For thriving in the ecosystem of large services organizations, technology modernization has established itself as a game-changer. And agility is the innovative currency of businesses today! As a result, professional services organizations that are adopting next-generation solutions are getting an edge over their competitors. It allows services organizations to run their business with flexibility, agility, higher productivity and lower costs.
For that matter, to stay at the top of the Fortune 500 list and be profitable, global organizations need to constantly disrupt and modernize their business processes and models every year. Modernization is no longer optional! The need to embed new technologies is to not only drive innovation and digital architectures, but also to not miss out on making success systemic. The need is to modernize and transform into a fast-moving digital enterprise immediately.
However, some drivers are limiting an organization’s ability to address critical business needs and seize opportunities for future growth:
Driver 1: Outdated Legacy Systems
The systems currently being used in most professional services organizations have been in place for years and were most probably built to serve just a single business goal. They rarely meet the current benchmarks crucial to help a large services organization in the long term. In addition, these traditional systems that match yesterday’s business requirements cannot be easily upgraded or altered to meet the new business demands of the future. Further, these legacy and disparate systems are giving rise to numerous business challenges, such as:
- Fragmented systems, resulting in more “siloed data”
- Growing runtime, maintenance, and employee costs
- Compliance and regulatory challenges
- Failing to offer the best employee experience and competitive edge
- Lack of decision-making analytics
Driver 2: Changing Expectations
The changing business landscape poses multiple challenges for a professional services organization, primarily due to the diverse and increasing employee expectations. Today’s workforce is becoming more mobile and more dispersed with evolving technology. Flexibility and personalization are the key elements that employees look for nowadays, in addition to high-quality work-life balance.
Keeping your employees at the heart of your business, and providing a personalized, data-driven, and employee-centric experience, will go a long way in increasing productivity. Employees expect hyper-connected experiences and the capability to ‘do business’ anytime, anywhere.
Driver 3: Continuous Disruption
Professional services organizations have been quite agile in evolving their offerings with the changing customer needs. However, the continuous disruption as a product of digitalization and global events has caused them to rethink their strategies.
With innovation driving the industry, professional services organizations cannot stay behind. It is essential that they find a fine balance between agility and innovation to remain successful. They must provide room to evolve their strategies and quickly determine new focus areas to counter disruptions and stay ahead of the game.
Driver 4: Digital and Shifting Economics
Digital innovation is revamping traditional business models and bringing suppliers and customers together on the same platform. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been at the forefront of this revolution. By leveraging data analytics and machine learning (ML), professional services organizations are getting better insights into market trends, enabling them to curate product configurations as per their business needs.
This fundamental shift in supply and demand economics contributes effectively to providing affordable, transparent, and high-quality professional services.
Driver 5: Changing Business Models
As the world slowly returns to in-office work, professional services organizations have also started devising back-to-office plans for their employees. While some companies are considering in-office work completely, others are taking a hybrid approach to provide a better work-life balance to their employees.
No matter which work model they choose, they have to consider the changing needs of their businesses as well. There is a need for an intelligent solution that can handle such diverse needs and adapt accordingly.
In short, this broken digital experience caused by multiple fragmented legacy systems, changing demands, and business disruption results in miscommunication across teams and frustration among employees.
To build a great digital workplace, your professional services organization needs to take an accelerated digital modernization approach that will allow your organization to achieve higher revenues, attract and retain employees, and outshine the competition in this disrupted world.
How to Chart the Right Course?
There are several ways to adopt modernization, and each large services organization’s course needs to be driven by its strategic priorities. One of the first steps in modernization is “Discovery,” an evaluation that entails a complete mapping of your services organization’s existing technological landscape. So, start by getting the answers to these compelling questions:
- Can you launch a new business efficiently from where you are now?
- Data monetization depends on access to data. Do you have 100% easy access to real-time data?
- Can you offer end-to-end integration?
- Is your disparate time tracking system blocking the way to digital transformation?
Modernization should be holistic. Services organizations must recognize the attributes and activities that fulfill their business goals when looking to modernize their technology ecosystem, as each modernization plan is unique.
Where Should We Start?
87% of CXOs report that increasing Enterprise intelligence is their top priority over the next five years. Virtually all organizations now realize that they must invest in modern technology, which is the foundation of enterprise intelligence and an enabler of future growth. – Source: IDC
Today’s organizations seek to shift their business workloads to the cloud, while a majority are already using agile processes to accelerate delivery times. Cloud has grown to be the most important enabler to drive this technology modernization imperative, but modernization does not mean simply adapting to it.
