The clock has been ticking for a long time for law firms using Windows 7. In fact, to use a current popular phrase: Big Ben already bonged a couple of days ago on January 14th.
So, what’s all the fuss about? There are millions of users and machines around the world in all manner of businesses who are still using it. The platform has been around for many years. Many love it and its reputation for reliability and stability.
According to Kaspersky research: 40% of very small businesses and 48% of small to medium-sized businesses still depend upon unsupported operating systems for their security needs.
Despite Windows 7’s beloved status, all good things come to an end.
If you are one of the law firms using Windows 7 (or other outdated software), you have two options: stick with what you have and hope for the best or upgrade.
You may go on for many more years using the system without any problems. However, what you need to know is what “end of life” (EOL) means for a software product. In simple terms, it means no future support, security upgrades or patches. That means your legal business will become more exposed to hacks and cyber attacks.
Let’s illustrate this by example. The WannaCry ransomware attack of 2017 almost brought the NHS to a standstill. The attack affected NHS trusts who were still using the old, unsupported Windows XP. The cost to the health service was around £90M.
The implications are obvious. And, if you think ransomware only affects larger organisations, think again. Cyber criminals generally don’t discriminate.
I am tempted to say this is devil and deep blue sea territory. It sounds straightforward just to upgrade to the latest Windows 10 but there may be other things to consider.
If you are running Windows 7, the chances are you are doing so on PCs, laptops and other kit that were around when Windows 7 was supported. These may now not be powerful enough or have sufficient memory and disk capacity to run Windows 10.
If you are running your practice management software on an in-house server system running Windows Server 2008R2, the issue deepens. Windows Server 2008R2 is reaching EOL too!
New servers do not come cheap. However, there are alternative approaches to server redundancy that we will look at later.
Bite the bullet. You may have had many years’ loyal service from Windows 7. That may mean you have underinvested in new hardware. Now is not the time to continue with that approach. By not replacing 7, your business is exposed to threats that will potentially cost you money on top of the costs associated with upgrading to Windows 10.
Consider the following:
Hopefully all of that will not be too challenging to your cashflow. When it comes to replacement servers, there really can be a challenge. However, you could look at an alternative – cloud-based practice management software. This largely negates the need for expensive, in-house servers and provides many additional advantages.
Take a look at how cloud-based software works by following this link.
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Our clients range from small start-up legal practices to multi-partner, multi-site firms.
Another great customer service experience from LawWare. My laptop had to be stripped back to factory settings as part of a repair - taking hours! In contrast, restoring LawWare took one phone call to the support team and I was up and running in 6 minutes. If only everything was so easy!
As the first commercial user of LawWare back in 1998, we have had no hesitation in remaining with the product through its development. We thoroughly recommend it to any firm looking for a practice management system.
The helpdesk is exceptionally good. Whatever the query there is always a human being there to help. No leaving messages or being advised to go to a website. The best computer service for solicitors I have ever used!
The linking of documents and casefiles saves so much time! I have experience of several accounts packages and I like that LawWare is simple to use and easy to learn. Support is quick and effective and staff are helpful and courteous.
I have worked with a number of Case Management providers over the years but have not come across anything with the attention to detail and thoroughness of LawWare. My colleagues and I have not been disappointed.
I can’t imagine trying to be a law firm in the 21st Century without 21st Century IT systems. Having a ‘single system’ that underpins all the work, whether we are in the office or out, is an integral part of what we are building.
The level of support is the main benefit using this system. The system itself once you have had training is simple and easy to use. We have a great relationship with LawWare and the ongoing support is second to none.
Significant preparation was required to configure and import the data from our old firm. We had to get all clients onto the new system and then learn how to use it. We just find it very easy to use, much easier than our old system.
Being a busy litigator with a growing firm it is incredibly useful to be able to view my files from any location with some form of internet connection. I am a fan, and want to keep working with LawWare to make a good product great.
The switch to the new LawCloud system, which is still on-going, has gone very well. We found the LawWare team without exception to be very helpful and knowledgeable. All queries are followed up and dealt with promptly.