Does Your Firm Need Backup Internet?

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Does Your Firm Need Backup Internet?

Key points:

  • If your Firm relies on cloud-based solutions, you need Internet redundancy
  • Planning reduces stress and establishes hidden costs
  • Internet connections are cheaper than ever
  • Tips to maximise your Internet connectivity

Does your Practice use cloud-solutions?

It’s likely your Firm is already subscribing to one or more online solutions. With ‘the cloud’ revolutionising the legal landscape, dynamic firms and sole practitioners are cleverly incorporating online solutions to remain profitable and market their services.

However, with operational functions and benefits of on-line solutions dependant on the Internet a ‘simple’ outage can be disastrous. Cloud-based applications such as PMS and Accounting, email, telephone systems, backup and disaster recovery solutions can shut a Practice down.

Planning saves stress

If you subscribe to any cloud based solution or if you sell your services online, a second Internet connection is astute and can save you a lot of stress.

For many Practice Managers or sole practitioners, the idea of shelling out for a second Internet connection for possible contingencies use is unpalatable. The real question for you, however, is what would happen to your firm if the Internet stopped working for a few hours or even a couple of days? However, even Australia’s largest ISP provider has experience outages beyond their control.

Planning exposes hidden costs

When examining the feasibility of having a backup connection, remember to calculate what one day of lost income will cost you or your Practice. This is particularly important for:

  • firms with multiple offices/remote workers;
  • affiliated sole practitioners who rely on online collaboration to offer a full suite of legal services to the market.

Your calculations should incorporate loss of revenue, hourly operating costs and impact on your brand positioning. If your team cannot access online services – such as file management solutions or email servers – your firm faces the double cost of lost income and inability to offset traditional administrative cost centres against revenue. Lost connectivity deteriorates market perceptions about the ability of your team or Practice to deliver solid, comprehensive legal solutions.

A ‘hidden’ benefit to having a backup connection is it can be used to relieve daily strain on your primary Internet link. Less time spent uploading or downloading data, and the ability to respond quickly to market requests increases productivity, saves money and strengthens your brand.

Internet is cheaper than ever

The good news is that Internet connections are cheaper than they ever have been, and most firewalls purchased in the last few years have the capability to support multiple Internet connections. So what sort of connection should you be considering as a backup for your Internet?

Protect your Firm

Firstly, it’s important to understand the different types of failures that can impact your firm. The most common reasons for lost connectivity are:

  1. ISP ‘internal issues’. This are faults within the network of your ISP and will often be resolved within a couple of hours.
  2. Accounts issue. Perhaps your ISP thinks you haven’t paid your bill, maybe there’s a billing dispute. If things escalate, your ISP may cut you off.
  3. Major ISP issue. This could be a complete failure of critical equipment within your ISP, perhaps in their main operations centre or, alternatively, of equipment located within an Exchange somewhere. Depending on availability of parts, this could take several hours or a couple of days to resolve.
  4. Critical infrastructure failure. This could be something like a back hole that has inadvertently dug up a cable in your street or even an extended power outage at the local Exchange. A failure such as this can take many days to recover from.

Tips to maximise your Internet connectivity

Protecting yourself from some of the above faults can be quite simple or, alternatively, require more significant planning.

Does your Practice runs on an ADSL or lower end Ethernet connection? A backup ADSL connection from a different supplier will protect you against the first three faults mentioned above. You might find things a bit slower than usual if you’re on the backup link but your team will continue to function.

Alternatively, if your Internet is absolutely mission critical and you require protection against all eventualities then a wireless connection is best for you. A wireless connection could be as simple as a 4G modem or, if higher speeds and other features are required, a point-to-point microwave connection could be your best option.

itro – your independent, local ISP advocate

While the world of communications is deceptively complex, itro helps business to understand their options properly. Each ISP has their own technical jargon, and general reluctance to deal with non-technicians. We help pick what Internet options are available depending on your firm’s needs and office locations. Therefore, our engineers become your advocate, navigating through ISP processes to ensure you get the right connections at the best prices.

Ring itro for support knowing your call will never be redirected offshore.  The person you speak to will use plain English and easily connect with that person again.

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