Managed IT services for law firms has evolved from its early days of providing offshore support services, data center space and outsourced IT hardware. The strategy of managed IT services has now emerged as a valuable approach for law firms who choose to partner with an expert services provider.
With today’s innovative model, the managed services provider assumes operational responsibility for the firm’s IT systems and operations—either portions of or the entire IT function. Examples include desktop support for the firm’s employees, management of the firm’s network, servers, databases and applications, and monitoring and resolving IT issues.
This model enables law firms to turn over the day-to-day IT infrastructure requirements to a service provider, who can do it at a lower cost and with greater efficiency, and to redirect the time of their full-time staff members toward higher value functions that drive firms’ business forward.
For instance, some firms choose to focus their staff on process innovation to find greater efficiencies in workflow. Other firms have assigned to their technology professionals the responsibility of identifying and deploying practice-specific applications that differentiate their firm from their peers, such as natural language processing, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics. Firms that employ a managed IT services provider often reinvest savings from their IT budget into new full-time positions that better align with their business strategies.
The managed IT services model also solves the problem that law firms face with attracting and retaining the top-tier IT talent necessary to build, deploy and maintain their technology infrastructure. This means that law firms can turn operational expenditures into capital expenditures, which smooths out their year-over-year investment profile and avoids the risk of a surprise capital expenditure for additional hardware necessary to keep the firm running.
If your firm has experienced these issues and is considering a move to the managed IT services model, it is important to select the right partner. In addition to obvious broad considerations, such as information security protocols and data center certifications, here are 10 specific questions to ask potential managed IT service providers before making your choice:
- How much experience and what level of partnerships do you have within the legal industry?
- Is managed IT services a primary business function of your organization?
- How do you structure your service level agreements to define the specific deliverables we will receive?
- How will your managed services team proactively monitor, identify and repair problems with our IT infrastructure?
- Do you offer on-site and/or after-hours support in the event of an emergency?
- What kind of measurement, reporting and communication do you provide?
- How will your managed services enhance innovation and collaboration efforts within our law firm?
- How rapidly does your managed services team adapt to fast-changing market trends with recommendations for new technologies to deploy, software applications to adopt or collaboration tools to implement?
- What percentage of your managed services clients are law firms and are you willing to provide client references within the legal industry?
- Can you offer strategic guidance on IT selection, deployment and our overall firm technology strategy?
Managed IT services has emerged as a key business strategy for law firms to contain operational IT costs while also improving the delivery of IT services. By partnering with an expert service provider that focuses exclusively in the legal services marketplace, law firms can spend less time and money on their IT infrastructure and leave that up to the managed IT services provider.
This is a big decision, with significant implications on the firm’s operations, so it is important to ask the right questions and choose wisely.
Great Lakes Computer offers Managed Services for Law Firms
We understand the IT needs of law firms, whether it be for Managed Print Services or Security Operations. Contact us to find out how we can help protect you from liability.
From an article on law.com