General Practice, Solo & Small Firm DivisionMagazine

Successful Technology Decisions

Here are a few troubleshooting suggestions that can help your firm implement new technology systems:

• Designate—or hire—someone in the firm to be the technology guru (not necessarily a lawyer).

• Don’t penalize people for the time they spend learning; in fact, encourage them to experiment with new programs, to surf the Net, and to become comfortable with hardware and software.

• Know when to use consultants. Many times, you or your guru can solve the problem yourself, but for matters involving system design and training, a consultant can save both time and money.

• Read as many technology books and articles as possible.

• Go online for information (see www.abanet.org/lpm for specific sites and links).

• Talk to other lawyers who have dealt with the same problems.

• Budget money for computer maintenance and upgrades (don’t assume that today’s technology will suffice two years from now).

• Amortize the cost of technology over its useful life.

• Make the introduction of new technology as easy as possible.

• Don’t add everything at once (take one step at a time).

• Know what you want or need (as opposed to what looks cool) for your practice.

• Review your decisions periodically—new options are offered constantly.

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