It's that time of the year again; you've got your list and you're checking it twice. This holiday season, you may be wondering how you can prepare your law firm for the new year, and we have a collection of tech that will certainly bring joy — or at least, convenience — to the office. Here's a holiday wish list for your firm:
Video Conferencing Tools
Being able to video chat is a valuable tool in your personal life, especially during the holidays, when travel is not always an option. But video also has a place in the office, keeping your law firm in the present day with videoconferencing. This can be used for client meetings, lawyer conferences and out-of-town depositions. Being able to communicate face-to-face, or close to it, can feel more personable. It's important to consider what is most practical for your firm, as there are various tools out there for videoconferencing. The American Bar Association recommends considering the amount of privacy you need on a case-by-case basis, but that unencrypted conversations may not always be sufficient enough. Common tools, like Skype and Google Hangouts, use Voice Over Internet Protocol, which prevents eavesdroppers but doesn't guarantee that providers aren't listening in. Cases involving sensitive information may require end-to-end encryption, which is built into GoToMeeting, another video conferencing tool. Skype for Business offers end-to-end encryption, but it just needs to be enabled. Regardless of what your firm needs, there's a videoconferencing tool out there to satisfy.
As law firms make efforts to become paperless and move toward the route of e-filing, a useful tool is a reliable (but affordable) scanner. The digital route of storing files is not only mandated in certain jurisdictions, but it's also useful for minimizing paper clutter, improving storage space and preventing the security risks associated with unorganized paper files. The Fujitsu Scanscap iX500 is specifically hailed as being a quick and consistent scanner for an affordable price and does about 25 color pages per minute. For larger firms, you can opt for the Fujitsu fi-5530C2, which is capable of 50 color pages per minute.
The 2019 Solo and Small Firm Legal Technology Guide
You might be thinking the obvious — this is a book and not a piece of technology — but it can be an incredibly important guide in the current technological landscape, and determine all your future investments for the upcoming year. Written in clear and understandable language, it provides a neutral view (no vendors involved) to recommend a wide variety of tech used by law firms. It spans computers, servers, networking equipment, legal software, printers, security products and more. It is a comprehensive guide to law firm technology and can be a great tool when looking to build up a firm's technological infrastructure.
As the world becomes more digitally focused, it has become hard for most professions to avoid a shift to cloud-based technology. You may look to start by focusing on a document management system for your firm. iManage, which boasts industry-leading security and seamless document sharing, can assist in eliminating paper waste from your office. If you're considering committing to the cloud for your firm, the Afinety Cloud Platform runs smoothly with iManage, proving a robust system of document management, as well as the benefits of cloud computing — designed specifically with the needs of law firms in mind. While cloud computing may come across as a big shift from traditional IT resources, there are benefits to turning to the cloud. It provides reliability, like data back-up, eliminates many time-consuming IT management chores, like software set-up. Using the cloud, over a single corporate datacenter, can provide smoother performance overall. Afinety is built on Amazon Web Services, which is the largest cloud platform in the world, providing your business with a consistent 99.999% uptime.
You can evaluate your law firm's needs on an individual basis, but consider what tech will be vital for bringing your firm into the future (or the now).