Historically, business productivity has been defined as the ratio of inputs and outputs. However, firms are increasingly pushing optics and outdated metrics aside in favor of outcomes.
See, business productivity isn’t just about looking busy or checking more items off of a to-do list. Instead, firms must focus on finding the most effective tools and tactics for achieving critical outcomes.
So, how might professional services firms improve productivity? Unfortunately, the best answer is, “it depends.” Defining what productivity means for an organization is hugely personal – figuring out how to drive improvements, even more so.
For some, it’s about filling gaps exposed by the pandemic. For others, it’s serious infrastructure investments that drive the speed and performance gains they need to take their business to new heights.
Or, maybe it’s about leveraging data in new ways — using AI-driven insights to reinvent business models, improve processes, or make smarter decisions about how to reallocate resources to maximize profits.
In this post, we’ll look at how real professional services firms are enabling meaningful productivity gains with critical tech investments.
Investing in Business Productivity Solutions for a New Era
Tech investments must support the long-term plan and help orgs anticipate new needs, pivot in response to unexpected roadblocks, and evolve alongside relentless and rapid change.
Though, what that looks like in practice depends on your goals.
For Design Offices, unlocking productivity gains meant finding an IT solution that could support rapid growth and help them respond to constant change. Using a combination of Dynamics 365 Business Central and D365 Sales, enterprise location services provider was able to optimize financial operations, streamline purchasing and sales processes, and support their diverse client base — all without having to hire and train more IT staff.
Amesite, another Microsoft customer, also sought to enable productivity by investing in better infrastructure. This company creates e-learning solutions that can be customized at scale using AI. They also offer affordable SaaS-based solutions and content creation services that support their clients’ online learning programs.
They felt educational tech should operate on the same level as streaming services and sought out an infrastructure solution designed with both security and speed in mind. Amesite’s strategy centered around several technical goals that, together, would enable faster deployments, streamlined operations, and greater agility.
This meant reimagining infrastructure management by embracing a DevSecOps approach — as well as investing in low-code/no-code solutions and more advanced automation capabilities to future-proof the platform without increasing the cost for customers.
You might also look toward solutions like packaged-business capabilities (PBCs) to create reusable modules that can be used to help teams quickly put together applications that reduce time-to-market. Ally Bank built a series of reusable PBCs for capabilities like fraud detection that are used in multiple solutions. The PBCs made it possible for Ally’s fusion teams to assemble apps in low-code environments – saving the bank more than 200k hours of manual work.
Productivity is about implementing solutions to define what “business productivity” means in context with your strategic goals and the needs and expectations of the clients you serve.
Consider the examples we outlined above. You’ve got a firm like Design Offices using technology primarily to provide better 1:1 services to their clients, as well as scale those services without undermining the “human” element. But then you have Amesite, which also sought to scale their operations. But because many of their services were delivered through proprietary software, Amesite needed a completely different set of tools to achieve the desired outcome.
The point is, without a deep understanding of what you’re trying to achieve, you’ll have a hard time finding the solutions that will take you where you need to go.
Velosio’s experts know the ins and outs of the entire Microsoft ecosystem — from Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform to Azure, Excel, and the Teams integration. Contact us today to learn how we can help your team become more productive — and so much more.