The life of solicitors is defined by how well they can manage information effectively. There is evidence coming, client correspondence and court filings. If you can create an efficient flow of information with the use of technology, then your expertise in the law can be maximised.
Why it is important to simplify IT systems
You may like the way you manage data in and out of your office. It is idiosyncratic, or so the admin team suggests, but it works. Why would you choose to innovate?
First, if you hope to grow your practice then you will need an IT system that can scale. When you scale complex systems they tend to get more complicated – and unusable only to you. Adding other legal experts to your practice makes it incumbent on you to make all information systems intuitive and practical.
You also want to maximise the efficiency of your employees. You do not want to be paying more administration and paralegals than necessary. If your data is hard to collate and access, then time will be lost. It will help these team members access the information you need quickly. Indeed, if the data is largely muddled, then it might mean your team misses an essential factor that would be beneficial to your client.
Finally, and not inconsequentially, successful collation and access to data will make you a more effective solicitor in a competitive market. If you can work more efficiently than the next professional along the road, then you will gain more business and bigger profits.
How to simplify IT systems
Less is more. The more tools you add, the more processes you will need. Therefore, you need to begin by auditing your practice. What tools do you need to succeed? What tools do your clients need you to have so you can work with them? This might sound like common sense. However, most IT systems evolve over time and become flabby because of this. If you were to start today to plan your IT system, it is unlikely to look as it does. Therefore, there will be times when you need to stop and evaluate what you need from these tools and then which of these technologies you actually need.
Look for the technologies that will allow you to adapt quickly. We live in a rapidly changing time and technology is evolving at a rapid pace. Consequently, you need to future-proof your systems by making choices that can upgrade with you and with innovation. You cannot be one of those law firms that feel resistant to change.
Part of simplifying your information systems will require an ethos of constant improvement and constant change. This will mean programming in times when you will iterate your IT systems. You will reflect on the usefulness of your systems and how you minimise the steps in your procedures.
Making it simple to make it simpler
If you worry that this sounds like a constant complication in your law firm, then you might want to consider outsourcing your IT. Maintaining an effective information system is highly specialist work and much money can be saved by asking experts to achieve your goals for you.