Service Delivery 2.0: How Technology is Disrupting & Elevating Professional Service Delivery

“Technology, data, collaboration methods - it’s more than just enablement. It’s central to your competitiveness in the market” 

- Dan Priest, Principle, PwC

The future of professional services is here, and it's powered by technology. 

In a fast-paced world where every moment counts, optimizing your team's time and effort has never been more crucial. But how do you ensure your organization remains competitive and relevant in the ever-evolving landscape of professional services?

This is where service delivery technology comes into play, offering new and exciting opportunities to streamline service delivery and create a more efficient and effective work environment. 

This shift is not only freeing up valuable time and resources, it is also allowing professionals to focus on the aspects of their work that truly matter: delivering top-notch services and building meaningful relationships with clients.

But is service delivery technology right for you?

Let’s explore the impact technology is having on the professional service delivery industry, and uncover the numerous ways it can supercharge your organization's efficiency, productivity, and ultimately, success.

Key trends & innovations shaping professional service delivery

“The whole professional services industry is seeing a lot of demand for this wave of digitization. To earn the right to help a company digitize and transform, you have to be on your game. You have to have sharp and deep competitive capabilities.”

- Dan Priest, Principle, PwC

The professional services industry is undergoing a significant transformation, driven by the changing demands of clients, advancements in service delivery technology, and shifts in the workforce. 

In order to stay relevant and competitive, it’s essential for organizations to understand and adapt to these evolving trends. From the rise of remote work to the adoption of automation and AI, these shifts are changing the way professional services are delivered and creating new opportunities for growth. 

The rise of remote work

With the advent of technology and its integration into our lives and work, the way we approach work has undergone a dramatic transformation. The global pandemic has accelerated this shift, pushing remote work from a nice-to-have to a necessity in a matter of months. 

As a result, professional service delivery has been forced to adapt, and the industry is now recognizing the importance of digital tools and remote collaboration.

“Looking at the firms that started working from home and were still able to succeed in 2020 - it was a byproduct of the transformation they had already undergone. That type of flexibility is what they will need to succeed in the future.”

- Patrice Cappello, Global Head of Professional & Business Services Go To Market, Workday

Remote work is enabling professionals to work from anywhere, organizations are becoming more agile and flexible, allowing them to scale their operations and better meet the changing demands of their clients. It’s also helping to attract and retain top talent, as employees are given the freedom to work from wherever they choose. 

As a result, professional service delivery is becoming more efficient and effective, paving the way for continued growth and success in the years to come.

The adoption of automation & AI

Advancements in areas such as social media, mobile devices, cloud computing, big data, and artificial intelligence (AI) have: 

  • Streamlined delivery processes;
  • Improved customer services;
  • Transformed the traditional service models of the past.

While some are concerned that AI could replace employment opportunities, the industry is viewing these technological advancements as an opportunity to improve business operations, streamline processes and increase efficiency. 

According to a report by LexisNexis, it is unlikely that jobs will be replaced by robots just yet, and firms that can embrace these changes and incorporate AI and automation into their business strategies will be well-positioned to stay ahead of the curve.

The use of AI and automation also provides a platform for smaller, more nimble players to expand their services, offering new opportunities for growth in the market. 

However, it’s important for firms to make sure they’re equipped with the necessary skills and expertise to maximize the benefits of automation and AI in order to implement them effectively. 

The importance of cloud-based service delivery technology

Cloud-based technology offers the necessary digital infrastructure for remote productivity and collaboration, which - as we’ve mentioned - has become increasingly crucial in today's landscape. 

With cloud-based tools, teams can access and store information on remote servers via the internet, providing them with greater flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. 

Profi is an excellent example of a cloud-based tool for professional services that offers features such as task management, time tracking, and project collaboration to help teams work remotely and collaboratively. Their user-friendly platform provides an intuitive experience for teams and enables process efficiencies through automation, resulting in greater flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness for organizations that utilize their services.

This technology has enabled firms to break free from the constraints of traditional work models and allowed them to collaborate on a larger scale and create process efficiencies through automation.

During the SAP Industries Live in 2021: Professional Services webinar, Navarro ES, a mid-sized German systems integrator, shared how they moved all of their business processes to the cloud, resulting in standardized best practices and quick deployment with a small in-house team in just a few weeks.

It’s safe to say organizations that embrace this technology will be well-positioned to transform into people-centric organizations and remain competitive in an ever-changing market.

Empowering the workforce: The benefits of service delivery technology

From automating routine tasks to enabling remote work and collaboration, service delivery technology is providing new opportunities for organizations to: 

  • Streamline operations; 
  • Improve efficiency;
  • Enhance the overall quality of services provided to clients. 

Let’s examine the ways in which technology is impacting the professional service delivery landscape, and explore how it is empowering employees, creating new job roles, and shaping the future of work in the industry.

Skill set upgradation

With the increasing demand for sophisticated and innovative services, professional service delivery teams must constantly upgrade their skill set to stay ahead of the competition. 

Service delivery technology offers a unique opportunity for teams to: 

  • Acquire new skills;
  • Automate repetitive tasks;
  • Improve the quality and efficiency of their work.

This not only improves the overall delivery process, but also equips teams with the necessary skills and knowledge to stay relevant and competitive in a constantly changing market.

By embracing technology and taking advantage of new and emerging tools, professional service delivery teams can increase their knowledge and expertise, and transform into valuable assets for their organizations.

Data-driven decision making 

In today's fast-paced market, real-time insights are crucial for winning clients. To compete in the future, professional services firms need to have more advanced data capabilities. 

