Much like hiring interns, law firms can augment their in-house IT staff with experienced and reputable third-party IT support providers. Although firms sometimes overlook or undervalue IT staff, these staff members can provide a valuable and strategic advantage.
In this post, we’ll consider a mid to large sized law firm that already has an in-house IT support staff. We are looking at how and where external agencies could help bolster the skillsets of a firm’s in-house IT staff.
In-house IT staffs are great to have, and with highly demanding environments they can be critical to success. Because your in-house team is familiar with the nuances of your firm and your workflows, it makes them extremely efficient in troubleshooting and resolving issues. It also allows them to implement issue prevention and automation systems that empower the firm.
This internal focus can be much more useful to a large law firm then solely having an external support provider. But, some additional benefits can be gained by adding in part-time support or consulting services from an external IT provider; let’s break some of these down.
A wider breadth of experience:
Internal staff is always better at “keeping the lights on” than an outsourced company is because of their intimate knowledge of the firm’s complexity and nuances. However, external IT providers always have a wider footprint in the legal market, have experienced many more issues, and discovered many more solutions and approaches. This more extensive range of experience in troubleshooting and resolving issues from multiple firms can give a third-party provider unique insight into the longer-term impact or benefit of various resolutions.
External IT support providers are not geared towards an individual firm; continuing education tracks are more directed towards the technology. This technology-based specialization allows a third-party provider to have a more holistic view of what the technology can provide a firm.
External IT support providers are a team of individuals carefully built to support and contrast each other’s skill sets. This technology-based specialization allows an external provider to have a more holistic view of what technology can provide a firm.
A firm can attain many benefits from augmenting internal IT staff, but the three skillsets above can provide immediate results. Forward-thinking firms get benefits in planning and implementation of technologies.
Specifically, law firms that regularly bring in consultants outside IT support can drastically improve their internal workflows and practices. As a result, law firms would have a highly profitable and strategic advantage over their competitors. These outside consulting providers can introduce technology and methods that traditionally wouldn’t be within the average day to day support process that an internal team does.
A partnership like this can allow a firm to receive advice and vision that simply isn’t available without accepting and applying knowledge from other firms, companies, and technologies. Software and technology that may never make it to your internal staff’s radar suddenly become available. Specialist’s knowledge of specialists in varying fields now can augment the internal staffs’ ability to implement, maintain and train. Firms that properly leverage this partnership can more easily outperform those who focus solely on a one-sided approach (such as just internal, or just external staff). Could your firm benefit from producing deliverables faster and more effectively?