When you have a busy law practice, it is sometimes hard to keep up with new technologies and what they can do for you: but ignoring the latest trends can be a costly mistake. Here are some ways to use technology to make your office and you much more efficient.
Computers are essential in any business nowadays, and law offices are no exception. It may be time for you to take a good, hard look at both your hardware and software and decide if what you have is still meeting your needs. Here’s how to know if it’s time for an upgrade:
— You need new hardware if your existing computers cannot handle the wonderful new software you’d like to use.
— Your computer is so slow that you feel like you’re fighting with it each and every day.
— Your software is so outdated that your employees don’t know how to use it properly: or worse, your clients find it hard to communicate with you.
— You are wasting money on constant repair costs.
In order to get your office’s computer network operating at peak efficiency, it might be a good idea to hire a firm that specializes in installing a custom software system to suit your unique needs and method of workflow. Such a company will keep abreast of the newest technologies for you, suggest upgrades when needed, and take care of any problems you may have in a timely manner: pre-packaged software simply doesn’t come with that kind of on-demand service and troubleshooting.
You just want to make sure that you are hiring a reputable firm and not a fly-by-night company that won’t be there when you need them. Word of mouth is the best recommendation for whom to hire: ask around. There are sure to be other attorneys you know whose offices are well-equipped and helping them to stay efficient, so find out who they are using for IT.
Another great use of technology to increase office efficiency is to invest in a digital dictation system. This can be installed in a Blackberry, Windows Mobile, iPhone, and a variety of other PDAs. You can use your voice to record and access important information virtually anywhere, without the need for antiquated analogue tapes.
Using such a system increases billable time and reduces the costs associated with holiday and illness. Client confidentiality is enhanced thanks to digital dictation’s high level of security, and so client service is greatly improved.
If your office hasn’t updated all of its computer systems in recent years or taken advantage of the newest developments in other technologies, you are really doing your clients and yourself a disservice. Isn’t it time to enter the 21st century?