One of the first steps to being CMMC compliant is completing the user policy acceptance rule, A.K.A CMMC AC.2.005.
IT Consulting for Law Firms 101
Having an IT Consultant who is experienced in the unique requirements of the legal field can help law firms enhance their IT infrastructure.
We all like to vent about things (especially work).
However, do you have a friend or even close relative who never seems to complain about their IT at work? No matter how stressful or just bad of a day they had, their IT service is never the root cause.
All jobs are stressful – there’s no denying that. But according to US News & World Report, being a lawyer is in the top 20 most stressful jobs.
IT consulting for law firms can help alleviate some of that stress.
10 Things IT for Law Firms Should be Doing
IT consulting for law firms encompasses a wide variety of things, from managing specialized technology and giving advice to implementing working solutions for unique needs and challenges. no two networks are the same, neither are IT support providers for law firms. Still, there are some base-level services you should expect from an IT consultant:
- Assessing IT infrastructure
- Strategic planning
- Cloud computing
- Legal software
- Disaster recovery and business continuity
- Compliance and regulations
- IT support and help desk
- Training and education
- Vendor management
1. Assessing IT Infrastructure
The first thing that an IT consultant should do is conduct an overall comprehensive assessment of a law firm’s existing network and digital resources. The assessment should evaluate everything, including:
- Networking layout
- Security systems
Having a detailed and well documented assessment from the start, allows for both you and the consultant to identify areas that need improvement or updates to overall enhance the firm’s IT.
Additionally, having detailed notes allows for smoother transitions when changing or adding software/hardware to your network.
2. Strategic Planning
Once the assessment is complete, the IT consultant and the firm owner should work to develop a strategic plan that aligns with the firm’s overall goal(s) for enhanced network function and protection.. This plan, or roadmap, contains direction in areas such as:
- Installation requirements
- Potential change in overall direction
It’s no secret that law firms handle extremely sensitive data, which makes cybersecurity critical to a firm’s operation. In light of a 500% increase in cyberattacks in recent years, 25% of law firms have been breached. IT consultants can lower the chances of a firm getting attacked through implementing:
- Strict security policies
- Installing business-grade firewalls
- In-depth antivirus software?
- Intrusion detection mechanisms
- Continuous training for employees
4. Cloud Computing
If your company files aren’t already in the cloud, they should be. Your IT consultants can migrate your data to the cloud, giving you access to your files anywhere (as long as you have internet).
For example, if an attorney is in court, and needs to pull in a document they have been working on in the office, the cloud offers a secure, backed up, storage space for all of the firm’s documents.
Still not sure if the cloud is the right solution for your business? Check out our blog on what the cloud is, how it works, and why your SMB should use it!
5. Legal Software
Typically, law firms use specialized software to manage cases, documents, and billing. IT consultants can help you select the best software for your firm. If nothing else, the software you use at your firm should allow for a more streamlined workflow, increase productivity, and enhance your client service.
There's too many types of software to list, and just not enough time to research them all. Your IT consultant can help by providing industry specific software that aligns with your business’ goals and also works with your business’ existing structure.
6. Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
In the event of a disaster or system failure, IT consultants should have developed and implemented a disaster recovery and business continuity plan for your firm. A disaster recovery plan ensures that all critical IT systems are backed up, minimizing downtime with quick restoration.
Disaster recovery plans are a must-have for your business. Contact us to schedule a consultation and start building your recovery plan!
7. Compliance and Regulations
Law firms must comply with rigorous standards and regulations. On the digital front, an IT consultant can explain what these requirements are and implement appropriate processes to meet compliance requirements.
As cybercriminals develop new ways to attack your business, new regulations are created to keep you and your business safe. Here are some of the most common IT compliance requirements for law firms.
8. IT Support and Help Desk
IT consultants should provide ongoing support and help desk services. These services should include addressing technical issues, troubleshooting problems, and providing a timely solution. Looking for a more in-depth breakdown of what kinds of services your firm should have? Click here.
9. Training and Education
Human error is often overlooked as one of the biggest threats we face every single day. According to IBM, 95% of cyber security breaches result from human error. Your IT consultant should provide your firm with training and educational opportunities to enhance the firm’s overall IT literacy.
Interested in a personalized cybersecurity training for your business? Schedule your training with us!
10. Vendor Management
You’re busy, and all of your time is directed towards your clients. Your IT consultant should be working with multiple vendors for hardware, software, cloud computing, and all other IT needs.
In addition, your IT consultant should be leading contract negotiations and ongoing vendor management to ensure that your firm is getting the best value and service from its vendors.
Why Your Business Needs an IT Consultant
Having an IT Consultant who is experienced in the unique requirements of the legal field can help law firms enhance their IT infrastructure, optimize security, streamline workflows, and improve the overall operations of your firm.
Does an IT Consultant for Law Firms Have to be Near Me?
The short answer is, no. As technology has advanced in the last decade, IT consultants have access to more tools that allow for quick, precise troubleshooting methods while being remote. In addition to remote possibilities, moving to the cloud has allowed for companies to drop their physical hardware, allowing for less on-site visits. Interested in knowing more about how remote support works? Give us a call!