The Verdict is in: Law Firms Embrace IT Outsourcing & Cloud Computing in 2016
September 28, 2016
Nobody argues the benefit of hiring a lawyer when legal trouble comes knocking. Even more important is to hire the right lawyer for the right job. Lawyers know this and they make sure to get the right people on the right job. Your personal injury attorney isn’t going to validate your patents for you, they’ll send you to a patent attorney. In the same way, when you need to add a new technology, such as disaster recovery services, you should contact an expert in that technology.
IT outsourcing goes far beyond disaster recovery. Over half of 420 firms surveyed indicated plans to increase their adoption of cloud-based solutions over the next year. (International Legal Technology Association’s (ILTA) 2015 Technology Survey) For many of these firms billing and time tracking are among the top uses of cloud solutions.
Millenials Want Mobile
A newer trend is an increasing demand for mobile access by the lawyers and support staff at law firms. The important note here is that mobile access is being driven not by clients, but by the workforce itself. The trend is so strong that it is the belief of Mark Karnick, CIO for Glaser Weil, that “Any law firm who either disregards mobile technology or downplays it because of the cost or security concerns is really going to end up with a significant competitive disadvantage.” (Laying Groundwork for the Technology-Enabled Mobile Lawyer, Audio Recording, 8m30s in)
Mobile access is a large problem with many moving parts. Employees need devices and those devices need to connect to a wireless carrier. Once connected the employee needs an application to run, and someone needs to manage that application. Wireless carriers can’t understand the application needs of the thousands of companies in any given city, and already overloaded IT teams can’t be expected to become experts in mobile on top of everything else they struggle to do.
Working Together, From Anywhere
Part of the call for mobile access is an ability to collaborate from anywhere. Just a few short years ago the preferred method for collaboration involved emailing documents to people and hoping the changes each one made were easy to integrate and non-conflicting. Some progress was made using versioning solutions, but often they are clunky. People need to properly check documents in and out, and cannot work on them when someone else has them open. This is especially problematic in long documents where multiple people need to provide input on different sections.
Modern cloud solutions for small businesses allow simultaneous editing. The solutions go beyond letting two people work on different parts of a document, they allow people to see changes happen in real-time, right as their colleague is putting them in.
Managed Cloud Services
All of these solutions require expertise to set up and maintain. An increasing number of law firms are looking to IT Outsourcing companies and IT Managed Service providers for that expertise. (Bloomberg Law) In addition to everywhere access firms are pointing to 24/7 availability and predictable cost as primary reasons to make the move. (Business of Law Blog)
IT service management can be a hard and expensive role to fill. Moving that burden to an IT outsourcing company or a managed service provider makes the job of running your business easier. Just like you have a reputable lawyer take care of your legal filings a reputable cloud service provider should take care of your IT infrastructure. To learn more, get your complimentary copy of Greg Hanna’s book ‘Computers Should Just Work!’
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