As new and growing organizations build themselves up, “all hands on deck” is standard operating procedure. Indeed, a chance to wear all the hats can be a draw for folks who have a broad and varied skill set. For some teams, that works--but only for so long.
Small- to medium-sized businesses are certainly likely to allocate a mix of staff to handle administrative functions like managing IT, but they’re not alone. Smaller professional services firms often run into the same staffing limitations, and possibly at a higher opportunity cost.
What’s the ROI?
Firms that specialize in legal or financial services are highly trained in their own areas of expertise. (Which is good, because that’s what we pay them for!) And while someone on the team, including the office manager, might be technologically proficient, is managing the firm’s IT infrastructure the best use of their time? To be sure, it’s not just the loss of billable hours you’re facing. Downtime and system issues are one hazard; data breaches are another.
Think about the nature of the data you’re handling for your clients. When it comes to security, today’s firms must be prepared for more than Nigerian Prince and Western Union money transfer scams. According to Symantec’s 2018 Internet Security Threat Report, the average user receives 16 malicious spam emails per month. The most sophisticated phishing efforts use hacked data from Target and Equifax to create emails with enough personal details to get past your mental spam filters.
Locally, firms are also responsible for compliance with the Data Breach Notification Law (put into effect in January 2019, and revised in April 2019) with respect to Massachusetts residents. Add compliance to day-to-day firefighting, and the load of doing IT support internally may be costing you more than you realize--not just in hours but in unknown risks of downtime and data loss.
Leverage Your Resources
You may decide that a managed IT service provider is the logical next step for your growing organization. In the interim, take advantage of accessible training opportunities that will have immediate and actionable benefits for your team.
TSP is hosting an IT for Law Webinar on August 21, 2019. Join us for a conversation about how firms can protect their organizations from the most common cyber security threats. For more information, view the event registration.
Above all, stay alert and informed so you avoid unpleasant surprises.