In the 2020 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report, 62% of law firms confirmed a budget for technology. This includes cloud products from security to infrastructure, managed IT resources, and software. Not keeping up with IT changes creates risks for both a law firm and its clients.
Law firms build relationships with their clients on the foundation of trust and confidentiality. Increased security threats challenge the ability to maintain confidentiality, which erodes trust and can significantly affect a firm’s outcomes for clients. A strategy-oriented IT partner can address those concerns and enable a law firm to deliver higher value to clients. This article explores law firms' particular challenges with IT management and highlights the key features and services a law firm should consider when outsourcing IT.
What is IT management for law firms?
As businesses continue to move data storage and business functions into virtual spaces, the old break/fix model will not cover the needs of a company that wants to stay viable and productive. In the legal industry, documentation and strict schedules are just as important as the actual skill of the attorneys. This is why law firms need the proper support behind them.
An MSP can provide IT infrastructure, cloud hosting, cloud computing management, support services, and enhanced security for legal clients. In general, a quality MSP is built on three pillars:
- Support. Late nights, early mornings, and busy weekends are typical in the legal industry. Consistent access to support is needed to resolve any issue that might occur.
- Security. If you don’t have a security-focused comprehensive managed IT infrastructure in place, you’re at risk and that could cost you—and your clients—everything.
- Strategy. There is no room for error in the legal field. Proactive IT solutions instead of reactive IT fixes.
Why is IT management important for law firms?
As the threat of cyberattacks continues to increase, law firms need to increase their cyber security and resilience levels. Law firms hold volumes of personal, sensitive, and confidential data of their firms, employees, and clients, making them enticing targets for cybercriminals.
Since the basis of the relationship law firms builds with their clients is built upon strict confidence and trust, a cyberattack is the last thing a firm needs. Aggressive IT providers take proactive steps to identify possible sources of attack; establish and enforce policies to discourage cyberattacks; and mitigate the damage from a cyberattack. MSPs work with law firms to find the right systems to boost productivity while maintaining security measures that help protect vital data and the business workflow. Many law firms prefer an MSP over an internal team because of the value an MSP can offer. An MSP has access to higher-level of security options, 24/7/365 support, and can offer IT expertise without staffing more employees.
Choosing a provider
You probably have some IT infrastructure in place, but is your current set-up adding value to your business? As your business goals change, it may be time to think about how that translates to your IT needs. Here are some of the many obstacles that you may be dealing with from your current IT provider that signal the need for a change:
- Noticeable downtime causing business interruptions
- Poor system and application performance
- Lack of or insufficient IT availability
- Outdated security technology
- Growth beyond the capacity of the current provider
- Existing IT infrastructure is fragmented and becoming too complex to manage and monitor
Whether your firm is just beginning to consider a move to managed IT services or you’ve outgrown your current provider, it’s important to understand how an MSP can support your law firm. After all, if you don’t know how to measure success, it will be difficult to know what to look for when selecting a provider, and equally as hard to monitor the quality of services provided once you have selected one.
A successful partnership can be based on the foundation of eight core pillars which can be used as guideposts when evaluating whether a managed service partner will truly add value to your law firm. An MSP can offer many benefits to law firms. A strategic MSP can offer proactive solutions to help your technology match your business growth and goals. An MSP can help your law firm
- Enhance security. An MSP provides top-tier cybersecurity, using Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) technology to continuously monitor the security of your information.
- Maintain compliance. Law firms must remain compliant with government regulations regarding the security of their data, and an MSP will help your law firm remain compliant even as the government regulations are continually changing.
- Enhance accessibility. An MSP can provide cloud management services so legal professionals can store their files and securely access information on-demand from an internet-connected device in an organized space. And since these types of professionals are rarely in the office, it is essential that they are able to access it from anywhere. This is becoming increasingly more important as businesses shift to remote work and open firms in multiple locations.
- Improve productivity. A proactive, strategic MSP will work to identify ways to reduce server and network downtime before they are an issue, adopting redundancies, security measures, and disaster plans to keep your workflow undisrupted.
- Stay scalable. As your law firm grows, your MSP should be able to match your growth and scale with you. Additionally, if your law firm operates from multiple locations, an MSP can provide the necessary coordination for operating across multiple sites.
- Access continuous support. It should come as no surprise that most law firms are not a 9 to 5 job and with offices spread across multiple time zones, having access to support whenever it is needed is necessary.
- With customized solutions. Work alongside your internal team to align your technology strategy with your long-term business needs.
- Improve ROI. Many strategic MSPs are moving to a flat-fee structure so you are no longer concerned about billable hours, as they are motivated to make your environment as stable as possible as quickly as possible, providing a clearer return on investment and peace of mind in knowing your provider isn’t stringing you along.
How Anteris can help
Confidentiality, integrity, and data availability are necessities for every law firm. A lack of security can lead to revenue loss and reputational damage, not to mention compliance issues. Choosing the right managed IT services provider is essential. At Anteris, we believe in a strategic approach, working to align with the goals of your law firm. We have specialized systems in place to address the needs of the legal industry.
When the pandemic began and many workforces needed to shift to a remote posture, we were prepared with systems already in place. We are constantly looking to the future and innovating to stay in front of the trends. We are already addressing two key challenges concerning IT for law firms:
- An increasing movement towards the cloud and virtual IT services.
- “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) continues to spread across law firms bringing new security challenges.
Anteris Complete provides our Clients best in class functionality and performance through a monthly fee. We understand that accessibility, security, and compliance are all distinct issues and therefore require separate management.
You’re not always at your desk, so our systems are crafted to provide you with the access you need, no matter where you are. And fast. Anteris has crafted unique and high-performing technology to store, access, and secure your firm's infrastructure. We feature SD-WAN (flexible, secure connections), allowing us to stitch together connectedness between your locations and our datacenter using specialized in-house services and the very latest in tech networking, allowing continuous monitoring and ease of access. (Bonus: we do this without expensive, proprietary Internet providers.)
Anteris is highly scalable: our platform will grow with your firm, giving you peace of mind that adding another partner to the roster won’t mean major new IT costs. And with multiple redundancies in place, you can consider us your IT representation on retainer. Our systems are carefully engineered to cover all the bases so that you’re always up and running with the data you need even if the ball drops elsewhere.
Your data should always be protected and you shouldn’t have to deal with server migrations, failed hardware, or downtime. The Anteris Private Cloud is a perfect solution for law firms looking for increased security and functionality. Our cloud utilizes enterprise-grade security, providing multiple layers of security to enable you to connect and work, hassle-free.
Real-time monitoring with adaptive learning means not everyone works the same way, so our artificial intelligence (AI)-equipped monitoring and security systems learn about your specific environment, sending appropriate notifications without getting in the way.
We protect your data, your clients' data, and your good name. Our objective is never focused on increasing billable hours. Let Anteris be your complete IT solution with the latest in advanced security technology and performance guarantees. Schedule an appointment to find out how we make legal technology freeing, not frustrating.