With 3% to 5% of firm revenue going toward IT investment, or $5-$11,000 per attorney, IT spend can add up quickly. Law firms typically need varying degrees of IT expertise across approximately 120 different technology areas to protect client privacy, deliver an excellent end-user experience, keep staff productive and attorneys engaged, and support their clients’ needs.
Here are 5 reasons lawyers need help with IT to manage a success law practice.
#1 Work From Anywhere
For one 70 attorney firm with offices spread out across several states, Whitehat Virtual is an extension of their small IT team. The team is able to provide a deep expertise in VDI, network design, architecture, and a handful of specialty skills they need to maintain operations across all their offices without growing support staff headcount.
The attorneys work at all hours from an office location, home, a hotel, at the client site, or in court. The technologies Whitehat helped the firm deploy and, in some cases, manage on their behalf allows firm staff and partners alike to collaborate vertically and horizontally to take care of any client need from anywhere there is available Internet access.
Their footprint is no longer bound by office location, the firm shifts, and morphs based on the needs of their clients without ever missing a step.
#2 Getting Out of the IT Business
For a smaller Texas firm, it was about getting out of the IT business entirely and staying laser-focused on what they were best at, trial law. The firm did not want capital tied up in equipment or IT talent. Whitehat was engaged to manage day-to-day IT operations and provide all IT services out of Whitehat datacenters.
Cabling, telephony, file sharing, collaboration suites, and key practice applications are all delivered via Citrix virtual desktops. IT spend is predictable with no added cost for onsite or remote resources and uptime is guaranteed with redundant paths to the datacenters.
#3 Augmenting an IT Team
A specialty environmental law firm needed deep Citrix expertise and additional IT specialists across 7+ specializations to augment their IT team of one. For almost a decade, 35+ attorneys have had access to reliable, leading-edge technology without committing to growing their IT staff. Expertise is available on-demand, as needed, to keep the firm and their attorneys focused on their clients and growth.
#4 Redesigning IT
A growing Workers Compensation Defense firm on the east coast enjoyed such success that they outgrew their IT infrastructure and their model for managing it. Having offices in multiple cities, each with its own unique IT architecture, IT support costs increased 2x then 3x as the one-person managing was increasingly on the road between locations with fewer available hours to solve the firms growing challenges.
Whitehat was engaged to redesign the way the firm connected to both reduce IT support costs and improve the quality of the IT experience for staff and attorneys alike. With a complete redesign of the underlying infrastructure and reusing the components that were serviceable, the firm’s IT posture was transformed from completely reactive with an IT response time measured in hours to their lowest support cost in years (with the introduction of automation, and remote support resources), scheduled proactive preventative maintenance, and 15-minute average first response times.
The firm is currently exploring the next iteration of IT, which will incorporate more cloud services and consumption-based billing.
#5 Speeding Up Data Processing
A boutique law firm with offices in a handful of major cities came to Whitehat in need of the cloud. Specifically, in their brand of law, the volume of digital data to comb through for eDiscovery slowed the firm down considerably, extending cases by weeks or even months. With a backlog of potential business, the firm needed a faster way to chew through the data more quickly and reliably but did not want to make the expensive investment in IT infrastructure to bring the ability to process data in-house. Whitehat provisioned data center resources to be able to take on this unique request to process the data in minutes to hours, reducing the time needed for each case significantly.
Whitehat is focused on helping clients achieve a measurably great end-user experience because that is where productivity gains are frequently won or lost. Particularly that last 18 inches between the monitors and the employee’s eyeballs, trying to get work done. For these law firms, that means giving them the ability to be as creative as possible in figuring out how to best serve their clients. No attorney ever said he or she wanted to be a lawyer so they could work with computers all day. No, they wanted to practice law, take care of their clients, and get rewarded for that work. Whitehat is focused on removing technology challenges that allows them to redirect focus from the tools they use to complete their job, to practice their chosen life’s work, the law.