How to choose suitable software for your law firm
If you have made the decision to change the software selection for your law firm, the first thing that you need to do is see what options are available. Searching online means that you will find a long list of results with each provider giving you guarantees that they will make life easier at a competitive rate.
In order to make your choice easier, we are going to look at three important factors to consider when deciding which software provides the best solution for your law firm.
Should you use the cloud or have a system installed?
Small and solo firms cannot fail to benefit from using a cloud-based system. The pros definitely outweigh the cons.
The most obvious advantage is that businesses do not need any in-house IT systems; they simply need to sign-up to a cloud based system. There is also no need for any costly and time-consuming maintenance and upgrades; all of that is taken care of. Security is also ensured and regular back-ups take place automatically.
Other advantages of cloud-based services are:
- Access anywhere and at any time.
- Services can be scaled to size as your business grows.
- Changing your mind is easy as you simply pay as you go for the service.
Is your data safe?
Safety of data is always a vital consideration for any law firm. This is why you should opt for a software solution that is based on the latest available technologies. You also need to know whether the solution is cloud based or whether you will need to do any in-house hosting.
You may like the idea of the control that in-house hosting gives you. However, you need to factor in the additional financial and time resources that this hosting requires. It can be a good idea to use a fully serviced software solution, so that a specialist third party provider does all of the work.
You need to think about the provider’s reputation and whether they can provide you with access to your data, when you need it and with no restrictions. You also need to ask questions about how they store and encrypt data as well as how your data will be backed up.
If you decide to opt for a solution where your data is hosted and managed by a third party, you need to ask:
- Does the third party have access to your data?
- What form of encryption will be used?
- Where is the data stored and how is the premises protected?
- Are all regulations complied with?
- How easy will it be to access and retrieve your data?
How does it feel?
Most software systems on the market have a free trial on offer. This means that you can see how the software handles. You can have a look at the interface and gauge how easy it is to use the software on a mobile device. You can also get a better idea as to what the provider’s customer service is like and what support you will be able to get.
Make sure that you have listed your needs before you look for the product, so that you know how well the solutions you try match them. Do not just think about price but also consider what you get for your investment.
Client references are also an important consideration. You need to ensure that you can speak to clients of the provider you are considering. This will help you to see what they thought of the experience and they can give you an idea of how smooth the whole process is.
You also need to take a look at the provider’s internal team. You should pay attention to how well they operate, how much knowledge they have and how responsive they are.
Professional and reliable providers have no reason not to be completely honest about the services they provide. They should also be able to provide comprehensive answers to any questions that you have, such as can the software cope with a growth in your business? Be sceptical if the answers they provide are weak.
Remember that you should never sign a contract before you ensure that it matches what has been agreed verbally. Clarify any differences before you place your signature on the document.
The more you think about all these considerations, the easier it should be to reduce the long list of providers you may be considering. This makes the job of finding the best fit for your firm a lot simpler.
Computer Geeks has been providing a host of expert advice to UK based companies for more than a decade. Based in Bristol, we deal with clients from numerous different locations and different sectors. Call us on 0117 325 0370 to see how we can develop a bespoke service that is based around the requirements of your business.