Seven considerations when choosing a legal software provider
Posted on September 7, 2018
Blog piece by Pracctice CEO and LSSA vice-chairman Craig Matthews
Choosing a new legal software provider may seem a little overwhelming, particularly if you’ve been using the same system for a number of years.
The fact that you’re reading this means you’re probably considering moving to another provider for whatever reason, so it’s absolutely right that you spend time now choosing the right system for your firm. By following the advice I’ve provided in this blog and getting comfort from existing clients that the provider is willing to go that extra mile, you can be sure that you’ll make the best choice for your law firm.
Benefits of a cloud-based system v traditional server
Access your files is important and sometimes can be vital it also means that automatic software upgrades so there is never downtime for your system saving you time and money. A cloud-based system also helps with GDPR compliance as you can see clearly where all your files are stored, and they can be deleted or anonymise easily and quickly. To find out more watch our video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEMoJ_2wAW0
Due to economies of scale and the provider’s investment in their product, cloud-based systems are far more secure and robust than the ‘traditional’ model server. Is there data simply stored in an office or held centrally which have multiple levels of security they are anonymous locations, which are manned by experts 24/7?
Important to have the option to work remotely and at a time to suit fee earners, so ensure your provider is able to offer mobile options – ask for a demo of their case management software’s mobile version. Does it work across multi-platforms?
Ease of use
I make no apologies for including this – system needs to be easy to use so the firm can adopt it quickly. Recommend trying to open new matter, record time, finances etc. Ensure it works for your firm.
No case management provider is going to tell you about their poor reviews or advertise their dissatisfied customers. Do your due diligence and check for reviews including asking the provider to supply you with details of happy customers that use their software. Try to speak to ones that are a similar size to your firm.
Another benefit of cloud-based systems is their ability to interact seamlessly with the programmes you already use – and want to retain. Be sure to ask your provider about integrations so that your services aren’t interrupted.
It’s unfortunate that some case management providers use the tactic of enticing new clients with a price that seems too good to be true. If it seems that way, then it almost always is. Don’t be tempted to go with the lowest quote; it isn’t necessarily the cheapest – or the best – in the medium to long-term. Ask whether the monthly retainer is ‘all inclusive’ i.e. are there any additional costs such as installation, data migration, or maintenance. It’s also worth checking when the price will be reviewed, as we often hear about huge price hikes after 12 months.