find the latest legal job
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Legal Inhouse / Lawyer / Company Secretary
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Fantastic Company · Potential to be Part Time / Flexible Work Pattern
View details
Infrastructure Lawyer/SA
Category: Construction Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Global elite law firm · Dedicated Infrastructure team
View details
Managing your IT service provider

Managing your IT service provider

Promoted by 

EACH YEAR businesses are becoming more reliant on IT systems. Technology is now central to the way we engage with our clients and deliver advice.

As technology systems have grown to solve more complex problems, the underlying technology has also become more complex. The threats and risks associated with these systems are evolving at a rapid rate – and they can now have a far impact on your organisation if they are realised.

Businesses have responded by outsourcing more to external organisations through a cloud service, a managed service or a combination of the two. The expectation is that the external organisation is better placed to manage IT systems and the associated risks than you are. While that is generally the case, the active management of your supplier can improve the overall quality of the service. And this management can be simpler than you might expect.

Understand how to transition to a new supplier
Before engaging with a supplier, make sure you understand how you are going to transition to another supplier, if circumstances should arise that require you to do this.

The four key areas that I recommend you focus on are:
1. Contract term: Be clear on the contract term and what happens when it expires. In services you procure for home, an expired contract typically converts to a monthly contract. This is not always the case for cloud or managed services.
2. Service quality issues: Be clear on what will happen if the supplier does not provide the service level you expect, and the process for terminating the contract early in such circumstances.
3. Data transfer: If your supplier is responsible for storing for your data, be clear on how they will assist you to transfer that data to another organisation. Surprisingly, there are law firms that are stuck with their cloudbased practice management system for this precise reason.
4. Knowledge transfer: Suppliers often retain information about your organisation in order to provide their services (e.g. system configuration notes, user names, passwords, helpdesk tickets). Be clear on who owns this data. Consider getting regular (biannual) copies of the data – this will help ensure the data is accurate and not residing with a particular person.

Test hidden features to ensure quality 
Not all IT services you procure will be used by your organisation on a daily basis. These services will typically provide some form of redundancy or disaster recovery, for example: 
- Server backups 
- Hot spare routers, switches, servers 
- Second internet connection 
- Disaster recovery site

If you are relying on such features, test them regularly. Agree with your supplier on how each can be tested and allocate someone within your organisation to do it regularly.

Request the recovery of some data from a backup. Turn off a hot spare router, switch or server. Perform a test failover to a disaster recovery site. By being active in this area you will help ensure that these features are ready and operational when you really need them.

Explaining issues to a supplier - define and replicate
Have you ever thought, ‘There must be someone who knows how to resolve this problem’? If you find yourself in this situation, spend some time to accurately define and replicate the problem. If you can provide your supplier with a clear and concise description of the problem, it will be easier for them to find the right person to assist you.

When defining an issue, answer these questions:
1. What are you trying to do? What are the steps that you have followed to achieve this? How has the system responded? How were you expecting the system to respond?
2. When did the problem start occurring? Has the system ever worked?
3. Can you replicate the problem? If you can’t, take some time and try to identify how. Once you have replicated the problem, take a video and share it with your supplier. A picture definitely tells a thousand words in IT.
4. Are you the only user affected? Is it allusers?


Robert Cox helps law firms solve their IT problems as a director at Innessco. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Managing your IT service provider
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Nov 24 2017
Demand lifts in 2017/18 for short-term finance to cover crises
Promoted by NWC Finance. The first five months of the 2017-18 financial year have seen unpreceden...
LCA welcomes religious freedom panel
Nov 24 2017
LCA welcomes religious freedom panel
The Law Council of Australia says the establishment of a panel which will examine the human right to...
Law Society launched a new website, legal politics and lawmaking
Nov 24 2017
Law Society launches project to engage young Aussies
The Law Society of NSW has launched a new website to engage young Australians in legal politics and ...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...