The role of IT and computer technology within law has changed a lot over the years, and is expected to keep changing at a rather-rapid rate.

We expect that IT will soon have the capabilities to streamline many legal procedures and documents that are currently carried out manually or on an individual case basis.

While this might not be possible quite yet, it shows just how important it is to have a well-functioning IT system to remain competitive.

In last month’s blog, we spoke about the importance of evaluating your needs. This month, we’re going to be even more specific with a checklist of the 7 key capabilities your IT system should have to be considered up to standard.

If your system fails to tick all the boxes, your firm isn’t running as efficiently as it should be – and will struggle to remain competitive.

An inefficient IT system can cost you more than time

A major problem for many firms with subpar IT services is the loss of time and productivity. Staff end up spending way too much time fixing IT problems instead of doing what they do best – practicing law.

This is a frustrating issue – but it is only a catalyst for larger issues stemming from poor efficiency and too many IT roadblocks.

Inefficient IT systems can lead to:

  • Loss of clients – who bear the brunt of delays and poor capabilities of your system and processes
  • High staff turnover – due to frustration and the inability to properly carry out their job
  • A less-than-optimal reputation – caused by a disappointing work rate and culture

On top of this, inefficient IT systems can put your entire network at risk. Without proper set up and preparation, you can easily experience:

  • An inability to access backups quickly when needed
  • Delayed and extended downtimes
  • A failure to guarantee security

Hourly or daily outages are not uncommon. But they can be disastrous if you’re unprepared for one. Depending on your server and where your data is stored, an outage could last for days.

Check out what good IT looks like

Many firms hesitate to make changes to their IT. It can be costly, and you may have been through the process before – only to find yourself no better off. That’s why evaluating your IT system is so important.

You might be asking “but I don’t know what I need, so where do I start?”

To make it easy, we’ve put together a checklist of 7 important capabilities your IT service needs to be providing to ensure you’re running a competitive and efficient firm.

Answer these 7 simple questions to get a clear idea of where your IT stands.

If you’re unable to answer “yes” to all these questions, you can’t be sure that you’re prepared if something goes wrong, or positioned to stay competitive now and into the future.

Take steps to keep your firm competitive

This checklist gives you a good idea about the basic standards your IT provider should be offering. However, each firm has specific needs, or particular issues they struggle with.

Use this checklist to evaluate your IT – whether that’s speaking to your current provider about the service you want, or exploring other options.

Innessco’s online evaluation tool allows you to evaluate your needs and receive personalised advice from a law IT expert in less than 60 seconds.

This information can put you in a position where you can

  • Tell your provider what you need and expect, and ask them to start providing it
  • Talk to other firms about what service they’re getting, and how they’re dealing with their IT issues
  • Approach other suppliers about their capabilities to support your unique needs

Changing IT can be overwhelming, but the devil you know is still a devil.

If you couldn’t tick all seven boxes of the checklist, your IT is definitely letting your down. Or it’s just about to – big time. Our next blog will outline the best way to buy IT, and ensure you get every service you need to run an efficient and competitive firm.

Innessco are IT experts who specialise in law firm IT needs, offering complete and comprehensive solutions and ongoing support.

If you need advice about your current IT system, or help evaluating your needs, click here to contact Innessco.