Legal software: are you still listening to Gangnam style?
In association with Insight Legal: don't tie yourself into long-term deals
Technology is developed to simplify tasks and improve our lives in many ways. The rapid pace of development is hard to keep up with.
Just look at where we were five years ago – cheering on Andy Murray to his first Wimbledon win, celebrating the arrival of Prince George of Cambridge, or listening to Gangnam Style in the top 10!
The pace of technology is just as startling. Five years ago the first Pebble smart watch was launched (with the first Apple watch still two years away), the iPhone 5s had just been released and Google proudly introduced their Google Glasses. It’s hard to imagine any of those technologies as current now, and some of them are almost entirely obsolete.
If you look back at your law firm five years ago, I’m sure you would see significant changes in staff, in requirements, perhaps in funding arrangements and even in areas of law.
It is therefore surprising when firms enter into lengthy software agreements with their suppliers. You wouldn’t sign a mobile phone contract for three or five years because you know technologies change. So why do that with business solutions for your firm? It’s sad to see software companies attempting to tie their customers into long-term deals with the promise of discounts or deals. You have to wonder whether it is the supplier, who now has a captive audience and no incentive to innovate or even keep their service levels up, who benefits more.
We know firms don’t purchase software with the intention of changing after a short period, but what if you have no choice? What if you need to replace your server and find your software isn’t compatible? What if the company you signed up with gets taken over and the staff you liked dealing with are no longer there? What if the company you signed up with doesn’t keep up with the pace of change and your software is holding you back?
Change is inevitable, and businesses that plan for change are already a step ahead of their competitors. If you buy into a lengthy contract, you could easily find that your business could benefit from developments in the software market sooner than your agreement allows.
Rolling contracts with no long-term commitment give you choices and, as such, the freedom to run your business as you wish. So whether you intend to make changes in the future or you understand that you may need to, don’t let your firm be held back by your software.
Tim Smith, Technical Director, Insight Legal Software Ltd. To discuss this topic further or the services we can offer, please give us a call on 0141 406 1355, email us at email@example.com or visit our website: www.insightlegal.co.uk