One of the main considerations that any potential client will have when engaging a law firm is if it has a good reputation and is cost-effective. Having out of date IT equipment can have a substantial impact on any firm’s ability to provide an efficient and secure service for their clients.

While it’s easy to consider that as long as something is working it doesn’t need to be replaced, there are numerous reasons why all legal practices should consider investing in updating their IT systems and equipment.

In the same way that we should always visit a legal professional for any legal advice, it’s always a good idea to listen to the recommendations of IT professionals. We don’t recommend replacing laptops and desktops every three years simply because we want increased sales. It’s because we understand that in a competitive market, slow and lagging systems and poor cyber security can end up losing firms clients and business.

If we consider how clients review law firms, it is usually based on excellent communication, speed of getting the job done, and whether the fees charged were fair. Now consider how long it takes to turn on workstations or update software, if there are system crashes, email downtime, and screen lag. All of this impacts on productivity and reputation.

 

Out of date tech is more expensive to run

While your firm may be saving money by not investing in new technology, your old workstations, laptops, and servers are probably costing more to run. One of the greatest improvements in technology of all types is that it has become more energy efficient. Older models of PC, laptop, and servers are far less energy efficient, using more electricity and producing heat which needs to be cooled with fans or air conditioning. Switching to newer models will create significant energy savings and improve your firm’s green credentials in the process.

 

Stops your team from employing flexible working

Like most businesses over the last year, law firms have had to embrace the concept of flexible and remote working. For some this has opened up new windows of opportunity for team members to work further afield.

Using more efficient systems such as Teams also allows for far easier collaborations between staff, streamlining working processes. Additionally, it provides secure communications streams, avoiding confusion over email and enables real time collaboration on documents. Alongside this, because it is based in the Cloud, it means that your team can access documents and files from anywhere, making client meetings more efficient and reducing downtime.

 

Reduces the need for reactive IT intervention

Emergency IT Support can be expensive and is usually the result of some kind of system failure. Being proactive and planning an IT strategy and investment plan not only reduces the need for emergency IT support, but also improves reliability. It also means that your firm can build a relationship with a trusted IT Managed Service Provider, meaning that if anything serious does happen to your system, you already have experts waiting in the wings to fix it.

 

Remain compliant and achieve the Lexcel legal practice quality mark

Everything has a lifespan, including operating systems. So, when they are superseded, suppliers stop sending out security patches. Without secure updates, a system is then at risk of hacking and cyberattacks. It’s an unfortunate fact that law firms are prime targets for cybercriminals, so it’s vital that their systems are as secure as possible.

This is one of the reasons why The Law Society now recommends Cyber Essentials Accreditation for any legal practice looking to achieve the Lexcel quality mark. One of the requirements of Cyber Essentials is that firms are compliant with the accreditation’s patch management requirements.

What can law firms do?

Strategy that includes an investment plan. New technology doesn’t have to be purchased and installed in one go, it can happen over a timescale that fits the needs of the law firm.

LP Networks pride ourselves in giving impartial and accurate advice to law firms of all shapes and sizes. If you’d like some IT experts to chat to you about your current IT provision and what your next steps will be, get in touch.

 

 

You can download or view the PDF version of this article here.

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