More than ever, organizations rely on technology to drive growth and enable better customer experiences in a constantly evolving market. For smaller law firms with limited in-house resources and expertise, partnering with a managed services provider (MSP) is the only practical way to meet both IT and business needs. But not all MSPs are made equal.
Here are five signs it’s time to look for a new technical partner:
#1. Lack of strategic guidance
A dependable IT provider is more than just a vendor. It augments the capabilities of your existing team, provides support on demand, and offers expert guidance to help your law firm achieve technology alignment. If all it does is sell products and services to you, then it probably doesn’t have your best interests at heart. It probably thinks about short-term gains over forging a mutually beneficial long-term relationship.
#2. Unplanned service outages
A good relationship with an IT provider starts with a service level agreement (SLA) that clearly states the MSP’s obligation to deliver the minimum level of service and the maximum response time to support queries. But the SLA is only a document and is not entirely foolproof, even if it might be a legal resource. If service availability is constantly at the bare minimum level promised in the SLA, then you should start looking for alternatives.
#3. Inability to scale
One of the greatest benefits of outsourcing your IT is access to resources on demand. However, some MSPs do have their limits, which prevent them from serving larger organizations. If your MSP is struggling to keep up with demand, and calls go unanswered because staff are unavailable, then they might not be able to accommodate your needs anymore. Even if your IT provider has offered excellent service so far, there’s always the possibility you’ll outgrow them.
#4. Data loss
Data loss presents an existential threat to law firms because their entire operations revolve around the integrity and availability of critical documents. In an industry where brand reputation is built entirely on trust and confidentiality, there are many stringent compliance and security rules to follow as well. Data leaks, breaches, or loss can bring any law firm to its knees, so you shouldn’t give any second chances. If any data in your IT provider’s hands are lost or compromised due to an issue on their end, then you should consider switching to a more reliable MSP.
#5. Limited industry expertise
Law firms have some very specific technology needs. Aside from needing assistance with security and compliance requirements, they also require specific solutions for important everyday routines like electronic discovery, case management, and document management. Some MSPs claim to be everything to everyone, but there aren’t many one-size-fits-all solutions that can truly accommodate every need. If your MSP doesn’t have a thorough understanding of the business challenges facing your industry, it’ll have difficulty accommodating your needs. That’s why law firms should only work with providers that specialize in the legal sector.
Vertex provides IT solutions and expert guidance to law firms in the Greater Toronto Area. Call us today to schedule your first consultation.