Organizations adapting to cloud-based ERP, HCM or CRM as their first step need to understand that the path to profitability through this approach would take three years to taste success. Their data is still getting captured in silos, causing revenue leakages. To have a quick win and modernize faster, large services organizations need to first convert legacy and disparate time-tracking platforms to modern cloud-first platforms. It enables services organizations to manage digital modernization without interrupting business operations.
Therefore, as a first step, it is essential for services organizations to bring people, processes and technology together to offer a reliable, consistent, capable and efficient experience, anywhere and anytime.
How Will a Strategic Path Determine My Future Fast?
Services organizations need to first simplify their complex initiatives and enhance speed to overcome the challenges created by the drivers of modernization. Switching to a strategic modernization path, which is eliminating legacy and disparate time-tracking systems, will not just save revenue leakage by up to 10%, but also help large services organizations realize the following benefits:
Optimize Operational Efficiency: By accurately capturing employee time spent on projects and other key revenue indicators, organizations will get time to evolve with the changing market. An organization-wide unified platform capable of combining all aspects of your project business will ensure your data is as per your organization’s policies, while supporting localization needs, such as templates, languages, currencies, workflows and data privacy rules for each country. It will further give you a snapshot of project profitability, resource utilization, budget allocation and project costs. Equipped with centralized data, you can make informed decisions for successful project delivery within time and budget.
Leverage a Single Source of Truth: An organization-wide access to a single source of truth for time data is critical to kick-start your digital transformation journey. With a consolidated view of time data, you can make faster, more informed decisions about identifying and reducing revenue leakage and increasing cash flow. In addition, this will also give your customers more autonomy. For example, organizations with over 10,000 employees have around 20,800,000 project hours available each year, and those with 100,000 employees have a massive 208,000,000 project hours! Therefore, even incremental improvements in billable hours can massively increase operating profit.
Create Reality-based Forecasts in Agile Projects: Complete real-time visibility into the project pipeline, resources and skill requirements ensures that services organizations can better foresee actual employee utilization when bidding for projects. As the project progresses, leaders across an organization can use the time-tracking capabilities to better plan and manage delivery. Knowing how much time was spent on a billable task, the remaining work, and what will be the time required to finish the complete work also helps to avoid over/under allocation of resources and deliver projects within the required time and budget.
Empower Employees: Nowadays, employees look for customer-grade experiences that make their jobs easier. An intelligent time-tracking platform offers frictionless employee experience for tracking and capturing work time data. This helps employees to focus on high-impact jobs and tasks. It also simplifies revenue-based time capture, automated approvals and pre-configured workflows. A cloud-first time-tracking platform fuels project success by enabling uniform workload distribution.
Lower Labor Compliance Cost: With organizations spread across geographies, they often utilize disparate systems for daily business operations. As a result, they manage compliance and data governance in a decentralized manner. However, this approach is fraught with risk as compliance requirements vary across regions. Therefore, a unified and scalable time-tracking platform with built-in compliance will enable your organization to minimize compliance risks and decrease audit costs through continuous upgrades. In addition, you will have access to the global library for payroll compliance across countries, across jurisdictions, ongoing legislative updates for new regulations worldwide, and comprehensive reporting to manage and maintain time, cost, and pay records for possible audits.
Set Your Business on the Accelerated Path
Selecting the right technology to modernize disparate and siloed systems across your services organization is of paramount importance. Therefore, you need to evaluate technologies based on your organization’s current needs and future goals. Choose a tech-based solution that:
- Aligns with your business strategy
- Complements your existing systems and processes
- Empowers your workforce to enhance productivity
- Enables your business to shift to the cloud and implement cloud-based ERP systems
- Reduces operational costs
- Overcomes compliance issues
- Gives you an advantage over integration and scalability challenges
- Enables future-readiness
- Facilitates informed decision-making through innovation
- Increases agility and the ability to unlock hidden value
When searching for an ideal solution, technology is only one part that will solve your business. But with the right modernization strategy and an intelligent cloud-first platform that can help you scale easily, your business can thrive in the new hybrid digital era.
To navigate further, you must align your digital transformation journey with your business strategy. And to do this, you need a reliable partner who can transform your organization into a digitally determined organization that accomplishes ‘digital at scale’ effortlessly. At Replicon, we’ve been helping businesses accelerate their digital transformation journey.