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Hi, James Vickery from I Know IT and thanks for tuning in to our Legal Tech Tips.
One of the most interesting evolutions in technology today is the sheer number of productivity tools and apps available to law firms. For many years firms were limited to a handful of practice management tools and productivity suites – today, the challenge is deciding which products to choose from and whether they will meet your firms needs in the long run.
We think one of the most exciting developments is the software by Microsoft which they call Office 365. Chances are you already use Microsoft Outlook, Word and Excel every day in your practice, but recently Microsoft have provided a whole new range of products delivered via the Cloud. Microsoft Office 365 incorporates all of those tools that you are familiar with, but makes them available online, from your workstation, laptop, iPad and even from your phone.
So is Microsoft Office 365 suitable for your firm?
The best way to answer this is to look at how your firm works, and how you intend on growing. For example, if you have or you are considering multiple locations for your firm then having ‘365 means that your files and folders can be made securely available to you and your colleagues from each of those locations without the added expense of hardware and complex networks to do so.
Another key advantage of Microsoft Office 365 is the reduced cost of software licensing and the ability to turn on and off licenses based on the number of individuals in your practice. If you only occasional hire paralegals or support staff you can use limited versions of the software rather than purchasing a copy of Office for each machine. This new way of subscribing to IT software rather than buying it can really help manage costs.
But the real advantage to 365 is that in most instances it can eliminate or dramatically reduce the amount of server equipment your business needs. Because Microsoft Office 365 has its own Email Service (based on Microsoft Exchange), your firm may be able to reduce the amount of hardware needed to run the practice, and that has other cost benefits such as reduced IT support and reduced maintenance costs. The email system within 365 even has the ability to archive mail and legal hold email so that your firm has some protection against accidental or intentional data loss.
Of course every law firms requirements are unique – that’s why as a legal IT specialist we think it’s important you get appropriate advice before deciding which tools will be best for your practice.
If you’re thinking about Office 365 or you just need some IT advice that’s what we’re here for. Give our office a call at 1800 456 694 and we’d be more than happy to talk to you.
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. More from this author.