Best Practices for Application Service Management in Law Firms

November 1, 2006

Lawyers are known for their hard-working business ethics and their long hours put in at the office – and now, thanks to technology, outside the office. Because so much of a lawyer’s work involves technology today, it is imperative that the technology be available and working correctly when a lawyer needs it. If there’s a problem with technology—if a lawyer can’t access documents or email or get fast response from a critical application—there’s a problem with the business. That means fewer billable hours, less revenue, potentially unhappy clients and a frustrated lawyer wasting time. More so than in any other business, a legal firm’s IT infrastructure—from its applications to the network—have to work right, work fast and be available whenever the employees need them.

That, however, is easier said than done. As with most businesses, the IT staff in a law firm is typically stretched thin. Instead of being able to proactively monitor all the applications, servers, network connections and storage devices critical to daily operations, most staff are fighting technology fires or simply trying to complete important projects before deadline. For example, when an application crashes, or the network is bogged down, IT must scramble to identify the cause and then try to find the resources to fix it, all while under pressure to get the systems up and running again as quickly as possible. A downed network or server can easily cost a firm of 100 lawyers $25,000 – $75,000 per hour in lost revenues.

There is an alternative—automated systems that can proactively help IT (and even lawyers themselves) monitor everything from the new voice over IP (VOIP) telephone system to financial management applications to email performance and network bottlenecks. Leading companies in industries that have high service requirements or critical time pressures have been using these types of “application service management??? solutions successfully and profitably for years. While application service management solutions can work equally well in legal environments and can have a dramatic effect on the productivity of both IT departments and partners, most law firms are just starting to take advantage of them.

This report offers a solution for law firms feeling the crunch of their IT systems’ vulnerabilities or simply the uncertainty of inconsistent performance. By using a set of application management tools that monitor, manage and troubleshoot everything from desktops and servers to networks and applications, law firms can gain significant benefits and competitive advantages. This report also introduces Compuware Vantage as an option for law firms that are interested in leveraging the benefits of automated application service management.

Click here to download the complete Upside Research report on automated application service management in the legal market

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