This week’s Ask the Expert is answered by Dave Ricketts, head of marketing, Six Degrees.
Ask the Expert: What IT solutions would you recommend for improving the client service delivery of the legal sector?
The legal profession is famously document-heavy − staggering piles of paper work require time-consuming organising and management on a daily basis. This is not ideal from an efficiency or client perspective because it inevitably slows down processes. While activities that rely on paper can be a hard habit to break, the number of law firms acknowledging the importance of using technology to help improve processes and client service delivery is increasing.
That said, many legal firms probably have neither the budget nor internal capacity to invest in their own systems. But that is no reason to give up and continue to ‘drown’ in paper. The solution for those firms serious about investing in digital transformation lies in outsourcing multiple IT functions to a managed hosting and cloud services provider with expertise in the legal sector.
Progress through a partner
A multi service provider (MSP) can add tremendous value by managing a firm’s core IT and communication infrastructure. Additionally, service providers can offer a range of sector-specific services such as business intelligence, productivity and security applications.
In taking ownership of the IT from the desktop to the data centre, for example the day-to-day management, planning and configuring, as well as monitoring and managing IT systems, MSPs free up precious time for law firms to focus on their primary business objectives.
With more time to focus on client relationships and service delivery and less time spent on mundane and repetitive tasks, firms are likely to see a significant boost in staff morale and equally, staff retention.
Outsource data protection and compliance
The very essence of a legal firm is the data it holds. Specifically, firms that manage activities with large associated financial values such as property sales, or mergers and acquisitions, can be prime targets for cyber crooks.
Once hacked, law firms stand to lose their most prestigious asset: their reputation. Clients will switch firms even if they just sense that there is the potential risk of having personal data leaked. Data is money, and power. It has to be protected at all costs.
Outsourcing IT security is one extremely effective way in which a law firm can protect itself from cyber crime threats. Giving the ‘worry’ to a technology partner with expertise in the legal sector instils confidence that sensitive data is being appropriately stored, managed and protected within the perimeters of current, and future legislation. Additionally, the technology partner’s security and compliance accreditations not only add an extra layer of assurance for current clients, but if leveraged appropriately, they can also help to strengthen a firm’s service offering for prospective clients.
A human touch
Many people may see technology as the next step to losing the human component of business entirely. In a legal environment, technology has the potential to do just the opposite. A move toward digital transformation will see law firms ‘buy back’ precious extra time to deliver best-of-breed client services, and look after valuable relationships.