Traditional bricks-and-mortar enterprise structures have morphed into remote and hybrid workplaces, thanks to COVID-19 and rapid technological advancement. However, this speedy transition has also created new challenges for all types of businesses across the globe. There has been a surge in job-hopping because employees want benefits far exceeding higher salaries and other traditional perks, which has resulted in the Great Resignation. Employee burnout has also aided this trend. Therefore, businesses need to adopt a proactive approach toward technology, and understand its impact on employee engagement, to tide over workforce shortages and high attrition rates.
Amid this churn and change, businesses are resuming their pre-COVID setups, calling employees back to their offices. However, companies’ chances of entirely doing away with hybrid and remote formats are non-existent. This is why businesses are banking on technology to augment operational efficiency and employee satisfaction. Organizations need to create a connected employee experience by leveraging technology to continue with their important business initiatives.
However, this shift toward technology will impact existing operational models. Organizations will require new workflows and operations-side plans to accommodate new ways of working. Plus, they’ll need to automate workflows to manage projects, resources, budgets, and historical data mandated by modern systems. So, many companies will seek a Professional Services Automation (PSA) solution that efficiently enforces standard processes, formats, data, and workflows.
A Rundown of Why Businesses Must Adopt PSA Tools
To Maximize Resource Utilization
Only a fraction of enterprises use a well-defined process of resource management to allocate and utilize resources efficiently. Most organizations still rely on a manual, siloed approach to resourcing, losing a ton of money as a result. It is impossible to optimize productivity without real-time insights into resource availability, certifications, and individual skill sets.
When resources are not managed properly, employees are either under-utilized or overutilized; employee churn occurs due to burnout, projects miss deadlines, resources with sub-optimal skills are allocated to projects, and there is a last-minute frenzy to train or hire additional resources, lowering profit margins and negatively affecting customer satisfaction. Thus, effective utilization of resources can make the difference between a project’s failure and success.
To Boost Employee Engagement
Employee engagement has assumed unprecedented importance as companies wage a fierce battle to acquire and retain talent. As a result, companies are demonstrating a renewed enthusiasm for augmenting employee engagement activities, and technology is a critical enabler. When employees are removed from bandwidth-sapping, repetitive tasks, they can focus on more pressing issues, channeling their energies toward solving business-critical problems. Plus, research suggests that most employees believe that AI-based tools and systems improve their overall performance, reduce workload, and help them strike a better work-life balance. All this translates into higher employee engagement, reduced attrition, improved productivity, and longer-term benefits beyond revenues.
Organizations often assume automation is a vast and expensive undertaking. But, on the contrary, they often don’t need to make expansive changes. Even automating simple tasks like filling timesheets regularly can elevate the employee experience considerably. An automation-inclusive approach to hybrid and remote workplaces helps employees save time, gives them a more unified experience, enhances their engagement and motivation levels, and promotes ease and seamlessness within multi-environment workplaces. And PSA tools are well poised to help organizations automate and better engage their employees.
To Enhance Employee Value Propositions
A company’s employee value proposition (EVP) is the mix of rewards and benefits that employees receive for their performance. EVP has undergone a metamorphosis since the onset of the global pandemic, which has been complicated by the challenge of acquiring and retaining talent.
Companies are focusing on reorganizing and reprioritizing their corporate values, culture, and employee benefits. This recalibration allows prospective candidates to demand more from their future employers as companies reset and rethink their EVP.
Thus, companies worldwide now offer better remuneration, improved work-life balance, upskilling and reskilling opportunities, and comprehensive health and wellness programs that may even provide medical coverage to their employees’ extended families. These measures make companies more attractive among prospective employees and help them retain talent amid severe shortages and massive turnovers of the workforce.
However, these measures alone are not enough to retain employees. A longer-term and sustainable solution lies in improving employees’ actual work experience, not just their benefits. And promoting the ‘digital’ route as the future of work can go a long way toward improving the work experience. This digital future must include an organizational focus on creating a delightful employee experience to keep workers engaged and motivated. Companies can elevate their EVPs and create a unique value proposition by using PSA tools to offer a more connected experience to their employees.
To Enhance Collaboration and Real-time Decision-making
Collaboration has taken a hit as teams now operate from across cities, countries, and sometimes even time zones. This massive change in the workplace model means that offices will be somewhat ‘digital’ for almost all companies. Thus, their success will hinge on their agility in absorbing and comprehending data, and using it to make prudent business decisions.
- Cloud-based PSA solutions are ideal for meeting such requirements as they benefit employees and enterprises alike.
- Employees can access information in real time and collaborate seamlessly while working from hybrid and remote setups.
- PSA tools allow employees to update their work progress status from anywhere and anytime, and enhance intra- and inter-team collaboration.
