The world has changed since the pandemic and effective lockdown were implemented, highlighting the need for law firm IT functions to be prepared for adverse situations. The sudden change we are experiencing has ushered in a host of new concerns and responsibilities for law firm IT leadership, not the least of which is cost management. Some law firm IT leaders have found themselves locked into some vendor contracts, with their associated costs and reduced flexibility. As law firm IT leaders plan for 2021 and beyond, exercising strong vendor governance principles can help them better address the current downturn and be prepared for future economic fluxes.
Perhaps now more than ever, technology is critical to law firms’ businesses, even as the threat of an economic downturn makes it particularly important for firms to manage IT costs. In-depth reviews of multiple law firm IT environments have shown a tendency for many to rely on their IT suppliers — including the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and the value-added resellers (VARs) from whom they purchase hardware, software and services — when they need external advice on design and configuration (not to mention optimal pricing) for the products and services they need. If this describes your firm, you may inadvertently be inviting the fox to guard the henhouse.
Managing mobility on an enterprise level can be a daunting and complex task. Each major mobile carrier is continually rolling out new plans and features, discontinuing others and also maintaining their own list of “custom offerings” that many organizations are not aware exist. The vast number of plan options and combinations is staggering — over 14 million different combinations for an organization with 1,000 managed devices. As a result, many organizations are paying 20 to 40 percent more than what others are paying for the exact same service requirements.
Much has been reported on the frequency of carrier billing errors, causing telecommunications vendors to inherit a reputation for having ineffective billings departments. And for good reason – it’s been reported that one in five telecom invoices have errors and that 85% of these errors happen to be in the carriers’ favor.
One of the most challenging vendor invoice sets for IT and A/P (Accounts Payable) functions to review, validate and approve on a monthly basis are telecommunications invoices. The invoices arrive in varying formats, are often hundreds or thousands of pages deep and yet surprisingly shallow with information about the service being invoiced.