Co-managed IT service is a type of IT service delivery model where the responsibilities for managing, monitoring, and supporting an organization’s IT infrastructure are shared between the internal IT staff of the company and an external managed service provider (MSP). Under this type of arrangement, the MSP acts as an extension of the organization’s internal IT team and works in collaboration. This post will explore how law firms take advantage of this service to manage their IT systems.
How Law Firms Use Co-Managed IT Services
Law firms today have increasingly complex IT systems in place to support lawyers and staff. They need to be able to manage their client data, communicate securely, and store and retrieve documents quickly. They also benefit from having systems in place that allow for collaboration between lawyers and staff. Unfortunately, law firms often lack the internal IT resources necessary to support all of these requirements. This is where co-managed IT services can help.
Co-managed IT services can provide the support law firms need to manage their network and IT systems effectively. The MSP will work with the firm’s internal IT staff to plan, implement, and manage the IT infrastructure. This can include tasks such as monitoring and patching systems, providing user support, and managing backups. The MSP will also be available to provide additional support as needed, such as when the firm needs to roll out new IT applications or systems.
Another important benefit of using co-managed IT services is that it can help law firms to improve the security of their systems. Law practices deal with sensitive information, and it’s critical for their network to be secure. Similarly, co-managed IT services can also help law firms to improve their disaster recovery and business continuity plans. By working with an MSP that specializes in disaster recovery, law firms can ensure that their systems are always available and that their data is protected in the event of a disaster.
Co-Managed IT Services Use Cases for Law Firms
Law firms can use co-managed IT services for a variety of different tasks, including security, help desk, infrastructure, file management, and application management.
Security: Cyber threats are evolving, and it’s critical for businesses to plan in advance against them. By working with an external MSP that specializes in cybersecurity, law firms can gain access to the latest security technologies and expertise. This can help them to protect their systems from external threats and vulnerabilities.
Help Desk: Co-managed IT services can help law firms to improve their help desk operations. By outsourcing the help desk function to an external MSP, law firms can have access to a professional help desk service. Internal IT resources tend to be occupied by bigger priorities and troubleshooting requests often slip in priority. Having a team dedicated to providing this service will significantly improve the efficiency of IT operations. Furthermore, an external MSP can provide 24/7 support, which can be beneficial for businesses that operate outside of traditional working hours or in multiple time zones.
Infrastructure: An MSP can help law firms to manage and maintain their IT infrastructure, including tasks such as monitoring and patching systems, monitoring potential intrusions or attacks, and managing backups and data storage.
File Management: Managing documents, files, and briefs is of paramount importance for law firms. By working with an MSP that specializes in file management, law firms can ensure that their data is properly organized and accessible.
Application Management and Maintenance: Another important task for law firms is to manage and maintain their software applications. For performance and security reasons, it’s important for applications to be up to date with the latest versions. This can be hard to manage, especially as businesses typically have dozens of applications. Relying on an MSP can provide the peace of mind that your applications are managed appropriately.
Choosing the Right Co-Managed IT Provider for your Firm
There are a few key considerations to keep in mind when choosing a co-managed IT provider for your law firm.
Pricing: When comparing MSPs, it’s important to compare their pricing models. Some MSPs charge a flat fee, while others charge based on consumption, like the number of devices under management or the number of applications and data being managed. In addition, some MSPs charge for support on an as-needed basis, while others include support in their monthly fees through retainers.
Capability: Another factor to consider is the capability of the co-managed IT provider. Make sure that they have the experience and expertise to meet your specific needs. In particular, make sure that the MSP has experience working with law firms and their business needs.
Reputation: It’s also important to consider the reputation of the co-managed IT provider. Make sure to research the provider online and consider reviews and testimonials to get an idea of other businesses’ experiences. In addition, you can ask the MSP for references from their other clients.
Compatibility with Existing Resources: Make sure that the co-managed IT provider you choose is compatible with your existing resources. For example, cultural fit can be an issue when collaborating with an external party. To prevent this, develop a plan to understand ownership of tasks and the communication plan. In addition, any new tools and systems should integrate with each other as well. This will ensure that there is minimal disruption to your operations.
Questions to Ask When Considering Co-Managed IT Providers
When considering co-managed IT providers, there are a few questions you should ask.
Experience with Law Firms: One question to ask is whether or not the provider has experience working with law firms. This will help you to gauge their understanding of the unique needs of your firm.
Improvements to Expect: Another question to ask is what improvements you can expect from working with the co-managed IT provider. This will help you to understand the value that they can add to your firm.
Concerns to Express: You should also express any concerns you have about working with a co-managed IT provider. Communication is key for a successful relationship so starting off by sharing your hesitations or worries can create a good foundation and set expectations.
Security: One of the most important questions to ask is about the security of your systems. Unavoidably, working with an external part exposes vulnerabilities. You will want to make sure that the co-managed IT provider you choose has experience in cybersecurity and can help to protect your systems from external threats.
Expertise: Lastly, ask about qualifications and if they have the right skill sets to perform the jobs that you expect.
For more details, refer to our blog about Four Questions to Ask When Considering an IT Partner.
Co-Managed IT Services and Your Law Firm
Co-managed IT services can be a great option for law firms looking to improve their IT operations. There are a few key considerations to keep in mind when choosing a co-managed IT provider, including price, capability, and compatibility with existing resources. You should also ask the provider questions about their experience, expertise, and security measures.
If you are considering co-managed IT services for your law firm, contact us today. Axxys Technologies would be happy to discuss the technology challenges in your firm and work to find a solution that fits your business.