In the 19th and 20th centuries technology radically reshaped those industries that relied on physical labour, such as manufacturing and agriculture. Professional services firms, whose business was driven by intellect, education, experience and relationships, were left relatively untouched.
That is no longer the case. In recent times the professional services sector has found itself at the nexus of a number of era-defining forces that have shaken the foundations of its long-established business model.
This report from The Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by Deltek, examines the forces that are reshaping the sector and assesses their current and future impact. It also identifies, with reference to real-world examples, how professional services firms must adapt in response to these trends.
The key findings are as follows:
- Global forces, driven in large part by technology, are reshaping the market dynamics in the professional services sector.
- There are three ways for firms to respond: build their global scale, expand their areas of specialisation, or use technology to extend their reach.
- In order to weather the current upheaval, firms must be absolutely clear what value they offer clients.
The report is based on interviews with executives from across the professional services sectors and also includes case studies of global marketing agency Publicis Groupe and US accountancy firm Crowe Howarth.