How to make your professional services firm more competitive

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Author: Mitchell Feldman, CDO  
Last updated: August 3, 2017

Less than a fifth of the professional services sector consider themselves pioneers of digital technology. Worse, while four out of five law firms see their digital strategy as critical, only 23 percent have made operational changes.

Data is your most valuable asset and it’s how you use this data that can make your firm more competitive. Here’s how the latest technology can help with that:

Easier sharing

Whether your team are collaborating on a case or trying to complete due diligence on a deal against a time tight deadline, they need to be able to share important information at a moment’s notice. Sharing can introduce security risks for regulated firms, but none that can’t be solved with the right technology.

Microsoft SharePoint Online is a business solution that lets your employees access data from anywhere, on any device, without risk. With SharePoint, your employees can collaborate quickly and securely, and have better access to business intelligence. Combined with effective identity management and access control, digital rights management can lock down documents so that only authorised users can read, edit, print or share them.

More efficient document storage and archiving

Professional services firms generate files at a prodigious rate and regulations mean they need to store them in a secure but searchable way. This puts a huge premium on cost-effective storage, backup and archiving.

The possibilities for storage solutions today are vast. You can go beyond having your own physical servers and store your data securely in the cloud. It’s also possible to use a hybrid storage solution like Azure StorSimple that incorporates on-premise and cloud storage to get the best of both worlds. With a hybrid setup you can:

  • Archive inactive data and retrieve it anytime
  • Keep active data on premise and easily accessible
  • Rely on automated, regular backups
  • Count on reliable disaster recovery measures

Better customer experience

While the adage ‘the customer is always right’ is debatable, your clients’ experience when interacting with your company is vital. In the Embracing Digital in Every Sector survey, customer experience was cited as the top benefit of technology for businesses. According to Microsoft:

‘Firms need to embrace new levels of transparency and build a workplace where it’s easy for professionals to find and share information about clients, access all available expertise and apply preferred practices widely.’

To do this, you need a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool, such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM. With a CRM you can:

  • Personalise marketing, sales and service
  • Coordinate sales and service delivery across the whole firm
  • Apply consistent processes and follow-ups
  • Engage new and re-engage former clients in a professional way
  • Identify patterns in customer behaviour with data and analysis

Improved analysis

After customer experience, greater business insight is the second most beneficial aspect of technology. Business insight leads to a better understanding of the big picture, where you fit into it and how to progress.

For example, free tools like Google Analytics will tell you a lot about how people are using your website but the key to good data analytics, is less about the actual tool and more about how you use it.

At RedPixie, we get up close and personal with data to discover the things you might not see in the data alone. This means using cloud technology for data mining and visualisation tools to display it in a way that’s easier to interpret. We’re even exploring the possibilities of using analytics to decode brain activity.

Gaining the competitive edge

Fast-moving, forward-thinking firms are already using digital technology to enhance their marketing, improve their productivity, give better service to their clients and cut their costs. Many others are not.

In hidebound, backward-looking professions, digital technology gives every professional a choice: do you want to be Captain Cook or Captain Kirk?

To explore the art of the possible and see what the latest digital technology can do for your firm, request a free immersion workshop.

Topics: Professional services, Tech, Business

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