Managed service providers in the legal industry are firms that utilize information technology and automated processes to help law firms and corporate legal departments achieve greater efficiencies and better manage cybersecurity risks. This outsourcing approach is most common in the legal marketplace when it comes to the hosting of litigation data and applications.
1. Maximizes talent while reducing labor costs. “The last thing any lawyer needs to do is try to address a tech issue,” reports Ian Lopez. “Tech problems can be complicated for anyone other than a specialist, though the value of an IT expert doesn’t always fit well within the firm’s bottom line.”
Working with a managed services provider allows lawyers to focus on what they do best while service providers tackle tasks related to technology.
2. Allows for better-centralized management. Providers of managed services are best qualified to manage critical software updates and application patching in a way that is sensitive to security considerations. The centralized approach of managed technology services translates into decreased downtime and reduced cybersecurity threats.
“Lawyers have essentially been paralyzed by the sheer scope of the data security problem, a reaction that is understandable considering they’re in the business of practicing law, not cybersecurity,” said Jeff Norris, senior director of data security for LexisNexis Managed Technology Services.
Also see these related posts:
5 Keys to IT Disaster Recovery for Law Firms
Why the ISO 27001:2013 Certification Matters to Law Firms
Litigation Business Case: Hosted vs. Internal Data Management
3. Improves consistency; better risk management. Mr. Lopez found it’s typical for firms to be working on numerous sensitive documents at any given time, creating the potential for a problem as more hands on a document can possibly mean multiple templates.
“Entering into an agreement with a managed services provider will ensure that a systematic approach is created for each type of document subject to the master agreement,” said Mark Yacano, global practice leader at Major Lindsey & Africa, according to Legaltech News.
Some managed services providers can also implement cybersecurity plans for firms and integrate it with overall IT efforts to ensure that consistency.
4. Reduces the amount of providers. By hiring different providers for different tasks, it becomes difficult to determine what service is providing the best value for its dollar, according to the article. By reducing the number of service providers, law departments acquire “optimal buying power, consistent management of its data and, the ability to effectively reuse data collected in other matters,” which results in reduced litigation costs.
5. Provides support across the enterprise. Managed service providers with specific expertise inside the legal market “can integrate the management of industry-specific software into a firm’s overall IT management approach, allowing for greater expertise that overlaps into the two areas – legal and technology – that have a history of struggling to connect,” writes Mr. Lopez. To that extent, optimizing the ROI from your legal spend requires working with a provider that truly knows the business of law.
“To get the optimal return on investment when working with a managed services provider, you want to work with a company you can trust to safeguard your organization’s critical files,” said Mr. Norris. “Make sure they have many years of experience managing large amounts of legal industry data at multiple secure data centers, that they’re trusted by some of the top law firms in the world, and that they have all of the latest industry certifications for information security and management processes.”
* * *
Note: This post is by Daryn Teague, who provides support to the litigation software product line based at the LexisNexis Raleigh Technology Center.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
Unpacking the ABA Tech Survey on Law Firm Security