(Series) Seven Steps for the Lean Lawyer – Steps 5, 6 and 7
This post is part of a series about how to reduce your law firm’s overhead through a process of seven interconnected steps that will get you on the path to being a lean lawyer. When we talk about getting lean, it’s not just technology that we’re referencing, but rather behavior change as well. Once you have your mind made up that it’s a better way to live and work, getting lean will not feel like a chore – it will feel like a worthy challenge. Since you’re a lawyer and you’re already familiar with hard work, the stuff I’m going to talk about will be fairly easy in comparison to what you do every day.
Get the fastest connection you can afford:
Many law firms are on years-old data plans with their internet providers. Many office managers haven’t even thought to check to see if there is a better plan with faster service. This is the easiest process in the seven steps: call up your internet provider and ask about new plans. Do this once a year.
Many times, we’ve had clients find out that they are paying 20% more than they need to for half the connection speed that is available. That’s right: your internet provider is not looking out for you. They are happy to take your money on a seven-year-old plan with a connection speed that is also seven years old. If your internet is slow and you’re operating in the cloud, you will not be productive. This step is practically a gimme.
Can Your Work From Your Phone?
You need to be able to access all of your data all of the time, wherever you are. If you’re working from a server and a VPN, you cannot access your documents from your phone. This is not true mobility.
All of your devices need to sync to your cloud-based applications. This enables you to have a more flexible lifestyle with your work. As I mentioned in an earlier post, if you’re in the cloud and all of your devices are connected to the cloud-based applications that you’re using, you will be not only in sync, but have the freedom of mobility and peace of mind of security as well. That is the goal.
“We don’t have a backup plan.”
That’s what one of our new clients told me. That’s alarming not only because his business data could be wiped out at any moment by a random catastrophe, but also because he is not in compliance with his ethical duties as a lawyer. This attorney the had last four years of his firm’s financial records on a PC in his retired partner’s office — with no backup. If the place burned down, he would be in deep trouble.
We’ve met quite a number of clients who use onsite devices (NAS), where they backup manually and then take it offsite. How often? Haven’t done it in a month? Is supposed to happen every week. What kind of disaster would it be if you lost a month’s worth of work?
The solution is to enlist an inexpensive, automated, offsite backup solution like Mozy, iCloud or Backupify. That means that once you set it up, it will automatically update, without you having to tell it so. The updates can be weekly, daily, hourly – you decide. The backup will be secure and off-site. And if you do have a data issue, you can access your data immediately and restructure your setup within hours of the data failure. And this is important: test your backup so that you know it works, just in case.