How many times have you had a partner talking about technology … but it’s not correct? They’ll ask you how to do something with their phone, but then it soon turns to, “while I have you in the office ….” Then they’ll ask you for your assistance with another tech-related conundrum.

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Big Ideas

Meeting Tech Challenges

How many times have you had a partner talking about technology … but it’s not correct? They’ll ask you how to do something with their phone, but then it soon turns to, “while I have you in the office ….” Then they’ll ask you for your assistance with another tech-related conundrum.

I know you have been there; so have I. Standing in the partner’s office looking like a deer in the headlights as the partner pushes the monitor button on and off saying that his CPU is not working and he thinks it’s the hard drive. Or, how she hates when a client texts her because she has to push the “5” button three times to type an “L.”

Many of us — not just our partners — have a love-hate relationship with technology. But it’s something we need to be proficient in. Clients demand us to be efficient and will look for those firms who best can leverage technology to meet their needs. Moreover, in 2012, the ABA approved a change to the Model Rule of Professional Conduct that clearly dictates that attorneys not only be competent in the law and its practice — but in technology, too.

That’s why this month’s Operations Management (OM) Feature, “Closing the Tech Proficiency Gap,” is an important read. It reveals some interesting statistics. While cybersecurity and artificial intelligence may be hot issues, questions related to basic tools like Word, Outlook, Excel and PDFs are most common. According to the User Support Guru Guide, a series of reports produced by outsourced service/helpdesk provider Intelliteach, 43 percent of helpdesk tickets are related to Microsoft Office queries.

Many of us — not just our partners — have a love-hate relationship with technology. But it’s something we need to be proficient in.

It’s clear we have a long way to go to helping our offices be at the level they need to be. But that’s where ALA is a premier resource for support in this area. I often rely on the Online Community to answer my own firm’s tech needs.

In fact, many of the most recent topics discussed in the General Forum broached tech-related subjects, such as time and billing software suggestions, outsourcing document processing, conflict check software, website redesign, cloud technology and cybersecurity. It’s a similar story in the Information Technology section of the Shared Interest Group Online Community. There you’ll find inquiries about IT policies, leasing servers and IT audits.

That’s probably one of my favorite benefits about ALA — getting to rely upon other members to help solve problems. Who else better understands what we’re dealing with than others within our own professional community? While we all work to stay abreast of the latest services that can help us run our firms more efficiently, I invite you all to remember what a valuable resource our Online Communities are for keeping us connected.

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