Should you audit your IT?

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Hi, James Vickery from I Know IT and thanks for tuning in to our Legal Tech Tips.

We provide IT services to law firms and the aim of this series is to share some of the business challenges faced by Australian legal practices and provide you with ideas and insights in to how you can get the most out of your IT.

Has your firm recently conducted an IT audit? If not recently then when was the last time your firm had an IT audit?

Legal firms are big consumers of technology. Most practice management tools are IT intensive and critical to the financial wellbeing of the practice, email is essential for maintaining client relationships and Internet and phones are the lifeblood of the practice. We rely on these systems to deliver and we expect them to be cost effective as well.

When firms ask us why they should conduct an IT audit our answer is the same – “you don’t know what you don’t know” and with technology moving so rapidly it’s prudent to conduct an exercise to see how the practice can improve operations or perhaps stabilise some costs.

But is having a 3rd party review of your IT systems good practice? Let’s discuss the advantages.

Because no one IT or telecommunications provider has all the answers it is safe to say that getting an external opinion brings new insight from the marketplace. For example there may be technologies in your business that expose you to risk such as a lack of appropriate backup systems or a security loophole – there may also be alternatives to the technologies you are using that could streamline your practice, reduce cost or give you a competitive edge. An audit will uncover those needs and give you the facts.

IT audits are often triggered by an event such as a major IT issue that puts a question mark over the current IT system and your providers but in reality we believe audits should also be conducted on a routine basis – at least every 3 years – because it ensures that management are obtaining a balanced view of what is available to you in the market and options to act upon. Allowing the IT status quo to reside in your practice for too long – we think – is risky in and of itself.

So where to from here? To conduct an audit of your IT it’s important to know what your goals are and then select an appropriate provider to carry out the work. Audits should be non-intrusive and allow your firm to go on with business as usual while the experts go through your system and uncover areas for improvement and innovation. Audits should also be cost effective so that there is still an IT budget left over for you to implement any required work that is uncovered by the reviewer.

I Know IT has a customised legal IT review process that is used by firms all over Australia. The legal IT review is provided at a fixed fee so there are no surprises, and the end result puts your firm in a position to make real decisions about the future of your IT.

If you’re looking for ways to improve you firm and you’d like more information we’re here to help – simply give us a call at 1800 456 694 and we’ll be happy to talk to you about your firm’s IT needs.

Thank you.

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About the Author: James Vickery is the founder and CEO of I Know IT, a transformative IT services provider. James connects law leaders to their strategy through technology with a firm belief that lawyers must re-enter their profession as innovators, thinking and acting as technology companies do in order to survive, compete and prosper in a digital economy.

James enables this new way of thinking and executing through consulting, coaching and delivery of technology solutions to Australian and international organisations. .

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