What Are the Benefits of Managed IT Services for Law Firms

The Benefits of Managed IT Services for Law Firms

Technological advancements have reshaped the legal landscape, enabling lawyers and law firms to be more efficient, productive, and innovative. This shift has been accelerated by the pandemic, which required lawyers and law firms to adopt digital solutions at a rapid pace. However, the speed at which this adoption has occurred has left some employees without adequate training on how to properly utilize the technology.

A 2022 Bloomberg Law survey sheds light on this trend, with only 53% of respondents feeling like they were sufficiently trained on their legal technology.  Learning new programs and systems can be a daunting task. That is why many law firms have adopted the practice of having an in-house IT specialist to help with the transition. However, with the workload and demand that come with running a law firm, these IT specialists can quickly become overworked and overwhelmed.

Managed IT services providers can help optimize your IT systems for your firm’s specific needs and ensure that your operations are running smoothly, efficiently, and effectively. Not only do external experts bring a wealth of technical knowledge and experience, but they can also provide valuable insights and recommendations that can help improve your firm’s overall IT strategy. By leveraging the expertise of managed IT services providers, businesses can stay competitive and agile in the digital age.

Why Do Law Firms Need an MSP?

Working with a managed service provider (MSP) can offer a range of benefits for law firms and legal organizations. Additionally, when the MSP has specific experience within the legal industry, these benefits can be even greater. A managed service provider is a third-party company that primarily provides remote management of the information technology infrastructure and end-user systems. By leveraging a managed service provider, law firms can allocate their resources to other critical tasks like writing agreements.

Services provided by MSPs often include network & infrastructure management, security, and monitoring. This way, law firms can avoid system downtimes and service interruptions, and ensure smooth operational continuity.

By partnering with an MSP that is familiar with the challenges and requirements of the legal field, firms can ensure they receive tailored solutions that meet their unique needs. Furthermore, an MSP with legal experience will likely have a deeper understanding of the software and technologies that are central to legal operations, increasing the likelihood of a successful implementation and smooth integration with existing systems. Ultimately, working with a legal MSP can help law firms and organizations improve their efficiency, reduce costs, and stay ahead of industry trends.

Advantages of Utilizing a Managed Service Provider (MSP)

Working with a managed service provider (MSP) with legal industry experience can offer several advantages for law firms and legal organizations. Here are some key benefits:

  1. Staying up to date with technology: By partnering with a managed service provider, law firms can gain access to a broad range of IT skills and capabilities without the need for extensive in-house resources or hiring and training additional staff. MSPs stay up to date with the latest technologies, industry best practices, and security trends, ensuring that organizations receive high-quality service and advice. A managed service provider with legal industry experience understands the unique needs, challenges, and compliance requirements of the legal sector. They are familiar with legal software applications, case management systems, e-discovery tools, document management systems, and other technology solutions commonly used in the legal field.  Additionally, managed service providers can provide insights on emerging technologies and industry trends, helping firms make informed decisions about adopting and implementing new solutions or updating existing ones. Since managed service providers have a lot of technical insight, they can help conduct user training sessions, offer technical assistance, and provide resources for troubleshooting and problem resolution. This helps law firms maximize the benefits of their technology investments and ensures smooth day-to-day operations.
  2. Maintain compliance and improve data security: The legal industry is one of the most highly regulated industries in the world, and for good reason. Legal materials, such as case files and client information, are extremely sensitive and require the utmost discretion and protection. Fortunately, managed service providers can assist in compliance management by conducting comprehensive security assessments and audits of a law firm’s IT infrastructure and systems. This includes evaluating network security, data storage and transmission practices, access controls, and overall system vulnerabilities. Additionally, managed service providers can assist in implementing encryption methods, secure data storage solutions, and secure backup and disaster recovery mechanisms to safeguard client information. Furthermore, MSPs can help law firms implement effective cybersecurity measures to protect against cyber threats and data breaches. This includes deploying firewalls, antivirus software, and other security tools. MSPs can also generate compliance reports and assist law firms in documenting their compliance efforts.
  3. Proactive Support and Maintenance: With legal-specific knowledge, a managed service provider can anticipate potential issues and provide proactive support to prevent technology disruptions or downtime. They can offer 24/7 monitoring, maintenance, and troubleshooting services, ensuring that your systems are running smoothly and addressing any IT-related problems promptly. More specifically MSP’s can detect performance bottlenecks, system vulnerabilities, or potential hardware failures. Additionally, managed service providers can ensure that all software, operating systems, and applications are up to date with the latest patches and updates, addressing known vulnerabilities and strengthening system security. Moreover, MSPs can assess the performance of a law firm’s IT systems and recommend optimization strategies while also performing routine maintenance tasks to keep the law firm’s IT systems running smoothly. This proactive approach minimizes the impact on your firm’s productivity and helps you focus on your core legal activities. By centralizing technology management, law firms can focus more on their primary objectives and spend less time dealing with IT glitches. Ultimately, this benefits not just the legal team, but the clients too, as they receive the very best representation.
  4. Cost Savings: Outsourcing IT services to an managed service provider can lead to significant cost savings compared to maintaining an in-house IT department. By partnering with an MSP, law firms can avoid the significant upfront costs associated with purchasing and maintaining IT infrastructure. Managed service providers often operate on a subscription or pay-as-you-go model, allowing law firms to access the required services at a predictable and manageable cost.  Additionally, managed service providers optimize IT resource utilization by managing and allocating resources efficiently. They can identify areas where resources are underutilized or overprovisioned and recommend adjustments to optimize performance and reduce unnecessary costs.

