Managed IT Services for Law Firms
Attorneys have recognized the essence of excellent IT strategies. Having a dedicated managed IT for your law firm lets you safeguard your clients’ data and encrypt various forms of communication to maintain the highest level of security and privacy. This is crucial for remaining compliant with the numerous state regulatory and ethical requirements expected of lawyers.
Managed IT services also help law firms increase productivity, improve collaboration and access to information, reduce expenses, and offer better services to clients. It’s helpful to look at what managed IT services are before considering these advantages in detail.
What Is a Managed IT Service?
A managed IT service allows businesses, such as law firms, to offload IT operations to a service provider, usually called the managed service provider (MSP). In other words, it is where an organization outsources its technology management and services to an expert. The MSP assumes an ongoing responsibility for 24/7 monitoring, management, and problem resolution of all IT systems, including security audits, technical support, and training. Most top law firms worldwide leverage managed IT services to streamline operations and optimize security.
Attorneys handle sensitive documents and engage in complex legal processes and documentation such as contract drafting and review, dispute resolution, and advisory services. A working IT system is crucial to help you consistently provide quality legal services and comply with regulatory and ethical demands.
Benefits of Managed IT Services for Lawyers
Managed IT services offer law firms multiple benefits, including the following:
1. Increased Productivity
Lawyers understand the value of having organized and reliable systems. Unresponsive software programs, system failures, or simple things like forgetting passwords can disrupt legal processes significantly. These occurrences affect productivity and result in loss of income.
Leveraging managed IT systems increases productivity by minimizing downtime and maintaining business continuity. Attorneys can, therefore, focus on demanding and high-priority tasks and reserve administrative and operational duties, document organization, and non-billable tasks to the MSP.
2. Enhanced Security
Cyber attacks have become prevalent in most institutions, especially law firms. The reason is simple — attorneys keep large volumes of sensitive data. According to the America Bar Association’s 2022 Legal Technology Survey Report, 27% of respondents experienced security breaches that year. This fact raises several regulatory and ethical concerns.
For example, the Model Rules of Professional Conduct require lawyers to be competent, which includes utilizing appropriate technology and being versed in cybersecurity. Additionally, the model rules direct law firms to access and store all confidential information securely and ensure that all third parties follow effective cybersecurity measures. Formal Opinion 483 stresses the importance of these rules. Other laws, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), have added confidentiality requirements.
Managed IT service providers help law firms adopt the proper security measures. The strategy spans email security solutions, password management, and remote monitoring systems to track the firm’s network security and cloud infrastructure.
3. Improved Collaboration, Mobility, and Accessibility
Lawyers may need access to relevant documents, whether in the courtroom, in a meeting, or at the airport. However, carrying tons of files can be inconvenient and unsafe — it’s simply impractical. MSPs can set up and manage cloud systems for your law firm to let you retrieve information regardless of the location.
Cloud systems also facilitate collaboration between teams. The technology allows you to grant and limit attorney access and lets them share information live on the cloud. This enhances efficiency and proper teamwork.
4. Scalability and Heightened Client Satisfaction
Like other industries, law firms are growing exponentially, and one of the best ways of staying competitive is integrating IT systems into your operations. Working with MSPs gives you access to the latest technologies and allows you to meet customers’ changing demands. For example, offering remote legal advice may attract more people because it will enable them to get the answers they need without stress. The same applies when clients can access documents on their smart devices and make payments online.
5. Reduced Expense
MSPs are a cost-effective solution for all businesses. They help you implement the best IT systems to streamline operations and ensure that data within your possession is appropriately safeguarded. This solution reduces costs associated with system failures, fines, and lawsuits. Additionally, MSPs can offer reduced costs because their team of IT professionals offers services to various organizations. Top co-managed IT models also provide incentives to help you secure the best deal. In effect, you end up with IT professionals providing 24/7 monitoring and support.
Forms of Managed IT Services in the Legal Industry
MSPs provide a wide range of services, including the following:
- IT support: MSPs primarily provide around-the-clock IT support and troubleshooting for law firms, allowing you to focus on legal practice. They also offer ongoing professional security awareness training programs to ensure that legal and non-legal staff safeguard the firm’s data and reputation. The result is seamless operations and reduced risk.
- Backup and recovery: MSPs assist you in establishing business continuity and disaster recovery policies and procedures to let you stay active during or recover from disasters. It utilizes cloud computing to back up and store information on servers for optimum protection against data loss. This enhances workflow and reduces downtime.
- Patch management: Routinely updating and patching your software fixes vulnerabilities and enables your systems to run smoothly. MSPs deploy driver, firmware, operating system, and application updates to your computing endpoints.
- Network operations center (NOC) monitoring: NOC is a centralized platform where administrators monitor and maintain network operations. It improves hardware efficiency and promotes early detection and prevention of incidents. This preserves your law firm’s reputation and saves money.
- Applications and software consulting: Law firm IT management may require integrating several applications for various processes, such as billing and document management. MSPs partner with you to help you decide which applications are most valuable and ensure they function optimally.
- Cybersecurity: Cybersecurity threats have many faces, including phishing, spam, malware, and ransomware. Managed service providers offer solutions tailored to your firm’s demands to maximize security efforts. For example, a top-level MSP may include consistent training sessions, consulting, and compliance services besides installing the security systems
Framework IT: Your Trusted Managed Service Provider
Leveraging managed IT services for your law firm streamlines operations and helps protect your data against cyber breaches. It remains one of the most efficient ways to stay relevant and competitive in the legal industry today. When selecting a managed service provider, it’s crucial to evaluate their level of experience, particularly when it comes to assisting law firms scale. The MSP you partner with must also prioritize your needs and offer supportive incentives. That’s the best way to increase your return on investment.
Framework IT is the leading MSP in Chicago, specializing in support, strategy and security for law firms who want to form an agile IT environment. We help our partners build strategies tailored to their needs with the aim of improving security and efficiency and incentivizing proficient IT solutions. Contact us now to learn more about our services!