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Eight Signs Your Law Firm Needs an IT Upgrade

In today’s law firms, technology is omnipresent – and essential. But hanging on to outdated technology can impede productivity and even affect client outcomes. Given the steady increase in cyberattacks against the legal industry, your law firm must also be laser-focused on cybersecurity measures that protect confidential systems, documents, and client data.

All in all, it has never been more important for law firms to keep current with technology. Below are eight signs that you may benefit from an IT upgrade.

1. Your Hardware Is Outdated

Are employees and lawyers using old laptops that slow them down, clunky monitors, or desktop phones that seem to have issues every other day? Do employees often bring in their own devices like iPads or laptops to work on instead of the company-provided computers? If your legacy hardware is impeding productivity, it’s time to upgrade. There’s a reason upgrades are important: they keep you productive, effective, and more secure. Keeping up-to-date with newer technology and engaging a managed services provider (MSP) specialized in law firms will ensure you can implement automatic patching to increase productivity and enhance security by maintaining a close eye on all devices connected to your network. Plus, bring-your-own-device policies can get unruly. If possible, instead determine how to equip team members (especially lawyers and other executives) with their preferred equipment.

2. Everything Is Done Manually

Law firms have an overwhelming number of small administrative tasks that must be performed daily to keep operations running smoothly. Meetings must be scheduled, emails carefully reviewed and sent to multiple parties, and progress on cases reviewed and updated. Phones need to be answered, messages sent, mail dispatched – the list never ends. If all of those tasks are being performed manually, it’s time to investigate automation to enhance productivity, reduce human error, and streamline workflows.

3. Nothing Is Backed Up

Think of how difficult it would be for your lawyers and supporting staff to operate if they lost billable hour entries, confidential documents, or other information associated with the firm. In addition to financial damages, you’d face losing clients and the potential for deep reputational damage. That’s why it is crucial to back up your firm’s data and take the necessary steps to ensure it can all be recovered promptly when needed, no matter what caused the outage or loss. With increasing ransomware attacks and other factors like natural disasters, IT managed services for law firms can help you an effective backup strategy to prevent loss and expensive downtime. In addition to setting you up for rapid data recovery, the right MSP will also help you document your policies and procedures and regularly test your disaster recovery plan so you are fully prepared in case of emergency.

4. Technical Support Is a Constant Issue

Do you find yourself waiting indefinitely for small issues to be fixed? Is the IT team (if you have one) overrun with service tickets and unable to take on big projects? Is that one specific printer always down? These small irritations can compound into massive loss of productivity over time, not to mention impeding the delivery of rapid, quality service to your clients. Outsourcing to a managed services provider for law firms can help solve this issue and deliver other significant ROI.

5. Your Office Still Relies Heavily on Paper

While the legal industry still manages many paper documents and physical mail, it’s all the more important to consider both the physical and digital safety of confidential documents. Paper can be easily stolen, accessed, copied, scanned, or lost. If you don’t already, invest in a cloud-based document management system, making it easy to store, organize, and secure files. A bonus: Leveraging these modern systems will enable your lawyers to access documents and information securely from anywhere.

6. Your Digital Filing System is Unorganized

With a lot of paper comes a lot of scanning. But where do things go when they are scanned? Who has access to what files? How are permissions determined? Your firm needs a long-term plan for filing and access controls to maintain security, confidentiality, and business continuity. Map out how you want your files to be organized and decide on universal nomenclature for naming and organization. Set the goal of establishing a standard so well thought-out that if any attorney left the firm tomorrow, you’d easily have access to all of their files and another attorney would be able to pick right back up where they left off.

7. Adhering to Compliance Requirements is Daunting

Compliance is central to legal work, from individual client confidentiality requirements to broader standards like ISO and regulations like HIPAA. Without the proper technology and rigorous cybersecurity measures in place, compliance regulations could cost your firm lasting reputational and monetary damages. A managed IT services provider for law firms can help ensure that your firm is continuously defensible to industry compliance requirements.

8. Old Tech is Holding You Back

Is it taking too long for your lawyers to get the information they need? Is your technology slow to retrieve important information? Is your firm having issues with its phone system? For law firms, providing excellent customer service is a must. And a key part of providing excellent customer service is making sure the technology you are using is fast, and always-on. With effective technology at their fingertips, your lawyers and staff will be more effective, productive, and able to provide the customer service your clients deserve. Engage a managed IT services provider specialized in law firms to take a hard look at your current infrastructure and help prioritize where your budget would go furthest when it comes to upgrading your tech.

Technology is crucial to a law firm’s long-term success. TPx specializes in managed IT services for law and designs services that help with productivity, security, and compliance, all while saving on costs. Get in touch with us to start your tech upgrade journey.

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