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IT in practice: How to be tech savvy

Every Issue

Cite as: April 2015 89 (4) LIJ, p.79

Here are three dos and don'ts to keep in mind when dealing with technology. 

Work smarter

Maximise your time by using the many technologies at your disposal.

Did you know you can dictate directly to your mobile phone, anywhere in the world, and have the document converted to text automatically and sent to your email?

What about hosting conference calls between parties on your phone? Saving time and effort going back and forth with multiple people, often repeating the same information.

How about scanning documents directly to a matter and allocating cost recoveries automatically?

Just adopting some of these workflows will give you maybe an hour, or even more, back per week.

Enable your clients

Your support staff no longer need to run around looking for information to scan, email or fax to your clients. With secure document storage, you can now share specific information with clients allowing them instant access around the clock to their own information. Send and receive large files without cluttering up your email mailbox.

Ask for advice

Your time is extremely valuable. While you might be good with computers, your focus shouldn’t be on fixing IT related issues no matter how simple they are. This also applies when you are researching for the best technology for your law firm. Speak to those who work with this technology every day.

Don’t go cheap

Technology is one of your most important tools in use every day, second only to your brain. Low quality hardware has a short life with limited performance. When it fails, and it inevitably will, the cost to your firm can be far greater than investing in quality technology built and designed for your firm. The saving made during the time of purchase when compared to downtime might be many times the cost. Not worth it.

Don’t be complacent

Don’t let fear of changing IT support companies dissuade you from seeing what is available in the market. A lot has changed in the IT world, and it has become obvious that some providers are not keeping up with technology or ensuring their staff are appropriately trained to support their clients. Ask yourself, does my firm deserve better? Is our technology so far behind it will be very hard to catch up? Are we happy with our support?

Don’t get frustrated with IT

You don’t expect your clients to know or understand the law as well as you do. It’s ok if you don’t know where to begin, what your needs are, how to save money etc. A professional IT consultant won’t expect you to know all these things. That’s why the choice of your IT company is one of the most important decisions you can make regarding your IT. It’s the same when someone chooses their lawyer. If they are in good hands, they will present your case and make the best and most informed decisions for you.

NICHOLAS CARR is managing director of BOAB IT.


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