Many law firms are turning to business interruption insurance to cover the costs to rebuild, restore, or regain lost income. However, while your insurance provider may write you a check for the cost of a server that gets damaged because of a broken pipe–it won’t be able to compensate you for the sheer aggravation of potentially having to spend days re-building your practice’s entire technology environment from scratch. Most importantly, this type of coverage can’t shield you from damaged or lost client relationships.
How vulnerable are you?
If your law firm identifies as a business that doesn’t have the IT resource to effectively recover from a major outage, make sure you’re weighing all of the factors around the costs of downtime. Here are the facts:
- US businesses lose $12 billion annually due to data loss.
- 93% of companies that lose their datacenter for 10+ days file for bankruptcy within one year.
Best Practices for Legal Practice IT.
In an article by Attorney at Law Magazine, the cost of network downtime was calculated for a firm operating on billable hours. For example, if a firm with 25 employees who bill at $200 per hour each lose one hour of uptime per month, that’s $60,000 a year on lost opportunity. Here are some tips to help your firm avoid costly downtime:
- Outsource your firm’s IT needs to an expert who has experience in the legal industry, they’ll understand the importance of billable hours.
- Don’t sacrifice quality to save money when purchasing hardware. It will benefit you to have strong technology in the long-run.
- Perform timely hardware and software updates, maintenance and backups.
- Establish, review and maintain system security of all practice technology.
Any firm that has not recently re-assessed its backup and disaster recovery procedures should therefore do so in order to conform to these industry-standard best practices.
Here’s what one managed service provider has to say about the need for a strong business continuity solution in the legal industry:
A law firm has an obligation, both legally and ethically, to protect confidential information in their computer systems. While there is a lot of attention
to security safeguards, not being able to produce client data or contract information in a timely fashion can have negative effects on the reputation and bottom line of a law firm. A business continuity solution can save a firm from lost data, computer system downtime, embarrassment and lost revenue.
-Dale Shulmistra, Principal & Co-Founder, Invenio IT
The Better Way: Business Continuity
Businesses continuity describes a complete solution for backup and disaster recovery. A true business continuity solution will protect your data across on-premises and cloud-based IT environments. Whether your data is living on servers, or in SaaS applications, it is backed up. Business continuity goes a step further and offers you the ability to restore your data. This part is referred to as disaster recovery.
Whether it be a natural disaster, or man-made, a strong solution will have you up and running in just minutes or seconds. Solutions that implement hybrid cloud backup can guarantee you quicker restore time as well. Why? Local backups are great to keep data stored on local devices, but if something happens to that device, then what? The hybrid cloud backup model takes an initial backup on a local device, and then replicates those backups to cloud servers. Cloud-only solutions are also not as reliable on their own due to bandwidth issues. A hybrid model works to alleviate the vulnerabilities by implementing both processes to fill in the gaps. That’s true business continuity.
Leonardo Soto is founder and Managing Partner at SotoNets Cloud Solutions – a cloud services company. SotoNets.com helps companies define an IT service delivery strategy, migrate to cloud-based services and manage the IT infrastructure to reduce cost while improving efficiency, security and availability.