It has been said that success is where preparation and opportunity meet. And, when it comes to preparation, the legal profession is a clear industry leader. Literally, scores of critical details are broken down into accountable actions, as countless specifics are considered in preparation for any litigation case. When it comes to protecting all this information, along with the technology that collects and stores it, however, the legal field has a history of being somewhat unprepared. A practice’s ability to effectively manage on-site and cloud-based can impact efficiency and make or break the bottom line.
Enter the Managed Service Provider (MSP), giving law firms the opportunity to have full-service IT expertise without using valuable resources required to employ an onsite IT department. Allowing lawyers and their teams to focus on clients, while third party information technology support staff keep their digital world humming. But how do you land on the right one for your firm?
The very availability of the Cloud as an infrastructure option raises a host of questions you’d probably rather not deal with. Questions that revolve around security, maintenance, and whether everything in your on-site environment should be in the Cloud or become a hybrid of Cloud and on-site infrastructure. You might even be asking whether an MSP is necessary if you choose a Cloud services option. The short answer is yes.
When all is said and done, the questions are—or should be—governed by context. When it comes to the environment of law firms, the “one size fits all “model is not applicable. Engaging the right MSP entails finding a provider that understands your business. A provider that comprehends the distinct circumstances of your law firm brings to bear additional expertise and recognizes not only your current needs, but the challenges you will face in the future. Much like all legal matters, vetting an MSP comes down to discovery. It’s a matter of knowing the right questions to ask to gather the information you are looking for.
Does The MSP Have Expertise in Your Industry?
Let’s face it, there is no substitute for experience. Don’t make the mistake of hiring an MSP that is trying to break into the legal market or has generalized technology experience. Find out about their clients and get references. Do they run the board in industries? How long have their customers been with them? A Managed Service Provider with years of experience in the legal industry has a deep understanding of how a firm operates, the technology needed to run a practice effectively, and how to react should a problem occur. More importantly, It means they know what can occur and will be proactive in preventing it, meaning less downtime and peace of mind.
Will They Evolve with Your Business?
In order to grow your business, you must evolve. Partnering with an MSP that can provide for that evolution helps to ensure your success. While the break/fix model may be a good solution short term, it’s not enough to help you reach your goals in the long run. You want an advocate for your business, and that requires going beyond simply IT support. Just as you ask questions of your clients to gain insight into their case, to be an effective advocate, your MSP should do the same. An experienced provider should want to know the history of your firm including past pain points, current issues you may have encountered, and how your firm uses the technology on a daily basis. This can help them identify potential deficiencies that warrant immediate attention, as well as discovering potential problems which may not have been on your radar. A good MSP can advise you on technology necessary to help your firm run more efficiently. A great one…an advocate, will not only know the market, but the individual business needs of their client. This ultimately allows them to craft the most cost-effective solution to transcend a firm’s productivity and thrive.
What Additional Resources Can they Offer?
The third element of offering additional resources is critical, and often overlooked with Managed Service Providers. The principle of being a client advocate also holds true for things like cloud migration and training of the technology you invest in. It’s one thing to make a strategic decision to move data from on-site to the Cloud; it’s quite another to manage the details of such a migration and ensure everything works together. And what happens after the implementation of new technology? Where will you go for training? Does it now fall to you to find training? Do they outsource it to someone else or can they provide it for you? When you find the advocate that offers additional resources to cover all your technology needs, you have found the trifecta.
Bottom Line: Nowadays, technology is no longer changing on a day-by-day basis. It’s changing on a minute-by-minute basis. To succeed, law firms need a Managed Service Provider that goes beyond user support. They need a legal industry advocate, a MVP of MSPs, that come to the table prepared to share their knowledge and give their clients the opportunity to excel. Ultimately, for preparation to successfully meet opportunity. Context is everything.
About 3545 Consulting – Global
3545 Consulting – Global provides comprehensive, technology solutions, tailored to empower law firms to work smarter and more efficiently. Our dedicated team of experts get to know each client and their personnel, to gain a thorough understanding of how their law firm operates. We listen to your needs and ask the necessary questions to find customized solutions within your budget that will improve processes and help you effectively run your business.