IT Optimization is an all-encompassing IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) offering for law firms. For one reasonable and affordable monthly fee, IT Optimization provides everything your law firm needs to operate at peak performance: technology systems, strategic advice and a dynamic team of legal technology experts. This team has a proven history of transforming stymied IT environments into high-performance ecosystems that propel law firms to break through to their next level.
With our IT Optimization service taking care of your IT environment, you can focus on the business of lawyering and growing your law firm. IT Optimization delivers security, stability, scalability and low total cost of ownership for one of the most important areas of your law firm – technology.
Why do you need our IT optimization service? Here is our experience. LOGICFORCE is a strategic trusted advisor to hundreds of law firms. We have deep insights into the operations of these firms and how their technology ecosystems (IT, eDiscovery, cyber security, data management) either enable or debilitate their growth potential. We know what works and what doesn’t work for legal technology.
Who Needs This?
Law firms who want to make their core IT environment a reliable, nimble, secure and powerful source of strategic growth.
After performing deep-dive analyses on hundreds of law firms, we’ve identified what we now believe to be the single biggest obstacle to growth: a serious disconnect between their business strategy and technology strategy. For every law firm we’ve profiled, this disconnect is acute and potentially crippling. Why does this happen?
Most lawyers and law firm leaders are not technologists, but the people they rely on to architect, deploy and support their IT environments are technology people. This certainly creates communication issues. But more importantly, it leads to a situation where people with limited legal-business insights and almost no comparators to best-in-class firms make crucial, sometimes irreversible, technology decisions and in so doing unintentionally create technology strategy and policy.
The result is that most law firms “own” an IT environment that under-performs and places them at unnecessary levels of risk. But more importantly, the IT environment will not scale to support the business goals of the future.
If this sounds like your law firm, we have some great news. A NEW STYLE LEGAL IT™ – the foundation of IT Optimization – is available to your firm and it has the potential to radically improve your productivity, profits and growth potential. If you want to unleash the hidden power of your law firm, you need our IT Optimization service.
Here are the core reasons to consider this service.
Moore’s Law holds that roughly every 18 months, the compute capacity of a CPU (Central Processing Unit – the brain of any technology device) will double. The implications of Moore’s Law are nothing less than game-changing for your law firm. This means that new hardware and software – technology that you likely cannot even imagine today – has the potential to dramatically improve your operations. This also means that small teams will be able to do more work than teams that were formerly many times their size. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that you’ll have to keep up, because your clients will expect it and your competitors will adopt the technology too. Moore’s Law means that you can no longer think of technology as just the tools you use to do you work. Technology, a vibrant technology environment, is to a law firm what oxygen is to a living organism. You cannot thrive without it.
Most law firms now need technology environments that are as complex as Fortune 500 organizations. Yet these firms do not have the IT leadership, IT support teams or technology systems that one finds in Fortune 500 firms. This means that law firms are constantly behind the curve, struggling to keep up and feeling overwhelmed by the complexity of the systems they need.
STRESS ON LEADERS
These challenges often lead to unstable technology environments. This means that those who bear responsibility for IT continually dread the unknown, fearing when the other shoe will drop. One LOGICFORCE client describes this as the “hot phone” scenario. When things go wrong, which they inevitably will since there is not enough support, an onslaught of angry phone calls overwhelms the people responsible for IT.
Technology failures are a major reason that law firms choose to adopt our IT Optimization service. It might be a cyber attack, a critical server going down, lost work-product, missing client data, failed backups or some other event. Cumbersome or outdated time-and-billing systems are also common. These are often the precipitating moments when law firm leaders decide to bring us in.
Cyber security is now a major concern for every law firm as stories of hacks make for very public headlines. Law firms who have just been holding on, when it comes to technology, often find that they are way out of their depth when it comes to security. Every law firm we have ever profiled is out of compliance with their own information governance policies and most major regulatory requirements, let alone their client’s security policies.
Technology audits are the new pay-to-play model. Many corporations in regulated industries will ask you to prove you are ready to be their provider by passing an extensive technology audit which they must verify before awarding you business. These audits have become a primary reason that law firms adopt our IT Optimization service, which has built-in Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to address these opportunities. If you’ve ever had to respond to a 75-page technology audit document, you know how painful and time-consuming this can be.
Technology obsolescence is a root cause of most technology problems. Moore’s Law dictates that new systems will be thrust upon the market at an ever-increasing rate. Most law firms, due to budget constraints and lack of understanding of better alternatives, choose to be very selective in what they upgrade. This means they have lop-sided IT environments. Some systems are newer while other systems are aging and far too many are well past what should have been their end of life.
