The Hidden Risks of Using Old Legal Practice Software
Old Software

The Hidden Risks of Using Old Legal Practice Software

What OLD software are you still running in your business?

  • How important are those old systems to the continuity of your business?
  • What would you do if any of those old systems crashed tomorrow?
  • Are any of your business-critical systems no longer supported by the people who wrote them?
  • Who provides regular security updates for your key business programs?
  • Who do you call for product support of your billing systems?
  • Who do you call for product support of your trust accounting system?
  • What is your plan for business continuity if something goes wrong?

What can go wrong?

  • Data can corrupt
  • Software can corrupt
  • Hard Disks di;
  • Restoration of backups requires specialists with knowledge of current systems
  • Backups can corrupt
  • Malware can attack software

When did you last test your backups on a separate machine?  Which is a disaster recovery strategy in case of hard disk failure.

Today we asked Chat GPT two very important questions.

  1. What is the risk of using software that has no vendor support?
  2. What is the risk of using software that is too old to update?

The answers were not at all surprising.

Do you relate to either of these situations?   If so what is your plan when the inevitable happens?

What is the risk of using software that has no vendor support?

Using software that has no vendor support can pose several risks and challenges:

  1. Security Vulnerabilities: Without vendor support, you won’t receive regular updates and patches to address security vulnerabilities. This can leave your software exposed to potential attacks, data breaches, and malware infections.
  2. Compatibility Issues: As technology evolves, software dependencies change. Without vendor support, your software might not be updated to work with newer operating systems, hardware, or third-party applications. This can lead to compatibility issues and hinder your ability to integrate and communicate with other tools.
  3. Lack of Bug Fixes: Bugs and glitches are common in software. Without vendor support, you won’t receive bug fixes and performance enhancements. This could result in poor software performance, crashes, and user frustration.
  4. Missing Features: New features and functionality are often added to software over time. Using software without vendor support means you’ll miss out on these updates, which could limit your ability to compete effectively or take advantage of new opportunities.
  5. Limited Technical Support: Vendor support typically includes access to technical assistance and customer support. Without it, you’ll have a harder time getting help when you encounter problems or need guidance, potentially leading to longer downtime and productivity losses.
  6. Regulatory and Compliance Concerns: Many industries have specific regulations and compliance requirements that software must meet. Without vendor support, you might not be able to ensure that your software remains compliant with these standards.
  7. Data Loss and Recovery Issues: In the absence of vendor support, you might face challenges in recovering lost or corrupted data. Regular backups and data recovery options are often provided through vendor support.
  8. Decreased Productivity: Dealing with software issues and limitations on your own can consume valuable time and resources. This can lead to decreased productivity and efficiency across your organization.
  9. Costly Workarounds: Trying to address problems with unsupported software can result in the need for custom solutions or workarounds, which can be expensive to develop and maintain.
  10. Long-Term Viability: Unsupported software might eventually become obsolete, making it difficult to find skilled professionals who are willing or able to work with it. This can lead to recruitment and retention challenges for your IT team.

In summary, while using software without vendor support might seem cost-effective in the short term, it can lead to a range of long-term risks and issues that may outweigh any initial savings. It’s generally advisable to use software with active vendor support to ensure security, functionality, and a positive user experience.

What is the risk of using legal practice software that is too old to update?

The Hidden Risks of Using Old Legal Practice Software

Using software that is too old to update can present various risks, particularly in business and security-sensitive environments. Here are some of the main concerns:

  • Security Vulnerabilities: Older software often contains unpatched security vulnerabilities. Once support ends, the manufacturer typically stops releasing security updates. This can leave your system open to various types of attacks from malware, ransomware, and hackers.
  • Compatibility Issues: As technology evolves, new versions of operating systems, hardware, and other software may no longer be compatible with older software. This can lead to a loss of functionality or efficiency and may require expensive workarounds or customization.
  • Lack of Features: Older software may not have the latest features or improvements that newer versions offer. This can lead to a loss of efficiency, productivity, or even functionality.

About me

Hi, My name is Karen McDonald, I am a business analyst and accountant with a passion and strong focus on efficient business systems to empower business owners to focus more on delivering great value to their clients.

In 2011, I founded Wise Owl Legal Practice Management as a response to seeing so many lawyers caught up with the struggle of old out of date inefficient software. I believe software should lighten your load and empower you to focus on your core mission. As a qualified accountant and tax agent, many of you will know me from my consulting business commenced in 1997, Cascade Consulting Services Pty Ltd (Cascade).

Cascade has helped many businesses, including many law firms, over the last 20+ years, some in the software applications consulting space, others in the accounting and tax practice space as well. Fundamentally in our accounting business, we aim to empower our clients to better run their administration more efficiently; eliminate redundant processes, and understand their finances and lighten the load of compliance.

If you would like to learn more about how I could help your law firm become more efficient, please book a discovery call with me at or contact me at [email protected] or contact me by cell phone / mobile phone on +61 40 999 2317.

Mostly I am in GMT +10 time zone.

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