One development already having a tremendous impact on this emerging opportunity-speckled landscape is digitisation, which—by harnessing the power of technologies such as artiﬁcial intelligence—allows ﬁrms to expand services, better manage business functions, improve operational efficiency, enter new niche markets, capitalise on the "gig" economy of contracted labour, and more.
Here are three speciﬁc digitisation trends to watch—and, potentially, take advantage of:
Alleviate administrative burdens
Going digital can reduce otherwise cumbersome administrative processes and functions. Collections, for example, improve with rapid notiﬁcations and transfers of funds. Payments are instantaneous. For professional services ﬁrms, digitisation expands capacity and creates an avenue by which to offer new and different services to new and different markets. And the Return on Investment (ROI) is not limited to the savings realised by processes directly tied to digitisation. These technologies often provide companies with the ability to mine more actionable data from their metrics than ever before, which can have a positive ripple effect throughout virtually every corner and layer of the business.
Update secure data in real time
Today’s digitisation processes allow information to be transmitted accurately, securely, and in "blocks." For professional services forms this is not merely about speed—although the increases in that area are remarkable and profound. Nor is it simply about cutting costs—although the opportunity is there for that as well as the middlemen of yore are bypassed. In today’s marketplace, rife with fears of digital breaches, cyber fraud, and data manipulation, the trust generated by “blockchain” technology—both with clients and other firms—can pay its own dividends, enabling services to securely expand across geographic boundaries with workers dispersed throughout the world.
Digitisation reduces transaction time thus reducing cost—a boon for professional services ﬁrms. As the ﬂow of funds from order to payment is streamlined working capital earns a better return. In fact, the entire administrative ecosystem of business is quicker, more agile—and less costly.
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