Many law firms rely on an onsite, PC-based system to run all the programs and applications they use for day-to-day business. They’ll set up one PC in the office, and one at the home of employees who’ll occasionally need to work remotely.
Often, the core system will work in the home-based set-up, but some of their extraneous products used to make day-to-day work easier (for example, dictation applications), won’t. Running at 80% or so efficiency can be ok for the occasional day spent working away from the office. But those days are over (at least in the short term).
Entire firms are now working from home, and the inefficiencies of PC-based home setups are becoming more noticeable – and more problematic.
Many Australian law firms are actively exploring an alternative: a hosted desktop service. This is a cloud-based system that doesn’t require applications to be set up on multiple PC’s – allowing 100% functionality and efficiency, from any device and any location.
The way we work is changing, but your IT system isn’t
PC-based systems have been the norm for a long time, and therefore work well for many firms. Each PC is home to the individual user’s email, documents and applications – individually configured to them.
While this can seem like the best option to ensure ease of use for every employee, many firms are starting to see gaps in the usability of this system.
When employees have no choice but to work from home, a PC-based set up can start to restrict them, and can affect their ability to perform at the expected standard. This is because these systems are:
Not set up for demand
It is unlikely, especially for bigger firms, that all staff would have the required set-up available for them at home. This puts a huge strain on resources when suddenly everyone needs remote access, and increases the likelihood that accessibility will be affected. A system that’s not configured properly can compromise security, accuracy of your data and of course, efficiency.
Not set up for efficiency
As previously mentioned, PC-based at-home setups are just a replica of the core systems in the office. It’s not necessarily set up to be as efficient, or to have all the applications and features that support remote working. This can be fine for occasional use, but will severely affect the quality and speed of work when used day after day for weeks on end.
Twice the much effort for less reward
This system requires twice the infrastructure, hardware, software and effort in order to set up two separate PC systems. And yet, the outcome is less than perfect. When you consider the cost of resources in comparison to what you receive, multiple PC-based systems are a poor investment, both financially and operationally.
Learn from the environment and simplify
While we’ve never really experienced anything like we’re going through right now, that doesn’t mean we won’t be facing similar circumstances again. Even if this is a once in one hundred year event, there are more factors that will affect working environments going forward:
- Commutes becoming harder and longer
- Illness or family circumstances keeping staff at home
- Demand for a greater work-life balance
- The need to expand your firm without expanding floorsize (and rental costs)
It’s unlikely we will ever return to the formal and traditional 9-5 office-based work environments. So, having staff be able to move between the office and their home office seamlessly is a requirement for firms who want to maintain efficiency regardless of external environmental or social factors.
This means removing the hassle of two systems and replacing it with one universal system. It’s time to take a different approach. Instead of having a PC-based office set up that is replicated in remote places, why not have a remote system that can be accessed from anywhere (including the office)?
All your core systems and applications can be migrated across to a remote system. Your extra applications (that’s your dictation and time-saving add-ons) will also be included, ensuring your staff have all the tools they need to work effectively and efficiently.
While changing you’re entire IT system sounds unnerving and overwhelming, it’s a lot simpler than many firms first think. And it’s certainly simpler than maintaining two separate PC environments.
Hosted Desktops are the future – and the present
A hosted desktop delivers a remote working system by hosting all applications in the cloud, rather than on your PC. This means everything can be accessed securely from any device or location. Your staff simply need to log in, and their personalised configuration will still be there.
By utilising a hosted desktop system, you’re ensuring 100% accessibility and functionality of your system, 100% of the time. Not only does this guarantee ongoing efficiency regardless of where your staff are located, it will also ensure:
- Security and control over your data and your system
- Scalability for business growth
- Ease of use
- Easy implementation of new or updated applications and features
- Minimised infrastructure required
A hosted desktop is going to go a long way to helping your firm migrate through the future of flexible working that has now arrived faster and harder than anyone imagined.
But beyond that, it also has the ability to support and grow your business in times to come. Apart from increased flexibility, you can allocate resources when and where you need them. For example, simply add a new server to the existing data centre and it can be implemented for everyone. Or, deploy test systems that can then be installed to all users overnight.
If you’re still unsure, it can be helpful to learn more about your firm’s specific IT needs, and how you can best meet them. You can do this by using our free evaluation tool to evaluate your needs online and receiving customised recommendations.
Alternatively, speak to an expert. Innessco has over 20 years of experience providing IT for Australian law firms (and nearly as many working with hosted desktops). Click here to contact us or call (02) 7200 4400.