By leveraging the expertise and resources of an MSP, law firms can avoid the expenses associated with hiring, training, and retaining IT staff, as well as investing in expensive infrastructure and technology upgrades. These cost-saving measures allow law firms to allocate their financial resources more efficiently, focus on core business activities, and achieve better operational outcomes.

How Can a Managed Service Provider Help You Properly Manage Your Document Management System

A key contribution a managed service provider (MSP) can make is aiding a law firm in effectively managing its document management system (DMS). From streamlining processes to providing expert analysis and recommendations, MSPs offer law firms the tools and expertise needed to efficiently manage all aspects of their document management systems. The following are things to look for when choosing a managed service provider to help you manage your document management system.

  1. Implementation and Integration of Systems: An MSP can help a law firm evaluate its document management needs and recommend the most suitable DMS solution. They can also take care of the entire implementation process, including installation, customization, and configuration, ensuring that the DMS is tailored to the firm’s particular needs. While integrating the DMS seamlessly with existing systems, an MSP can help minimize the need for duplicate data entry, making workflows more efficient and effective. In situations where a firm already has an existing DMS, an MSP can handle data migration, ensuring the secure and accurate transfer of files, including proper version control and metadata organization. With an MSP’s assistance, law firms can have a well-organized document management system that works efficiently, thus improving productivity and profitability.
  2. Education and Support: It is essential that every staff member in a law firm is equipped with the knowledge and skills to use a DMS effectively. Not only can managed service providers offer comprehensive training sessions during the initial implementation, but they can also offer ongoing support to ensure smooth operation. These sessions ensure that everyone at the firm is familiar with all the features of the DMS and knows how to use it. With the right training, employees can save time, improve collaboration, and increase productivity. By investing in the proper training and support, a law firm can ensure that its staff is equipped to leverage all the advantages of a DMS.
  3. Security and Compliance: Law firms deal with significant amounts of sensitive information, from confidential client communications to crucial legal documents, making data security and compliance a top priority. With the help of an MSP, firms can implement robust security measures within their document management system (DMS). This includes access controls, encryption, and data backup procedures to ensure that all data is safe and secure. Additionally, a managed service provider can assist with compliance requirements, ensuring that the DMS meets HIPAA, or any industry-specific regulations. With an MSP’s expertise, law firms can rest assured that their client’s information is protected and secure.
  4. Monitoring and Updates: A reliable document management system (DMS) is essential to maintain efficient and secure business operations. An MSP can be a valuable partner in providing continuous monitoring of the DMS infrastructure. By proactively identifying and resolving potential performance issues, an MSP can ensure that the system’s configuration, scalability, and responsiveness meet the law firm’s evolving needs. Additionally, DMS vendors frequently release updates and new features to enhance functionality and security. With an MSP managing these updates, the law firm’s DMS stays up-to-date with the latest patches, bug fixes, and improvements. Implementing major version upgrades can be a significant undertaking, but an MSP can help minimize disruption to daily operations.

By partnering with an experienced MSP, a law firm can focus on its core legal activities while entrusting the management of the DMS to a specialized team. This collaboration allows the law firm to leverage the expertise of the MSP and enjoy a well-maintained, secure, and efficient document management system.

Questions to Ask When Hiring Managed IT Service Providers

By asking the following questions, you can assess the managed service provider’s level of experience and expertise in serving law firms, ensuring they have the knowledge and capabilities necessary to support your specific needs.

  1. Have you worked with law firms in the past? If so, can you provide examples or case studies of law firms you have supported?
  2. What is the size of the law firms you have worked with? Have you worked with law firms with a similar practice area to ours?
  3. Are you familiar with legal software applications, like NetDocuments commonly used by law firms?
  4. What types of managed IT services do you offer specifically for law firms?
  5. Can you assist us in implementing new technology solutions and provide recommendations for systems that would be suitable for our evolving needs?

How PSM Can Help

PSM Partners provides IT services for law firms in Chicago, IL to help manage and protect their IT infrastructure and implement solutions to improve the system.  We provide project-based IT support and consulting as well as cybersecurity and cloud services.  Our law firm IT services are personalized to accommodate the specific needs of your firm and help you achieve your technology goals. We also partner with NetDocuments, a cloud-based document, email, and records management service. If you want to work with a professional to manage your IT, PSM provides IT services for law firms that includes IT managementcloud computingcybersecurity, and IT consulting.  You can reach us to schedule a consultation by calling (312) 940-7830.

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About the Author

Taylor Friend
Taylor Friend

I am a dynamic and results-focused Marketing Coordinator at PSM Partners, recognized for my unwavering motivation, meticulous attention to detail, and unwavering commitment to achieving business objectives. Throughout my time at PSM, I have demonstrated remarkable expertise as the primary liaison for Microsoft and NetDocuments, rapidly establishing myself as a proficient point of contact. Additionally, by harnessing my inherent organizational skills, I have effectively elevated the quality of both our internal and external events.

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