Managed service provider

The Law Firm’s Complete Guide to Managed Service Providers

November 14, 2016

Between meeting with clients, returning phone calls, and making it to court on time, who has time to fret over tech? Computers Should Just Work! But sometimes, they don’t.

That’s why law firms are turning to managed service providers for the technology they need. With managed IT services, you don’t have to worry about buying more office space for the tech department, and you don’t have to hire additional staff just to make sure everything’s working like it’s supposed to. Here is everything your law firm needs to know about managed service providers.

Eliminate the Briefcase Full of Paperwork

One of the strongest needs for lawyers today is to get on top of the growing mounds of paperwork relative to cases. You either leave the office with every single paper related to every single case you’re working on today, or you risk leaving behind the one piece of paper you actually need. With a managed service provider, you can have all the documents relative to all of your cases available to you all the time — that includes when you unexpectedly run into a client outside the corner Starbucks or while you’re standing outside the courtroom and a colleague asks about something you weren’t expecting to discuss today.

All you need to do is remember to nab your laptop on the way out the door, and your case files and related documents are a click away. No more 100-pound briefcases to lug!

Eliminate the Need for a Costly IT Department

Usually, as soon as a law firm graduates to needing their first server for data storage, they also reach the stage of having to take on an IT department. Sure, it starts out as a single guru who works happily as long as the coffee and doughnuts are flowing.

But before long, he needs to hire a networking specialist and then a systems administrator and eventually some tech support folks to answer the phones and before you know it, there’s a whole team back there that has to have benefits packages and sick days and more coffee and doughnuts. Not to mention the fact that you now have to rent more office space to accommodate the data center and networking room. Instead, you can simply get a managed service provider and keep the HR, benefits, and break room budget down to a reasonably affordable level.

Eliminate Downtime & Performance Problems

How much does it cost you when computers or your network is down for an hour? A day? Three days? Those costs come straight out of your pocket. With a managed service provider, you can keep downtime at bay, boost productivity, and never again have to explain to a client that their contract or settlement papers aren’t ready due to “technical difficulties”. Managed IT services regularly monitor your network and systems to detect any anomalies that might indicate an upcoming problem. That means they can usually fix an issue before it leads to costly, and sometimes embarrassing, downtime.

Eliminate Capital Expenses for Costly Tech Equipment

Business-grade servers like you need to store your law firm’s valuable data run in price from just under $1,000 to nearly $12,000. But the per-server total cost of ownership is much higher, nearing $1,500 per month in most cases. That’s because owning a server is more than simply buying one. The hardware and software have to be maintained. That means hiring a professional, but it also means paying much larger power bills, as servers and related equipment must be kept cool at all times.

Servers are usually purchased as a large one-time capital investment, meaning it can eat your entire IT budget in a single swipe. Managed service providers allow you pay much less, and to spread those costs out as a low, ongoing operational cost, much like your electric bill or internet service.

Improve the Security & Stability of Your Law Firm

Finally, let’s talk about data security. The kinds of information you keep on your clients pertaining to their files is just one area of concern. You also likely keep payment information and other kinds of data, which could be incredibly costly to both you and your clients if it got in the wrong hands. Having a secure IT facility is just one security advantage of managed service providers. The other is having secure, reliable backups and disaster recovery services, no matter what happens to your computers or facilities.

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