vs. a higher cost in-house IT department
In today’s dynamic connected world, law firms of all sizes have to maintain, upgrade, and work with the technology that is at the core of their business. From document management software to the ever-increasing number of I.T compliance standards and everything in between, it’s hard to imagine a successful law practice without some sort of I.T personnel on their team.
Here are a few of the legal industry’s I.T needs:
- Client management
- Matter management
- Document management
- Time and billing
- Back-office accounting
- Practice management
- Court/government websites
- Trial preparation and presentation
- Office productivity
- Calendars and scheduling
Generally, there are two options when it comes to managing the daily technological needs of a firm; having an in-house I.T department or hiring an M.S.P (managed service provider).
For most firms, hiring an in-house I.T team can prove to be a difficult and expensive process. Recruiting, screening, interviewing, and training I.T staff can be a long and tedious process, taking too much time and effort and not always providing the best results. The Bay Area can be especially tough because you're facing competition from large tech companies and there are not enough IT Engineers to fill the open positions. Also even when you find the right people managing them is it’s own challenge.
MSP’s (managed service providers) are far more agile and ready to take on a variety of projects from security compliance to video conferencing and wireless networking, as well and work on day to day end-user issues and regular workstation maintenance.
Here are 5 reasons why MSPs are the ideal choice for law firms
With an internal I.T department, the firm has access to one skill set, knowledge base and level of expertise. This can prove to be an issue when something uncommon or new comes up, either the existing department needs to be trained on short notice or the I.T department needs to hire an outside agency with a specific skill set. With an MSP, law firms have access to an entire team with a more diverse skill set, multiple levels of expertise, and much larger knowledgebase. MSPs will adapt to law firms, whereas law firms must adapt to their internal I.T departments.
Availability and Access
With an internal team generally comprised of 1 to 3 people, issue can arise if the team lead falls ill or needs vacation time. The ability for a small number of people to work on several tasks simultaneously is also limited, and with today’s fast-paced technological needs it is essential for a team to be able to handle multiple issues at once. With an MSP, there are more people available to work on multiple issues at once ranging from planning projects to everyday support. Also, the support to law firms isn’t affected by people taking vacation or sick leave.
Hiring an MSP removes the exorbitant costs and time of recruiting, hiring, training and managing an internal individual or team. With an MSP, you generally pay for services, not people. Also, MSPs make the total cost of ownership of a firm’s I.T infrastructure far lower and affords firms with better budgeting capabilities due to more predictable I.T costs.
Rather than provide reactive support, MSPs focus on being proactive and designing systems with long term use in mind. For example, if a law firm is implementing a new billing software, their MSP will plan to project by considering all possible conflicts in the network, any and all compatibility issues, and user training. This way, when the change occurs, there is no downtime which translates into more productivity.
Receive Enterprise-Level Support
MSPs are able to offer law firms of any size with enterprise-level support. With 24/7 monitoring and alerting as well as a being trustworthy resource for all things I.T.