IT Solutions for the Legal Profession8 Aug, 2011 By: Editorial Staff imageSource
IT Solutions for the Legal Profession
It takes a company with dedication to learn how, or have a history of, addressing the legal profession in order to provide IT services for law firms across the nation. There are unique challenges associated with industry-standard applications; pain-points associated with document/content management, as well as the everyday technology needs facing any business operating in today’s digital world.
Often, IT providers such as CUCIT have strong legal practice management partnerships as well as strategic partnerships within the legal community. As most are aware, legal firms typically have many applications such as time, billing, accounting, document management, and other areas that need to integrate securely.
A good provider will extensively test all a client’s applications to ensure they have efficient and secure workflow. By doing this, they are able to improve efficiency and significantly reduce the support costs for their client’s law practice. A more secure network with all the features a law firm needs will enable them to communicate effectively and reliably with their clients and colleagues.
- Network Benefits Can Include
- Managed VPN connections to link multiple offices
- Automated local and remote back up so insurer data is always safe
- 24/7 monitoring to ensure safe computing environments
- Remote data backup to simplify data protection for remote sites & users
- Intrusion prevention services
- One consistent monthly fee
- One point of contact
Expert Support for Industry-Standard Legal Applications
With a provider that specializes in providing IT services for legal professionals, you’ll find a consulting service that reviews every facet of technology within the law firm focusing on security, systems performance and business continuity. The IT provider’s CIO’s will typically work with their customer’s team to create and enforce technology focused policies based on either internal controls or regulatory compliance.
Customers expect consultant to have knowledge and real world experience working with industry-standard applications to ensure they are receiving capable services from a leading law firm IT service provider and/or a trusted technology advisor.
Managed IT Services for Law Firms
The services to provide the legal industry should include all of the strategic, proactive offerings of Managed IT Services. According to CUCIT, their years of experience in the legal industry have taught them that a successful IT solution should include the following:
Information Lifecycle Management
Data Management Goals, Matter Centric Collaboration, Migration and Consolidation, Records Management, Risk Management and Compliance, Search
Time & Billing - Time and Billing Software, Electronic Billing, Executive Reporting, Credit and Collections
Litigation & Practice Support - Tools and Products, Corporate Ethics and Compliance, Case/Matter Management, Forensics, Professional Leadership Development
Risk & Records Management - Business Continuity, Conflicts, Crisis Management, Data Retention Administration, Ethical Walls, New Business Intake, Forensics, Regulatory Compliance, Records Policies and Procedures
Enterprise Content Management - ECM, DMS, Document Collaboration, Matter/Practice Centricity, Storage Management, Virtual Deal Rooms/Extranets
Knowledge Management - Client-facing KM Tools (extranets, etc.), Data Mining, Enterprise Search, Expertise Location, Taxonomy/Folksonomy Systems, Legal Research, Social Networking
Strategic Technology Services - Centralization Readiness, Hosting Readiness, Strategic Technology Planning
Communication Technologies - Mobile Workforce, Cellular, Video Conferencing, Webcasting and Podcasting, Wireless Technologies
Desktop & Application Services - Desktop Virtualization, Microsoft Applications, Document Assembly, Document Productivity and Document Comparison Tools
Emerging Technologies - Enterprise 2.0, Open Source Software, and Industry Standards (Court Filing Rules, LEDES – Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standards)
User Support Services - Competency Management, E-Learning, Firm Universities, General User Support, Skills Assessment, Professional Leadership Development, Helpdesk
Total IT Management
IT providers should customize a service plan tailored to a client’s unique environment that meets the specific needs for their technology management and support. The solutions should provide “total” managed services and support and the strategic guidance necessary to leverage technology to grow a firm’s business today and well into the future.
According to mindSHIFT, who also provide a Total IT Management for Law Firms strategy, firms can eliminate the burden and distraction of maintaining their own IT infrastructure. This means the IT provider will host, manage, maintain and support their network, servers, desktops and applications, typically for a monthly fee. Hardware and software upgrades, security updates, disaster recovery, backups and more—anything associated with managing information technology, are taken care of.
Additional IT Services
- IT Consulting Services for Law Firm IT Executive
- Disaster Recovery Services
- Web Hosting Services
- Content Management Systems
- Application Development
Whether you are a company looking for a trusted partner to take IT off your hands, or you’re an IT executive looking for expertise to address specific IT projects or functions for your company or partner for your client’s benefit, companies such as CUCIT and mindSHIFT provide IT services specifically designed for the legal community.
To begin, it may mean that some companies and firms want the flexibility to start with the managed IT services that make the most sense for their organization, and then grow larger as their needs grow. Many of the services included in a “Total IT” program are also available a la carte.
Work closely with your customers to make sure their particular needs are met. No matter the solution, understand how to work effectively with the legal profession and their decision making executives, addressing their specific IT needs. Once you achieve the end result of gaining high quality customers who demand the best services for their law firms and clients - you will have found a specialized, profitable revenue stream.