Today’s digital world is progressively changing the way that clients interact with professional services firms. To this end, 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. Client service professionals need to know how to engage with the firm’s clients without working at cross-purposes with another part of the business. They also need to have the right processes and tools at their disposal to work seamlessly with practice support staff in order to propose and deliver services that offer relevant, responsive, and reliable client experiences and profitable project results.

4 Transformational Challenges for AEC Firms

Professional services organizations face four major transformational challenges that shape their competitive survival and success:

Client Expansion. Today, client organizations are increasingly multi-market and multiregional. That’s why their client-centric professional services providers are following suit, expanding service operations into neighboring states and across oceans to maintain their connection with and relevance to strategic clients.

Changing Workforce. Shifting economic conditions notwithstanding, the mass retirement of a generation of skilled professionals is under way. This tectonic shift in the market for talent is fundamentally altering expectations about who will deliver services, where they will do the work, and how the work will be done—giving rise to both challenges and opportunities in talent recruitment, collaboration and approaches to service innovation.

Collaborative Execution. At a more granular project level, technology-driven improvements in access to information are enabling matrixed project teams that cross firm, client, and contractor boundaries. These hybrid project teams expose the realities of back-office project execution to client organizations, simultaneously making it harder for providers to hide coordination problems while also making it easier to demonstrate real value creation. Over time, successful joint execution models break down boundaries and raise expectations that provider resources should behave like responsive and reliable extensions of the client organization.

Agile Adaptation. For professional services firms doing business today, expanding into new markets in response to ever more demanding clients is the new normal. Operational complexity drives risk that can arise from failure to maintain alignment and consistency in project controls, administrative procedures, and regulatory compliance requirements. Operational complexity also elevates the risk of missed opportunities—opportunities that the firm could not respond to because it lacked flexibility and could not adapt quickly.

Taken together, the compound challenges of client expansion, a changing workforce, and hybrid teams are driving adoption of integrated systems that more seamlessly connect practice development, professional development and project execution. By taking advantage of integrated business solutions that work across multiple business focus areas and individual roles, professional services organizations can obtain a 360-degree view into clients, projects, and cost controls. Such solutions can offer practice managers and functional leaders up-to-date operational insights that lead to better, more-informed decision-making and impact.

Find out how AEC firms are transforming their organizations with business applications designed for a digital world.

Sopris Systems and Microsoft, in conjunction with BuiltWorlds present:

UNBOXED: Transforming the AEC Enterprise with Business Applications Designed for a Digital World
Live Streaming on May 10, 2016 8:30 a.m. Central time