superior legal services. These individuals didn’t get into the legal field to manage technology or other secondary support tasks. At a time when technology is so much a part of every business, the right IT partner can handle these critical tasks for you. Technology specialists provide peace of mind so you can focus on serving clients and growing your practice. Do you want to learn more about what outsourcing brings to the table? Call or email us! At Outsourcive, we specialize in matching clients with the right set of IT or back-office solutions, so customers can focus on what they do best.