Tally up what you do, or will spend on an ongoing basis. This should include fixed monthly costs (such as a Managed IT Provider contract) as well as sporadic, less predictable costs (such as hourly IT support). For the latter, if you’re unsure of a reasonable budget for this amount, I recommend finding the average over the past two three years.
Add all of these up and determine your average monthly IT spend.
Sidebar: Plug-And-Pray Doesn’t Count
Key to this financial analysis is the assumption that when it comes to managing your law firm IT, that you’re doing it right. That is to say, that you are being reasonably proactive and responsible when it comes to managing IT, performing proactive maintenance, and reducing the likelihood and impact of IT problems and keeping your client data secure.
When it comes to managing law firm IT, possibly the first, most important rule is to be proactive rather than reactive. This may be advice you’ve heard again and again—but in today’s day and age, there are still so many law firms that don’t practice this.
Avoid reactive, break-fix law firm IT management (something we call: “plug-and-pray.”)
- Do you only call your IT consultant when something is wrong?
- Does your IT consultant/company remotely monitor your systems, but rarely sets foot into your office?
- Do you spend as little as possible on IT and technology?
If so: Stop it. You’re doing your employees, your clients and yourself a huge disservice. You don’t need to take a Cadillac approach to law firm IT management, but you do need to be proactive about it.