In 2020, 65% of enterprises invested over $50 million in AI, ML, and advanced analytics, a rise from 40% in 2018. 

Firms should invest in solutions that provide more valuable insights from available data. By combining cross-functional data from various sources - including sales, marketing, HR, finance, and external sources - teams can get a holistic view and better serve clients. This end-to-end approach helps companies understand broader demand signals and gain a competitive edge. 

“The ability to connect the dots with insight and creativity makes you different and helps you win. Unless you have that end-to-end approach, you’re at a disadvantage.”

- Dan Priest, Principal, PwC

Additionally, having the right people with the right skills to extract valuable insights from data platforms is becoming increasingly important. With real-time, connected data, firms can optimize their workforce to boost productivity and capitalize on new opportunities quickly.

The emergence of new job roles

As service delivery technology continues to advance and automate routine tasks, employees are freed up to focus on higher value activities such as strategic planning, client engagement, and innovation. 

This shift has led to the emergence of new job roles such as digital transformation specialists, customer experience designers and data analysts, to name a few. These roles require specialized skill sets and training, which can lead to career growth and professional development opportunities for employees within the industry. 

By embracing technology, professional service delivery teams can not only stay competitive in the market, but also enhance their skill set and future-proof their careers.

The future of professional service delivery: What's in store for 2023?

As we look towards 2023, it's becoming increasingly clear that the future of service delivery will be shaped by a number of key trends and developments. 

From increased efficiency and productivity to improved client experiences and the evolving client landscape, there are many exciting shifts on the horizon in 2023. 

Increased efficiency & productivity

As the world continues to move forward, the pace of technological advancements and digitization is rapidly increasing. This has a significant impact on the professional service industry, where increased efficiency and productivity are the key drivers of growth and success. 

In the future, we can expect to see a greater emphasis on technology-driven solutions that automate manual and repetitive tasks, freeing up time and resources for high-value work. 

CRM tools, for instance, have skyrocketed in popularity, helping firms efficiently manage and plan projects by tracking activities, resources, and identifying bottlenecks. 

This leads to reduced time and costs, improved data quality, and more efficient and accurate processes, whilst also allowing for the redirection of in-house resources to client services or new opportunities, and enabling better-informed decision-making and reducing errors.

The era of professional service delivery intelligence

“If the market that they serve is in disruption for some reason, firms can quickly pivot by looking at the data. They can pivot their resources, invest less in that area of the business for a while, or perhaps create new services based on what’s happening.”

- Patrice Cappello, Global Head of Professional & Business Services Go To Market, Workday

Professional service delivery intelligence is poised to play a critical role 2023. With an ever-increasing emphasis on data-driven insights and effective strategies, organizations across coaching, consulting, therapy, and training sectors are realizing the benefits of using intelligence to improve their service quality and efficiency. 

The ability to gather and analyze data on client feedback and service delivery processes allows organizations to identify areas of improvement, streamline operations, and increase client satisfaction. 

The integration of service delivery technology, such as coaching software, further enables organizations to automate data collection and analysis, resulting in improved data quality, and more informed decision-making. 

“When you can make decisions about the business that are more informed, you can anticipate rather than react, and the customer doesn’t have to be the one to suffer.”

- Patrice Cappello, Global Head of Professional & Business Services Go To Market, Workday

The adoption of professional service delivery intelligence is expected to bring about: 

  • Increased customer loyalty;
  • Positive word-of-mouth;
  • More repeat business;
  • A competitive advantage in the marketplace. 

As the demand for high-quality, efficient services continues to grow, professional service delivery intelligence is poised to become an essential component of the future of professional service delivery.

The evolving client landscape

“Client demands will always be increasing. It’s a given. So, firms will have to be creative and offer new services to deliver more value in their customers’ eyes.”

- Patrice Cappello, Global Head of Professional & Business Services Go To Market, Workday

As the world moves forward, the way professional services are delivered will be greatly impacted by the changing needs of clients. 

Here are some key shifts we can expect to see in the future of professional service delivery due to these changes in client needs:

  • Immediate results & competitive pricing: Clients will demand faster results and look for firms that offer competitive prices. In order to stay ahead, firms must find ways to deliver results quickly and efficiently.
  • The value of relationships: While technology may play a bigger role in service delivery, the value of personal relationships will still be important. Whether it's through in-person collaboration or virtual communication, the human connection will remain a critical component of professional service delivery.
  • Multidisciplinary teams: To meet the diverse needs of clients, firms will increasingly assemble teams of experts from multiple service providers. This collaborative approach will allow for a more comprehensive and effective solution for clients.
  • Narrowing information gap: With access to information at their fingertips, clients will be better informed and demand more transparency from their service providers. This means firms must stay ahead of the curve and stay up-to-date with the latest industry developments and trends.
  • Outcome-based pricing: Clients will seek pricing that is based on the results and value they receive, rather than traditional hourly rates. To remain competitive, firms must be able to demonstrate the value they bring to clients in tangible and meaningful ways.

The Importance of a Technology-Forward Approach in Service Delivery

The professional services industry is undergoing a massive transformation, and technology is clearly at the forefront of this change. 

As clients demand more flexible and efficient service delivery models, organizations that don't embrace technology risk falling behind their competitors. In today's fast-paced business environment, a technology-forward approach is no longer an option - it's a necessity. 

“It’s no longer just about digitizing a single function; it’s about creating the connections across those functions so that you’ve got insights and can move quickly at the speed of the market.”

- Dan Priest, Principle, PwC

The future of professional service delivery is being shaped by technology, and it's up to organizations to choose whether they will lead the charge or be left in the dust.

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