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Priorities in the professional services industry

The professional services industry is changing, and executives in this field are rethinking traditional organizational priorities to align with business transformation.

A survey of professional services firms conducted by the SAP Insights research center revealed organizational priorities for the next 12 months. The top three are growing revenue, increasing operational efficiency, and mitigating risk.

Here’s a brief look at each priority.

Revenue Growth

Executives viewed sustainability as a core revenue generator and increased sustainability of their products and services as a top priority. Why sustainability? Respondents believe it will help their professional services organizations run better and reduce environmental impact through initiatives like optimizing staff commutes, office utilization, and travel.

Additional priorities for growing revenue include improving brand recognition and reputation, increasing sales to existing customers, introducing new products or services, and expanding to new market segments.

Increased Operational Efficiency

The survey found the top priority to increase efficiency is improving cost control and spend management, followed closely by making operational processes more sustainable.

Executives realize these priorities can be tackled together. For example, they can drive cost reductions and sustainability improvements while allowing team members to work from home. They can also reserve in-office work and client travel for more creative and relationship-building activities.

Risk Mitigation

Executives have pushed aside traditional risk factors like thwarting competitors. Respondents’ top three priorities to reduce risk are protecting against cybersecurity attacks, avoiding brand damage, and preventing internal talent shortages.

These priorities are critical for increasing efficiency and growing revenue. A strategy that considers services and how they affect customers’ sustainability performance can help a professional services firm build brand reputation and value. Additionally, a robust external talent supply chain and automated tasks can improve sustainability, reduce costs, and lower the risk of a talent shortage.

Digital Transformation

Surveyed professional services executives understand digital transformation is vital to achieve these organizational priorities, increase business performance, and remain competitive. The top three technologies cited to improve business processes are employee collaboration tools, cybersecurity infrastructure, and cloud computing.

SAP Business ByDesign

SAP Business ByDesign is the affordable, easy-to-use cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that meets professional services firms’ requirements. It empowers employees to work and collaborate anytime, anywhere. Every facet of SAP Business ByDesign adapts to the devices professional services teams use. Targeted apps simplify tasks, including time and expense reporting, project management, and analytics.

Because SAP Business ByDesign runs in the cloud, it eliminates the costs of on-premises servers, IT staff, and maintenance. And the cloud is secure—there hasn’t been a publicly reported major cloud infrastructure breach since 2010. Cloud providers’ protections rival the world’s largest enterprise data centers. Recent studies prove security is one of the top reasons to move to the cloud.

Learn More

Download our free eBook, The Transformation Mindset: How Professional Services Leaders Shift Their Focus Toward Innovation and Sustainability, for additional findings and figures from the SAP Insights survey.

Get the eBook