The last two decades has seen all of us become more and more reliant on technology. Computers, the internet and the immediacy of digital connections have become so normal that we barely notice how much we depend on them – until they stop working.
While many workplaces rely on IT to keep them up and running, law firms are unique in their IT needs because of the way you go about business.
You do things a little differently to many other businesses – you speak your own lingo, use your own business applications and are constrained by strict deadlines – but is your IT system specialised enough to cater to these special needs?
Often the answer is no – but the problem lies in the fact you’re a law specialist, not an IT wiz. So, why is having the right IT systems and provider in place so important for law firms, and what are the consequences if you don’t?
Inadequate IT? It’s your loss
Ideally, IT is something you don’t think about much – it works (somehow), you use it, and that’s the end of it. Unfortunately, for many law firms, it’s rarely that easy.
The way you operate differs greatly from other businesses, and therefore your IT needs to as well. But often, IT providers don’t acknowledge these needs – they’ll offer the same service and knowledge to you as they do to anyone else.
This results in you experiencing some pretty damaging losses:
You lose time
Time is precious – this phrase might be more real for law firms than any other business. Productivity is high, deadlines are strict and case time is tracked to the minute. If you’re working with an IT system not built for your needs, you risk:
- Experiencing the same problem over and over again
- Wasting time and productivity fixing your own IT issues
- Missing deadlines
- Losing billable time
You lose money
As just mentioned, wasting time on IT issues means less hours that can be billed to your client, resulting in less profit. But bad IT also means spending more money to try and fix the problems – and if you don’t understand the problems to begin with, this can be a never-ending cycle of expenditure.
You lose efficiency
This isn’t just efficiency of staff who are spending their time dealing with issues – but also that of your applications. Your business applications are unique to law firms, and if your IT provider doesn’t know how to get the most out of them, they won’t be working to their full potential – and neither will you.
Put your needs first
If your IT system isn’t performing to support your needs, then something needs to be changed. But your next questions might be – what are my IT needs?
Many firms outsource their IT for the exact reason that they don’t know exactly what they need, and assume that an IT professional will be able to tell them.
But being able to independently evaluate your IT needs before deciding on a provider can save you from a lot of problems further down the track.
While you might not know what your IT needs are, you definitely know:
- What problems you’re experiencing
- What you haven’t been able to achieve
- What you need to be able to do better
This information – with a little bit of specialist help – can give you great insight into what your IT needs are, no IT experience or knowledge required.
Evaluate the wrongs and make them right
Obviously, you will still need some assistance to turn your problems into a list of achievable solutions.
But there’s no need to spend more money or time engaging an independent specialist to help you through. You can evaluate your IT needs by yourself in a matter of minutes, using our online evaluation tool.
This tool was created to help law firms outline their biggest pain points and discover the solutions without having to spend precious time and money or have any extra IT knowledge.
You can receive an expert evaluation of your IT needs just by inputting:
- The number of current employees;
- Which business application you’re currently using;
- Your intent to change providers or systems; and,
- The top problems you’re facing
By completing the evaluation, you stand in a stronger position to tell your IT provider what you expect – or, find a new provider that has the skills you need to better your IT system and your 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.