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Insights from the Latest Kantata Survey: How Strategic Technology Decisions Address Distinct Challenges in Professional Services Organizations

Insights from the Latest Kantata Survey: How Strategic Technology Decisions Address Distinct Challenges in Professional Services Organizations

UPDATEDNov 08, 2023

Technology’s role within professional services organizations has never been more crucial. Get your technology stack right, and your business will have the insights it needs to operate confidently, aligning your highly skilled workforce with client-enabling work. Get it wrong, and your teams will be managing the professional services lifecycle in the dark, which can impact everything from profitability to employee turnover to client retention.

Kantata, in collaboration with S&P Global Market Intelligence, recently surveyed over 200 leaders in the professional services industry about their opinions on technological solutions and how they address the unique challenges that their organizations are facing. Insights from the survey revealed a significant disparity between the essential role technology plays and the capability of existing tools to equip leadership teams with essential decision-making data. This gap highlights the pressing need for strategic technology choices to bridge the divide.

The Impact of Technology on Professional Services

Findings from the survey highlighted that a staggering 85% of professional services leaders acknowledged the extensive impact of the applications and technologies they use on their daily work. Strikingly, 36% of these leaders reported that technology had a bigger impact on the quality of their day-to-day work experience than fundamental factors like company culture, colleagues, and compensation. However, only 47% of respondents expressed strong confidence in their existing tools’ capacity to deliver essential data and insights required for strategic decision-making.

An Overview of Professional Services Challenges

Professional services confront a complex array of challenges, including adapting to remote work, navigating pricing transparency, and addressing talent recruitment in an era of evolving customer demands. These stressors signal a significant transformation within the industry, demanding agility, flexibility, and adaptation from all professional services organizations.

The Nexus Between Technology Challenges and Friction

The survey shed light on a compelling desire among professional services teams to dismantle collaboration barriers, manage resources effectively across project lifecycles, and bolster agility through data-driven decisions. Nevertheless, technology hurdles act as barriers to realizing these aspirations.

An astounding 95% of respondents said they face collaboration challenges, primarily stemming from the absence of a unified source of truth for project and customer data. Issues like fragmented information, security constraints limiting app usability, lack of clarity on work progress, subpar app user experiences, and an overload of applications, contribute to mounting friction and lead to operational dysfunction in organizations.

Harnessing Technology for Complex Project Lifecycles

Earlier this year, our CTO Ken Ringdahl participated in “The Technology Imperative for Professional Services: Consolidate With the Full Project Lifecycle in Mind”, a webinar moderated by Chris Marsh, Research Director at S&P Global Market Intelligence. In the webinar, the panelists discussed the factors that were driving buyers and suppliers in the professional services market to shift focus away from narrow point solutions to converged enterprise platforms. 

The findings in our new report “The Macro Technology Shift Impacting the Professional Services Industry”, co-authored by Marsh, reinforce the key themes discussed in that webinar – namely that professional services organizations require technology that aligns efforts across a complex professional services lifecycle, which can’t be done in silos or using generic approaches that any business would use to make projects more efficient or more collaborative.

As an example, professional services leaders using collaborative work management (CWM) tools like, Asana, or Wrike to manage professional services projects said they struggled integrating financial information into how projects are managed (59%) and conducting detailed resource management and capacity planning (58%). For 56% of these PS leaders, lack of features specific to how professional services teams work was cited as a top challenge.

This stands in stark juxtaposition to the capabilities that professional services leaders see as most beneficial in the tools they use to manage project and portfolio delivery, which include quote-to-cash financial management supporting project profitability and general financial oversight (52%), resource management features that help manage teams across projects (48%), and business intelligence to examine which projects generate the most revenue and client satisfaction (48%). For high-performing professional services teams, an ideal technology solution enables data-driven decisions by integrating information, providing visibility, and ensuring process maturity throughout intricate project lifecycles. Beyond mere project management, these teams seek visibility into financial management, resource allocation, and business intelligence to optimize revenue and client satisfaction.

Looking Ahead with the Kantata Professional Services Cloud

The unique needs of professional services organizations call for a purpose-built Professional Services Cloud of the future. The Kantata Professional Services Cloud dynamically orchestrates resource planning, service delivery, time capture, and project accounting, providing businesses the crucial forward-looking insights they need to keep their skilled workforce and client-enabling work aligned. By offering industry-specific capabilities that provide contextual collaboration and control, Kantata directly addresses the challenges encountered by professional services organizations in ways that generic project management tools can’t. The tailored strategy and features of our platform echo the survey findings, underscoring the crucial need to make the right strategic technology decisions to navigate macroeconomic and digital transformations within the professional services industry.

To explore how the Kantata Professional Services Cloud can empower your business to maintain a competitive edge and consistently deliver value to clients, contact us and schedule a demonstration. For more details about the survey, access the complete report here. Embrace the transformative potential of strategic technology choices for a robust and successful future in the professional services industry.

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