This is a major reason that law firms choose our IT Optimization service. Some firms have come to us trying to figure out how to afford a $100,000 server upgrade and other critical pieces of their network. They are pleasantly surprised when we tell them they can get a new server, new network components and anything else they need without a significant cash outlay. They are thrilled when we tell them that we’ll maintain it and replace it before it’s obsolete, all for no additional charge.
Scalability of the technology ecosystem is a major challenge for law firms. As firms grow, they often find that certain parts of their IT environment will not effectively scale in proportion to their needs. This might be anything from document management systems, time-and-billing applications, eDiscovery platforms, networks or a host of other investments. While they may only need a fraction of the power of the new system, the only option is to buy the complete system, often at a price point that is not affordable for law firms.
This often prevents these law firms from jumping to their next level at an accelerated pace. They simply cannot afford everything they need. At LOGICFORCE, we liken this to buying an expensive car when what you really need is a car service twice a month. Why pay for a whole car when all you really want is to be transported from point A to point B twice a month?
This is another major reason that law firms choose our IT Optimization service. This service gives law firms access to and use of technology – the true value of it, not ownership – when, where and how they need it on a rental basis. Because you only pay for this technology on a per-attorney basis, you only buy what you need. This gives you nearly instant scale and access to technology that otherwise would have been out of reach. If you need more capacity, you simply pay a slight increase every month based on the number of new users.
TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP
Most law firms really don’t know how much their technology ecosystem costs their organization. When we’ve run TCO analyses for these firms, they are shocked at the annual costs, especially given the performance of the technology ecosystem. Most law firms have buyer’s regret.
Whatever you might think you are paying for your technology environment today, we recommend that you double that number and then double it again and you’ll likely still be short of what it actually costs your firm. This is probably the single biggest reason law firms choose our IT Optimization service.
We have been able to prove in hard numbers that our approach to technology costs, in many instances, fifty percent less than the current approach – all while dramatically improving performance, security and scalability. Some of our clients discover that they pay for our service fees in total for the year within the first six months of adopting IT Optimization simply through improved billing rates of their attorneys.
Law firms using an integrated IT ecosystem average 9% higher billings annually, 12% more matters with “very high” client satisfaction and a 71% increase in client referrals. They also spend less time and money on administrative tasks, billing and collection is more efficient and lawyers can deliver services faster and more economically. In addition, our clients no longer have to acquiesce on large cases to bigger law firms with more robust electronic discovery departments as they can immediately scale their capabilities to handle any litigation or investigatory matter they want manage. All at a fraction of the cost of what it used to be in a traditional buy and build model.
When you engage LOGICFORCE to provide IT Optimization, you can expect a dramatically improved IT environment, rock-solid stability, security that meets or exceeds regulatory requirements, such as HIPAA, HITECH, FINRA and FDIC. You can expect increases in productivity that create a new level of collaboration and communication on your team. Your billing rates and profits will go up and your headaches and complaints will go down. You will qualify to do business in regulated industries where you quickly pass technology audits.
You can also expect a much lower total cost of ownership. IT Optimization delivers a comprehensive package of services and systems on a monthly per-attorney fee basis. This means you have virtually no capital expenditure outlays, which strengthens your cash position substantially.
You will realize measurable profitability gains with a capacity to scale for client-work that was previously unattainable in your old model. You also won’t run the risk of losing a client due to non-compliant technology, systems and data management audits.
WHY YOU NEED THIS
IT Optimization saves you money, reduces risk, increases staff satisfaction, enhances productivity and typically results in higher billing rates from the same team.
IT OPTIMIZATION DELIVERABLES
An IT Optimization engagement can include any or all of the following systems:
- Document management system
- Email system
- Company issued computers such as laptops and desktops
- Company issued mobile computing devices such as phones, tablets and PDAs
- BYOD (bring your own device), if this is your policy
- Servers: hosting on-premise applications and network attached storage systems
- On-premise enterprise applications: such as time and billing systems
- Cloud-based applications: of nearly any type you might need
- Storage systems: network storage and off-site or cloud-based near-line storage
- Backup and archiving: to tapes, disks or other media
- Network systems: switches, hubs, routers
- Internet access: WIFI, LAN, WAN
- Remote access: VPN and other options
Cyber security is a critical concern. This is why our IT Optimization service can include:
- Email security: to prevent phishing scams, viruses malware and other threats
- Device security: to prevent lost or stolen devices from being accessed
- Mobile device management: to track and manage these systems
- Document monitoring: tracking document usage to spot problems
- Network perimeter security: blocking penetration from outsiders
- Networking monitoring: for intrusion detection and unauthorized access
- Data encryption: to protect data assets on transportable devices
Technology leadership, system design and on-site support and help-desk support are also part of IT Optimization. This can include:
- Brainstorming sessions and analyses with a CIO-level LOGICFORCE executive
- Development of a strategic technology roadmap for your organization
- Development or updates of information governance policies
- A LOGICFORCE senior executive to present to your board of directors or senior management committees in terms your team can understand
- Selection of technology systems that match your short-term needs and that scale over time
- Network design and deployment for existing or new offices
- Deployment of new applications and training of your staff
- On-site technology support staff for immediate response to issues
- Help-desk support for issues that are not immediately acute
- Response to technology audits that are a precursor to earning a client’s business
There are a couple of things to note about how we deploy IT Optimization. First, we say above that this service “can include” certain items because not every law firm needs everything we offer. The solution we offer you will be customized based on your needs and will be determined by a team of legal technology experts who will perform a deep dive analysis of your organization. See the section called Our Approach for details on how we do this.
