As Benjamin Franklin said, ‘by failing to prepare you are preparing to fail’. Businesses that are flexible and agile are the ones most adaptable for change. As we’ve all learnt, being prepared to tackle unknown and unforeseen challenges and changes is setting yourself up for success.
Preparing for the unknown feels like an impossible tasks. A great place to start is with the things that are in your control. We’ve listed 3 things that should be on the top of your list that you can take action on today.
By having a solid strategy and plan for your data and cyber security, marketing efforts, website and legal software, you can set yourself up for success. Allowing your firm to thrive no matter the future challenges.
Think about security risks
Do not be forced in to either taking risks or substantial spending to ensure the security of your data and systems. Security risks exist at the location you store your data, so opening up office based or even co-located servers to external internet-based access gives you the immediate responsibility for controlling access and preventing virus or penetration attacks.
Genuine web-based services are designed and expensively provisioned to manage these issues, so you don’t have to. It also goes without saying that distributing and storing sensitive data and documents on laptops or home pcs is a significant additional risk obviated by cloud document storage and cloud database operation.
When working from home or remote, on multiple devices, it’s easy to forget about the security risks involved. Business and client data is at risk so make sure you’re software and IT equipment is protected, but also set policies for staff to follow to reduce further risk. Read our tips for cyber security when working from home or the office.
Update your website and marketing
Research has shown that clients seeking legal services will begin their search online. Most of the websites that your clients prefer to use provide a rich interactive experience and they expect no less from their law firm. It makes sense to attract existing and potential clients to your website and actively market your services to them while they are there. Try to ensure that they can instruct you electronically and continue to interact with your website to provide information and track their cases.
Get your marketing website to work seamlessly with your PMS. With a seamless integration, you’ll be able to offer a smooth, digital onboarding process. Clients can e-sign their confirmation of instruction, provide all their information online and view the progress of their case. Providing a digital client service is the quick, efficient and transparent service they expect.
As a Practice Manager, Senior Partner, or department head, maintain real time awareness of case progression and ensure consistency in compliance and the quality of work with properly designed workflows that in turn promote effective reporting and automate case tracking and online collaboration for your clients.
Choose the right legal technology
By now you will be only too aware of the intimate dependence you have developed with your IT to allow for continued working. That’s why it’s worth taking a moment to consider whether your IT setup is constraining or improving your working life.
It’s certainly the case that if you want an easier experience “it’s in the cloud!”. Legal cloud software is certainly what you should have in place and you shouldn’t accept Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections to office-based servers and multiple locations for storing sensitive and critical data: these tend to function primarily as a means of propping up ageing software than help you. Don’t accept additional expenditure to meet the demands of software companies who have failed to invest in cloud technology.
The computers you use at home – laptops, tablets and smartphones – have been designed to connect to the nearest Wi-Fi and use the internet to operate any properly written software, including shopping and social sites, banking, Microsoft Office 365, Teams, Zoom and, in the case of our Osprey products, PMS and accounts.
Remember that all of your clients will have the same range of devices and will expect to use them to access legal services in common with almost every personal or commercial transaction they carry out these days.
Concentrating on just these 3 things will help set your firm up for success now and in the future.