Technology Considerations for Professional Services Firms in 2015

In professional services, your business systems are vital to supporting corporate strategies and achieving the performance needed to grow your business. It’s important to regularly evaluate how your systems are performing and if they will meet your needs in the future.

If you are implementing new strategies, pursuing new markets or improving your processes in 2015, evaluating all your options and finding the right partner with a strong knowledge base in professional services can make the difference between success and failure.

Here are just a few things to consider:

Does your current solution meet the unique requirements for professional services companies?

Many professional services focused ERP systems have failed to keep up with the changing needs of the market, lacking functionality to adequately address the unique proposal and bid processes, collaborative project models and flexibility needed for various new contracting and billing arrangements and delivery models. If you have seen little, or worse, no significant investment in functionality that addresses your specific needs, it makes sense to at least see what other vendors are doing to proactively bridge the gap between business as usual and the trends you are seeing in the industry moving forward. Equally as important, is an implementation and integration partner that understands the unique processes and challenges that are coming in the industry.  Complete industry optimized technology solutions that can easily be adapted to new markets and new business models is becoming a necessity for many firms.

Does your ERP vendor offer flexible software delivery models?

The ERP market has grown to include cloud-based, Software as a Service (SaaS), and hybrid offerings in addition to traditional on-premise ERP solutions. Despite the money and time invested in an existing ERP system, the benefits of these new delivery models can far outweigh the costs of changing vendors. Flexibility, scalability and lower total cost of ownership are a few of the benefits derived from breaking away from outdated licensing models and burdensome maintenance and support contracts.

Does your current system need a major upgrade?

Major ERP software upgrades are often long, arduous processes. If your system has been customized to meet your unique needs, this further complicates the upgrade process. Often, a major current system upgrade can be as much or more effort as changing your ERP system vendor. At any rate, it’s a worth evaluating all the options if a major upgrade is in your future.

Are you getting the service level you expect?

Many companies experience escalating maintenance and support costs coupled with declining levels of service from their ERP vendor. One source of frustration on this issue is that acquisitions and mergers are common in the software industry and can often result in changed priorities for specific product lines. Following an acquisition, it can be difficult to predict what will happen. If your solution is becoming increasingly expensive to maintain, requires more and more customization to meet your needs or customer support is not as responsive as it should once was, it may be time to explore other options.

Our client, Control Risks, has shared how they grew their business and increased margin by aligning their strategy and their technology solutions in the following case study:  Control Risks Improves Margins with Dynamics AX.

 If you need help evaluating where you are today and where you are going in the future with your technology investments, call SBS Group today.

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