Second, many of our clients come to us with relationships already in place with IT people that they value. We do not seek to replace these people. There are numerous options available to preserve the integrity of these relationships and we have a history of doing so effectively.
IT OPTIMIZATION OUTCOMES
These are the outcomes you can expect from an IT Optimization engagement:
- You will be able to take a long-term view of where your firm is going and how you will get there, full-well knowing that our team is ready to make your vision a reality.
- You will be able to focus your time and energy on the business of lawyering and growing your law firm.
- Your business strategy will be enabled by your technology strategy. Technology will be transformed from an inhibitor of your growth to an enabler of your growth.
- You will very quickly have access to some of the most valuable and game-changing technologies in the legal industry today. Many of these systems would have formerly been cost-prohibitive.
- You will quickly notice a substantial reduction in complaints about the IT environment. You will also notice a morale boost among staff as the technology environment simply and fluidly functions as desired.
- You will gain peace of mind about the IT environment and confidence that it will not break.
- You will have a secure enterprise where information governance policies are both documented and instantiated through the day-to-day activities of your staff and the technology systems keeping your firm secure.
- You will quickly and easily qualify for business opportunities in nearly any regulated industry from organizations who require you to pass a technology audit as a precursor for serving them.
- Your technology environment will never be obsolete or behind the curve. You will have systems that are high-performance at all times and that are replaced well before end of life.
- Your business will be able to scale quickly and very cost-effectively. With just a phone call or an email to LOGICFORCE, new users will be added to your account for a very reasonable monthly fee.
- Your overall technology costs will go down as your total cost of ownership is substantially reduced.
- Your billing rates will likely improve compared to where they are today – all without adding a single new person.
- Your profits will rise to levels that are well above industry averages.
- You will have the LOGICFORCE guarantee to pass client IT Security audits
LOGICFORCE’s approach to delivering the IT Optimization service draws upon the experience and wisdom of top legal consultants, technology strategists and cyber security analysts. This team knows how to build and manage IT environments that produce outstanding financial results.
There are two ways to determine how this service will benefit your firm: Synthesis E-IT Secure® (SEITS®) or a deep-dive analysis from our consulting team. Our preference is to begin an IT Optimization engagement with a SEITS® assessment. SEITS® culminates in a blueprint that makes it crystal clear how to optimize your IT environment. However, SEITS® is only appropriate for those law firms who are seeking to engage LOGICFORCE for their entire technology ecosystem: IT, eDiscovery, cyber security and data management. That may or may not be appropriate for your firm, depending on your goals.
HOW THIS BENEFITS YOU
IT Optimization gives you access to technologies that will help you leap frog the competition and improve your profitability.
The other way to apply our IT Optimization service to your firm is through a deep-dive analysis with our consulting team. In this approach, LOGICFORCE consultants conduct a thorough analysis of your business goals, current operating environment, IT leadership, IT systems and budget. Our consultants will then compare what they discover to best-in-class organizations to develop a roadmap to your future. They will come back to you with a custom plan that fits your goals and budget.
Whether you choose to begin your journey through a SEITS® assessment or through a deep-dive consulting analysis, you can expect us to provide a thorough analysis and comparators to best-in-class law firms across these crucial areas:
IT Optimization system analysis:
- Document management
- Computers such as laptops and desktops
- Mobile computing devices such as phones, tablets and PDAs
- On-premise enterprise applications
- Cloud-based applications
- Storage systems
- Backup and archiving systems
- Network systems
- Internet access
- Remote access
Cyber security analysis:
- Email security
- Device security
- Mobile device management
- Document monitoring
- Network perimeter security and network monitoring
- Data encryption
Technology leadership analysis:
- Assessment of the current technology leader, if one exists
- Analysis of the current technology roadmap, if one exists
- Analysis of information governance policies and practices
- Assessment of IT support team and helpdesk