There's an old saying that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. This can be true when it comes to Houston information technology in the legal industry. We live in an information society, yet some legal professionals prefer tradition over innovation. It seems that lawyers who have been practicing for many years are more likely to use a pen and legal pad rather than a computer. Why? Most of these lawyers began their practice during the relied on typewriters, and used books for research rather than Internet search engines.
To more conventional professionals, technology is a hassle that has brought on more stress, added expenses, and yielded less profit. While technology is created to make life easier, it can also lead to more distractions when equipment must be replaced or repaired – especially with regard to disaster recovery in Houston. When this occurs, some executives question if technology holds a true advantage over a pen and paper.
“Fear” is often used to describe the relationship between technology and lawyers, yet it can also be a double-edged sword. Sometimes lawyers fear technology, because they know nothing about it. IT changes every day which makes it hard for any person to keep up. Because there is so much of IT, some lawyers choose to avoid it altogether. While some fear the unknown, others feel technology uses fear to pressure people into buying things they may not necessarily need. As much as the traditionalists would like to fight the information society, the legal profession is changing. A number of firms are beginning to digitize documents, track hours, and manage litigation using new technologies.
Some lawyers have begun to avoid technology altogether. To avoid additional stress, some local lawyers have begun to seek outside help from Houston computer consultants to take the away the burden of onsite technology. Many of these IT vendors offer utility computing, which provides firms with the necessary hardware and support with out the burden of costly overhead or personnel. Such services can contribute to a more predictable IT budget. But in order to successfully outsource the IT function, it’s important to educate yourself on the available options. Not doing the proper research could cost you thousands down the road:
Establish business outcomes before choosing a provider. Incorporate the business results you wish to achieve through outsourcing. You should establish business objectives for outsourcing with clearly defined goals. Having scheduled checkpoints to review the status of your outcomes can easily ensure that the provider meets your standards.
Choose a proactive business partner. An experienced IT outsourcing provider in Houston should be able to identify problems, not simply react to them. The provider should have some skill level, such as certifications. To avoid being a “guinea pig”, a vendor should offer a trial period. Select a provider that thrives off of your success, not your ‘problems.’ Make sure an IT provider doesn’t achieve their goals until you achieve yours. Review the service-level agreement. How will the provider monitor, measure and enforce it? Be specific about the deliverables you expect from the service so they can present you with realistic quotes and proposals.
Hire a business partner – not just a provider. Focus as much on strategic outcomes – like improved profitability, productivity, and business growth – as you would upfront costs. There are many vendor that provide IT support in Houston, but make sure the service provider understands how you intend to use the deliverables that they are agreeing to provide.
Allocate a dedicated liaison. Dedicating an employee to manage the business relationship allows for better communication and improved service. If there is a good understanding and strong working relationship, the relationship is likely to last long. Evaluate whether the provider readily offers customer references. Research has indicated that positive working methods and peer friendships on both ends has been an important factor in long term working relationships.
Finding a financial sound Houston computer consultant can instantly eliminate the headaches associated with managing onsite technology by handing over the IT chores to the experts. An attorney’s job is stressful enough and the main focus should be on what they do best – practicing law.