When law offices are trying to save money, they may put off making technology purchases, thinking “Let’s try to get another year out of this computer” or “We can upgrade that software process later.”
But while they think they’re saving money, putting off law firm technology upgrades may be costing them more than the cost of an upgrade.
A study released by Microsoft found that holding onto computers longer than they should was costing companies an average of $2,736 annually (more than the price of a new one).
Old hardware and software can hold a business back in multiple ways including low productivity. If you’ve been holding off on upgrading because you’re trying to keep overhead low, you may just be shooting yourself in the foot instead.
Here are ways that your Chicago law firm may be held back by not upgrading your technology infrastructure.
Less Revenue Per Employee Because of Lost Productivity
One of the measures of productivity is the average revenue earned per employee. If employees have the technology tools that allow them to do more in less time, then your revenue per staff member goes up.
But slow computers or processes that are still being done manually can cause a business to earn less money per employee, because workflows aren’t optimized using cloud tools or automation.
A study of U.S. small businesses by Deloitte found that those companies that take advantage of technology fare well in a number of key performance indicators over those that are struggling with older technology. These include:
- Earning 2x as much revenue per employee
- Having nearly 4x as much revenue growth over the previous year
- Almost 3x more likely to be creating jobs year over year
Ways to change this scenario include doing a review of your technology and workflows. Look for ways you can consolidate tools and where you can automate manual processes to save time.
Old Computers = Multiple Problems
Older computers get slower over time and begin to have more problems. Each minute that employees are stuck on the phone with tech support, that’s work that can’t be accomplished.
Computers that are 4+ years old also have higher rates of data loss and data breaches, and both can be very costly for a law office to deal with.
A comparison of computers less than 3 years old to those older than 4 years old found the following:
- Older computers had nearly twice as many help desk calls and calls were 20 minutes longer on average.
- Older computers had twice as much downtime.
- Older computers lost data 3x more often.
- Older computers had 3x as many security breaches.
Studies show that the “sweet spot” for replacing your firm’s computers is when they are between 3 to 4-years old. After year four, the cost of ownership goes up considerably, and in most cases, you’re paying more to keep that older PC in operation than you’re saving by putting off the upgrade.
Lack of Access to Timely Information
Another way that productivity can be hurt when your law office is using outdated technology is that it makes it more difficult to access timely information.
For example, say a lawyer is in the courtroom and needs to find a key document with an event date pertinent to their case. If their office is not using newer technology that allows them to structure data, making it much easier to search, they could be left without the timely information needed.
Upgrading to systems that use field-based data (aka: structured data) and advanced cloud tools that facilitate finding information quickly, can make a big difference. And not only in the moment when you need a document, but also in the day-to-day operations when employees are searching for data regularly.
Knowledge workers spend an average of 2.5 hours every day searching for information they need for their work.
Downtime Productivity Losses
Another big productivity loss that can be caused by operating older equipment is downtime. Older servers, computers, network equipment, and other systems will have more issues and thus be out of operation more often than newer equipment.
Each hour of downtime can be costing your firm thousands of dollars in lost productivity costs. Downtime also prevents any kind of forward motion because everyone is at a standstill and focused on the downtime event at hand.
Downtime can also cost you clients. If someone is trying to reach your firm about potentially hiring you, and they’re not able to get through because your systems are down, they’ll likely call the next firm on their search list and you could lose that potential business.
Does Your Law Office Need a Technology Upgrade?
Is older technology costing you more than an upgrade would? ProdigyTeks can do a thorough evaluation of your firm’s technology infrastructure and help you with cost-saving and strategic upgrades.
Schedule a free phone consultation today! Call 312-600-8357 or reach us online.