The phrase, “Technology…you either love it or hate it” is a concept that no longer works in the modern world. In fact, it really is not even relevant. Technology has worked its way into nearly every business. The legal sector is no different. Of course, legal professionals may have held out longer than others.
The contemporary law office barely resembles traditional practices. In fact, technology continues to handle larger amounts of legal work at a greater frequency. This frees attorneys to work on more personal aspects of the job. Unless they are technically-savvy, most lawyers delegate these tasks to support staff. Generally, however, it is only the largest law firms that hire an onsite IT team.
This is why many offices prefer to outsource their IT services.
When a firm hires an IT-specific employee, this is a major commitment. This individual becomes a member of the support staff and is paid regardless of whether his or her services are required. Otherwise, if one of the partners chooses to take on the task, it is at his/her financial detriment. He/she would be using the time that would otherwise be directed at serving clients, etc.
Additionally, as new technology is required, the firm would need to personally handle it. The on-staff tech (or benevolent partner) would need to take time, and possibly classes, to learn everything about it. This all results in a bit of a mismanagement of resources, which is especially true when there are other options.
When a firm outsources their IT services, the provider takes all the responsibility. They spend the money. They invest in the education, software licenses, training, and certifications. This enables them to troubleshoot and resolve problems with the firm’s computers, Internet, servers, and software issues rather than the firm’s.
Generally, outside IT service providers are made up of a team of experts rather than one overworked technician. This allows them to have a variety of individuals who offer a range of experience and skills. They also have access to more advanced technology and tools. Since it is their primary focus, they have to keep up with all of the latest innovations. Otherwise, they lose their edge.
Since there are many people with different perspectives, team members are able to consult with and advise each other. With so much at their disposal, it makes it much easier to identify and resolve the core problems more quickly. This means that there is little if any, downtime or interruptions for the firm.
By outsourcing their IT services, a law firm will receive support 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, and 365-days a year, whether they need it or not. This level of support is not possible from even the most diligent in-house employee. An outside source would also have additional resources available that an inside tech would not have.
Since the work to troubleshoot an issue is outsourced, the rest of the office can go about business as usual. Nothing else changes. In fact, business continuity is one of the primary reasons to outsource. It ensures the law office is able to continue as if nothing is amiss. This makes it a particularly responsible option.
When choosing an outside IT firm for a law office, it is important to take due diligence. There are many options, and they are not all equal. Fortunately, there is a resource that has already ranked the top choices. The Everest Group researches each. This makes a time-consuming personal analysis almost unnecessary.
The Everest Group is a management consulting and research firm that advises businesses around the world. Every year since 2008, the Everest Group has evaluated outsourced IT service providers according to 26 characteristics. These include the technologies they use and the geographies they cover, among others.
The top 10 for the year 2018 include the following IT firms:
Although these are the top 10 in this reporting year, there are many reputable providers. The Everest Group keeps tabs on the up-and-comers who may unseat the 10 as well. Checking previous winners provides a more comprehensive picture of who has performed reliably.
For some law firms, there is peace of mind having their own in-house technician or IT team. Most offices, however, would benefit from outsourcing their IT services. Ultimately, it conserves money, time, and other resources. Rather than researching the various options, a busy attorney would do better to peruse the years of lists compiled by the Everest Group. With several reliable performers on them, there is no reason not to.