The legal field is extremely competitive. Outsiders may have the impression that all a lawyer needs to do is hang up a shingle and the clients—and money—will just start rolling in. They may believe that your main product is your sharp legal mind—that all you need is your brain and a legal pad and you’re ready to conquer the world! While this is tantalizingly true in theory, in reality, there are many costs around law firm operations that can quickly suck up your income. Support employees, outside contractors, rent, marketing, I.T. services… all of these are necessary elements to running your business, and staying on top of these matters can keep you so busy that it can be a struggle to find time to actually practice the law, the work that actually brings in money and pays the bills.
So in the interest of increasing profitability, what can you do to improve your bottom line? Since you read the title of this article, you know that outsourcing your I.T. operations can boost your law firm’s profits. Handing off responsibility for your I.T. to an outside provider can help in multiple ways. To begin, it can cut your costs; secondly, it will free you up to focus on your practice, which will give you the opportunity to do more of the work that your clients pay you to do.
Here are 6 specific ways in which managed I.T. services will boost your profits.
You’ll Cut Costs on Employees
I.T. professionals are in high demand. Workers in this sector routinely command salaries that are well above average. Hiring a single I.T. person for your firm will cost you between $38,000 and $78,000 per year for salary alone. Moreover, in I.T. it is vital to stay up to date with latest technologies, processes, and threats, so you’ll need to spend money on training, certifications, and trips to trade conventions. Then, if you have I.T. issues while your single I.T. employee is on vacation, you’ll have to hire an outsider to deal with it. These multiple expenditures can add up, draining your resources and increasing operating costs beyond what you budgeted.
Outsourcing your I.T. operations can be a much more cost effective way to take care of your technology needs. You may find that for close to the same monthly amount you would spend to hire the least expensive worker, you can get a comprehensive support package from a full service I.T. provider. Keep in mind that the managed I.T. service provider will have world-class teams with a broad spectrum of knowledge and capabilities. You will not only save money on that single I.T. employee, but you’ll also gain capabilities that you would not have with a single in-house employee.
You’ll Cut Costs on Equipment and Software
Many law firms have started using cloud server hosting. The most important reason for doing so is vastly improved security, but that’s not the only reason to migrate to the cloud. In addition to safer networks and data storage, cloud computing is very cost effective. Getting rid of on-site servers and moving to the cloud could save you at least $10,000 annually.
Beyond security and savings, cloud computing offers a competitive advantage. In today’s world, you need the latest tech tools to stay on top in any industry. Using a full service I.T. provider means ongoing access to the latest software, helping improve the way you deliver legal services and produce results for your clients. Rather than paying out of your own pocket to buy the most current versions of important software and apps, with a managed I.T. provider, access to the best technologies will be included in your services. Your I.T. provider will manage the licenses of these products for you, allowing you full access to these tools while also sharing them with other businesses, which results in savings for everyone.
You’ll Increase Your Law Firm’s Productivity
Outsourcing to managed I.T. services can allow you to get more work done in the same amount of time. To truly increase productivity, you have to avoid any distractions that interfere with your work, including dealing with I.T. issues. You can focus more of your time on what you love (and what pays the bills) if you outsource I.T. operations. System crashes, software updates, password resets… all the things that pull you away from your real work: with full time I.T. support, the solutions will be just a phone call away. What’s more, the right I.T. provider will not just be a break-fix contractor who you turn to when there is a problem. Managed services means that your systems will be monitored by your I.T. firm, who will anticipate trouble and provide solutions in the background before you ever even know a problem exists.
The continued success of your law firm depends heavily on your productivity. Employing managed I.T. services can allow you the time to perfect your craft and impress your clients.
You’ll Be Reachable When Your Clients Need You
Here is an all-too-common scenario: someone has a legal issue. He searches for legal services and finds you. He sends you an email, but you don’t respond to him because your email server is down. In few hours, he decides to call, but you don’t respond because your telecommunications system doesn’t work well. This is how law firms with poor server, telecom, and mobile support lose clients and money every day. A full-service I.T. firm will keep your entire technology infrastructure strong. They will understand that your being available when you are needed is of vital importance and will help you plan to have the best hardware and software to remain easily reachable for all your potential clients, which is a necessity if you want to build a name or keep a reputation.
You Won’t Lose Money Due to Security Issues
As you may know already, on-site servers are very vulnerable to malware. Criminals love to attack them because they are full of sensitive data. Rather than simply erasing data for the sake of mischief, hackers now install ransomware into lawyers’ networks, which locks all the data inside until a ransom is paid. If you are a small or medium-sized law firm, ransom money could easily put your bank account in the red—not to mention the blow to your reputation and standing with the bar. It is easy to assume that since you are a smaller firm in a small city, criminals would have no interest in your data. However, smaller practices are enticing targets for hackers precisely because they know that your network is likely to be less protected and easier to breach than that of a large corporate firm. Which is why you shouldn’t wait until hackers target your firm before you hire a full-service I.T. provider. An outsourced solution will protect you from data breaches and will save you money by helping you avoid trouble. Be proactive in protecting your firm.
You’ll Let your Law Firm Grow (Or Keep the Money for Yourself)
By now, it is clear that outsourcing the I.T. operations of your law firm increases profitability by saving money that would be spent otherwise, and allows you the opportunity to bring in more money from new clients and increased efficiency.
Now imagine the ways in which you could grow your firm by putting that extra money to work. You could allocate all this money to hiring new associates and paralegals, or a marketing specialist. These new resources can help put your law firm on a fast track to growth and greater success.
Of course, there is always the option of simply putting those increased profits into your own vacation or retirement account, which means you’re that much closer to sitting on a beach sipping a fruity drink! Scale your business, or simply keep the money for yourself—the choice is all yours!
Although it may seem like a big, scary step into the unknown, retaining managed I.T. services is one of the best things you can do for your law firm. In the end, you’ll save a lot of money, headaches, and time, which will allow you to grow and increase profits. For 30 years, JMARK has been providing I.T. services to the legal industry. Call us at 844-44-JMARK, or visit JMARK.com to find out more about what our expertise and experience can do for you.