If your law firm uses technology correctly, you can level the playing field with those large corporate groups that have all sorts of unfair advantages.  Embracing the latest tech ramps up efficiency, pleases clients and reduces costs in the long run.  The question is how much to spend and what to spend it on.

 

Step One: Set a Benchmark for Tech Costs

Consider what successful law firms of similar size are spending on their tech.  Compare your current tech costs to those of last year and years prior.  Such bench-marking will help your group create unique models and scenarios that help determine the best time to implement changes like moving to the cloud and/or migrating to a SaaS model.

If you crunch the numbers and determine your law firm’s current financial commitment to tech is optimal for your size, it will only be necessary to make some minor alterations.  However, the typical mid-sized law firm has plenty to gain from increasing its investment int technology.  Upgrading to the latest software, hardware, network and data services can make a massive difference in efficiency and security.  When in doubt, rely on a neutral tech guru who can advise you about specific options for tech additions, improvements and alterations in an objective manner.

 

Step 2: Work With the Right Tech Partners

In order for a mid-size firm to stay competitive, an alliance with SaaS vendors will be necessary.  Otherwise, the firm’s technology will fall behind that of the competition and clients will gradually jump ship along with attorneys and support staff.  It is prudent to smart-source technology instead of investing enormous sums of money to have everything done in-house.  Save some of that money for other purposes, outsource certain tech responsibilities and you will facilitate growth.  Team up with the proper SaaS providers, maintain trustworthy internal governance and your organization’s efficiency will increase in due time.  This approach will also free up time for your team to focus on what they do best.

Invest in services instead of buying infrastructure and you will have the leverage necessary to cut costs in the event your business shrinks. You can always add more services for support if your business grows.  The SaaS model really is the only approach in which you, the customer, have the advantage.  So do not worry about SaaS variables like assets and headcounts changing.  Services and providers can be adjusted as necessary on-the-fly.

 

Step 3: Recognize As-a-service is the Future of the Legal Market

Ask any insider about where legal tech is going and most will respond with a variation of how as-a-service will dominate the industry.  You need to ally with the right consultant to analyze tech spending, ensure right-sizing and access to the proper systems for continuous innovation.  Opt for as-a-service and your organization will remain competitive even as market pressure builds.  So do not make the mistake of assuming immediate upgrades to the latest technology are the sole means of obtaining a competitive advantage.  The partners you ally with mean just as much as your willingness to upgrade your firm’s tech as new innovations hit the market.