Companies also need real-time visibility into every crucial decision-making metric. PSA solutions can facilitate this easily. An advanced PSA provides companies with a solution that does the heavy lifting, analyzes real-time data and delivers live recommendations on the best possible choices.
These tools help converge all resourcing, finance, and project-related information in one place, giving companies an up-to-date, live view of their businesses. This real-time data also reduces the challenges that hybrid and remote setups create, giving companies more control and a heightened ability to make immediate course corrections.
PSAs with intelligent resource management leverage AI/ML-based advanced technologies to manage resources in an autopilot mode while optimizing business growth. Plus, some tools also provide historical and real-time information, helping managers and business leaders make instantaneous and data-backed decisions.
To Facilitate Cloud Enablement
Automation is critical to the success of new workplace models that rely on hybrid and remote ecosystems. Whether a company plans to use a cloud-based ERP, a time-tracking tool, or a budgeting solution, cloud enablement is critical in making the transition to sustainable hybrid and remote workspaces. Cloud-based PSA solutions are useful in many ways:
- They are configurable, global, safe, and easily accessible on the go.
- They follow stringent data protection guidelines prescribed by governments worldwide, such as GDPR compliance.
- They are scalable, so smaller companies can employ them without worrying about expanding their teams.
- They are highly cost-effective, as service providers are responsible for their service and maintenance, such as installing software patches and updates.
To Create Workplaces of the Future
Employees have demonstrated their dislike for traditional, manual processes by avoiding companies that still adopt conventional approaches. Rejection of traditional methods is one of the catalysts of the Great Resignation. Workforces now do not consider organizations that follow these methods to be archaic, tech-averse, and inward-looking.
Employee displeasure with conventional setups is understandable. Before the pandemic, when teams worked in the same location, traditional approaches worked because they allowed companies to gauge how employees, teams, or departments felt about their workload. However, hybrid and remote setups have decentralized workforces. Therefore, companies must rely on productivity reports, resource and project management tools, and employee feedback forms to assess employee fulfillment. On some occasions, they may even have to base their decisions on intuition alone. Such an approach may make employees think that their employer is indifferent to their overall workplace experience.
The opinion that traditional methods cannot be sustained in the long term is gaining mainstream currency. As a result, employees do not envision working with companies that use traditional methods for long. Therefore, companies must automate and digitize processes by adopting advanced PSA tools to attract talented workers.
How Polaris PSA Can Help
Polaris PSA is the world’s first self-driving PSA platform that offers AI/ML-enabled intelligent resource management, intuitive dashboards, and advanced project management capabilities. Below are its key features.
- Intuitive and Smart Resource Management: Polaris offers AI/ML-based advanced features, which help companies immensely to manage their resources in an autopilot mode and optimize business growth.
- Cost Optimized Resource Allocation: Companies can use Polaris PSA to accurately account for user schedules, time off, and other details when allocating hours to days.
- Complex and Customized Selection Criteria: This feature allows users to set the importance of specific skill sets when requesting resources, to help zero in on the best resource for each project.
- Powerful Dashboarding: Polaris is the first PSA tool to bring scope and margin to the forefront of any project using graphical dashboards. These interfaces allow companies to gain in-depth, real-time insights into project budget and scope variances.
- Smart Task Management: Polaris PSA offers an industry-leading, intuitive interface, which provides managers with clarity and ease of use while managing projects.
- Powerful Financial Management: Polaris PSA helps eliminate revenue leakage and increase profitability by providing real-time visibility into project budgets.
- MissionControl: MissionControl gives an unparalleled view of a comprehensive project portfolio, resources, finances, and other specific initiatives. It can also be easily integrated with Business Intelligence (BI) tools.
- SmartBudget Management: Using SmartBudget, organizations can ensure their proposals and bids meet all revenue and profit targets while accounting for true utilization, costs, and margins.
- SmartBeats: With SmartBeats, employees can gain real-time insights into the status of all projects and tasks, such as work completed, work that needs to be completed, and estimated completion dates. It also helps employees update their timesheets and project statuses.
- SmartMatch: Using SmartMatch, you can find the resource that best matches the criteria of a project, and ensure the right resources are allocated to the right projects.
- Easy Plug-and-play Integration: With the Plug-and-Play feature, you can share the project, resource, time, and cost information with any ecosystem that you choose.
The recent changes to the workplace ecosystem and the marketplace indicate that technology and automation will assume a more prominent role in the day-to-day operations of businesses. Plus, technology-driven initiatives are a fantastic way to demonstrate a forward-looking approach. Therefore, PSA tools are a great enabler for businesses of all sizes and offer several advantages over their traditional counterparts. As a result, organizations stand to gain immensely by adopting them.