How can law firms take advantage of new technologies to stand out from the crowd and improve their balance sheets?
Adapting to modern ways of business
We’ve talked about this before - law firms which manage to adapt to the expectations of clients of the Amazon generation (who demand speed, constant updates and high standards of customer service) are better placed to deal with the modern business world. It’s no longer good enough to rely on the occasional business breakfast, shake a few hands and expect instructions to keep rolling in.
Build your brand online
Establishing a modern and well recognised identity or brand using online technologies is increasingly important, as is maintaining client relationships via email marketing or the array of social media channels. Potential clients - and even existing or long-standing clients - are more inclined to shop around these days so you need to stand out from the competition, and using the internet as a way of reaching prospects is a cheap way to go about cementing relationships. Maintaining a social media profile doesn’t cost a penny, and could mean closer links with existing clients as well as getting one up on the competition and attracting new prospects.
In a fast changing world, keeping up-to-date with the latest technology can help to speed up many processes in law firms. Many practices are gradually taking steps to do away with the chunky old filing cabinets and go paperless. Not only does handling files electronically cut down on wasteful printing, photocopying and supply costs and help the environment, but it also vastly improves efficiency and makes collaboration both internally and with clients far easier.
The average office worker uses an estimated 10,000 sheets of paper every year.
Watch the video now: The first steps to a paperless law office
A modern approach to work retains talent
Many employees - particularly younger generations - have come to expect more flexibility in their work patterns as a result of being able to take advantage of IT to work remotely. Allowing your staff to use their own laptops, tablets and smartphones with a Bring your own Device (BYOD) policy and encouraging flexible working can help to retain your top fee earners, thereby keeping your balance sheets healthy, as well as attracting fresh talent.
One survey indicated that 44% of job seekers view an organisation more positively if it supports their own device.
Watch the video now: BYOD trends and challenges
Investment in modern IT pays off
Old office desktops running on complex in-house IT systems can slow down workflow significantly and reduce billable hours, hitting your bottom line. Even small issues which may seem insignificant at first glance, such as a computer which takes a few extra seconds to save a file, seems to take forever to boot up or crashes frequently can cause major problems over time, as all these extra few seconds or minutes gradually build up into hours of wasted time.
One survey recently found that in the UK, we lose an average of 5.5 working days every year because of slow computers. One way to solve this is to look into application hosting services.
Relying on office-based computers and storage devices can prove risky. A missing storage device can cause all kinds of problems regarding data protection. Hosted systems can reduce a lot of worry, as files which are maintained in the cloud on secure remote servers are much safer and can’t be lost. Furthermore, application hosting services, which allow you to access all your important programs in the cloud, including Microsoft Office and case management software, can reduce your IT costs by up to 40% while making your IT more efficient, not to mention compliant.
To do list:
- Adapt to new ways of doing business.
- Get your firm online and on social media.
- Consider paperless working.
- Look into application hosting services and cloud storage.
- Encourage flexible working.
- Adopt a BYOD policy.