IT Issues Winston Salem Lawyers Would Rather Avoid (Problems and Solutions)
Is It Possible for Winston Salem Lawyers to Avoid IT Headaches?
Want to avoid the most common legal technology pain-points? In this article, we will identify those headaches and prescribe a proactive remedy to ensure that your firm isn’t negatively impacted by IT issues.
#1 Headache to Avoid – Insecure Operations
If you can’t provide your clients with complete confidentiality, your firm will suffer. Unfortunately, your IT systems may be the greatest vulnerability to your reputation for client-attorney confidentiality.
It used to be that everyone had a computer on their desk that had to be secured.
Those were the good old days.
Today is much more complex. Not only do you use desktop computers, but laptops, tablets, and smartphones expand your firm’s IT environment and exponentially ramp up your risk exposure.
Cybercriminals love law firms.
It’s a treasure trove of information.
Unfortunately, data theft isn’t only about gathering account numbers, names, birthdates, and social security numbers. Sometimes, the information they gather is even used to blackmail clients.
In more extreme cases competing firms use unethical means (hacking) to gather information that will help them win a lawsuit.
Your firm has to stop the bad guys before they do damage to your clients and your reputation.
- Unauthorized access – hacking
- Social engineering
- Phishing Data loss and theft
How do you?j
- Encrypt and protect data
- Comply with security regulations and industry standards
- Back up files securely
- Prove email retention protocols
- Verify cybersecurity posture
Cybersecurity is a real concern and insecurity can create a painful experience very quickly. You can only have verifiable IT security by engaging an IT professional to help your firm put together an ongoing cybersecurity strategy of management and monitoring.
#2 Headache to Avoid – Downtime
Downtime can come from just about anywhere.
- Power failures
- Natural disaster
- Human error
- Criminal act
Anyone of these things can paralyze a firm and cost you thousands of dollars for every hour you are without access to your applications.
Clients get frustrated.
Casework gets delayed.
Colleagues get cranky.
You know how it goes.
Everyone wants to be able to get back to normal.
Here’s the deal.
Most downtime is completely avoidable – if the proper precautions are taken.
By implementing IT best practices, IT support professionals are able to provide a near-zero downtime working environment for you, your partners, and your paralegals.
#3 Headache to Avoid – Slow and Sluggish Computers and Networks
Inefficiency will drain dollars out of your firm faster than just about anything else, and you don’t have time to keep hitting the “restart” button on your computer over and over.
If you’re experiencing computers that work about as fast as a turtle wading through quicksand, it’s time to do something about it.
Because people depend on your firm to get things accomplished.
Restarting your computer constantly is going to get old very quickly.
So, to meet filing deadlines and to keep up with your caseload, it’s imperative that you have an IT system that is streamlined, seamless, and yes, efficient.
How is this accomplished?
- The right hardware and software
- Tailored configuration
- Appropriate automation of manual processes
- Choreographed integration throughout the system
IT specialists that specialize in legal IT support help firms ensure that they are getting the best productivity out of their IT systems and offer IT consulting to improve those systems with judicious purchase of superior software and upgraded hardware.
#4 Headache to Avoid – Poorly Integrated Software and Cloud Applications
- Practice Management
- Document Management
- Time & Billing
- Legal Document Generation
Every one of these functions has to be completed in your daily workflow.
But you get frustrated because they don’t “talk” to each other, and you’re doing work like manual input twice.
You tell a colleague, “This should be easier.”
Applications like these should be made to work together – and they can where needed!
- Microsoft Office
- Tabs3 / Practice Master
As you’ve likely already guessed, the remedy for this particular headache is an IT professional that specializes in supporting the applications (desktop, mobile, and cloud) that law firms use every day.
#5 Headache to Avoid – Breaching Client Confidentiality Because You Used the Cloud To Do Work
Let’s state from the beginning that using the cloud to do work doesn’t inherently cause a breach in client confidentiality. In fact, depending on the cloud scenario, it can be as or more secure and compliant than an in-house network.
What happens when cloud applications are implemented and utilized haphazardly?
Unfortunately, this provides room for security vulnerabilities that could negatively impact your obligations to your client.
As we stated from the outset, it is possible to use cloud hosting and cloud applications without any issue. But it’s important that those applications and hosting setups be initiated by IT professionals that understand the nexus between client confidentiality and IT security.
What are the factors?
- Confidentiality & Integrity
- Third Party Providers
- Communicating with Clients Via Cloud Services
- Safeguarding of Data
#6 – Headache to Avoid – Getting Left Behind in the Technology Race
School kids don’t want to get left out because it makes them feel sad.
Your reasons for not wanting to be left behind in the forward march of technology are different.
- You don’t want to get behind the competition.
- You want to make use of anything that will make your job simpler.
- You want more flexibility and mobility.
- You want more security – not less.
- You want more productivity out of your employee’s efforts
But how do you know what technologies to adopt?
Which ones are going to give your firm the biggest impact for the least amount of investment?
Which will help you serve your clients AND stay secure?
IT consultants that make their living serving the technology support needs of legal professionals spend their days in the finer details of law firm technology. These individuals stay on top of current technology and keep an eye toward emerging technology to provide you with the best advice regarding:
- What hardware and software to adopt?
- What to avoid?
- When to switch – this year’s model or the upgrade?
- Where to source the right solutions?
- How to migrate to the new solution?
- How to leverage new hardware or software for the greatest impact?
#7 Headache to Avoid – Inability to Find Competent Legal IT Support Staff in Winston Salem
We live in a digital world. The best IT professionals are in high demand.
What does that mean for you?
It means that you’re likely having trouble finding and keeping good internal IT staff.
But… You need them.
Without IT support, the firm’s processes slowly grind to a halt.
You need an IT professional who understands your needs, work processes, regulations, the applications you use, and your unique technology challenges. One who knows the complexities you face and can help you improve the way you use technology by:
- Automating manual processes
- Securing document file, sync, and share
- Optimizing your work processes
- Protecting workflows in the cloud and on mobile devices
- Enabling use of cutting-edge developments in legal IT
The Remedy: The only way to get this kind of IT talent is with a Service Level Agreement from a Technology Solutions Provider who specializes in Legal IT Services.
Law Firms are consistently moving away from internal IT departments and break/fix IT contractors to Managed IT Services agreements with outsourced IT support companies that specialize in legal IT support and solutions. This provides the firm with the following advantages.
- Lowered costs
- Greater uptime
- Higher efficiency and flexibility
- Dependable IT support
- 24/7 IT security and stability monitoring
- Help Desk for answers and troubleshooting
- Predictable monthly IT subscription payment
- Lowered risk
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Written by Chris Michalec posted on August 14, 2018
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