Legal and professional services firms face fascinating challenges in the digital era. On the surface, as pure knowledge organisations that operate according to rules and algorithms, they should thrive – but only if they digitise faster than pure technology firms can take away their customers.
Professional services firms have played a vital role in maintaining standards in business and society for hundreds of years, and despite fears over the impact of technology, the need for expertise and advice is likely to endure.
But with technology platforms and providers threatening to automate or commoditise areas of existing practice, how do firms respond? What does new technology mean for the future shape and structure of the firm? Can firms embrace new technology to augment and enhance their expertise and experience, or will they fall behind?
What does the future firm look like and how will automation and platforms change the way work is delivered? Can they embody their methods in digital services and then combine these in platforms to deliver in a more adaptable way, or will they remain stuck in practice area silos?
We have been at the forefront of applying new social and digital technology in the professional services sector for over a decade, and we see more opportunities than threats to existing firms if they can improve their delivery structures and become less bureaucratic.
- Digital Workplace development
- Technology adoption & culture change
- Leadership development & learning
- Platforms & startup ecosystems
- Incubation and innovation
- Connected digital strategy
Challenges we address
- Future firm strategy & structure
- Cross-department digital strategy
- Digital engagement across the firm
- Digital skills development
- Preparing for a world of data & AI
- Non-traditional startup competitors
- New digital products & services
- Increased adoption and utility for digital workplace technologies
- Lower end-user support costs
- Digital skills development at all levels of the organisation
- Improved user engagement for digital ways of working
In a complex world where few of us have time to understand the intricate detail of data, accounting, law and perhaps even code, we will need trusted professionals to help us navigate complexity. So whilst automation and technology will probably reduce headcount in the profession overall, the prize for those who can use our new technology superpowers to create value for their clients will be ever greater. Algorithmic transparency and code standards can help us trust the underlying machinery, but I predict we will still place our trust in humans to make the final judgement.read more
I had a very interesting session last week with procurement leads responsible for sourcing legal and consulting work for major organisations. I came to the session wanting to talk about service-oriented, not product- or project-oriented strategic sourcing, and to lay...read more
In five years, will professional services firms look a bit more like software companies? On first glance, this might seem implausible. For a very long time, firms have been organised around fee earning partners who crafted reputations based upon expertise and...read more
Much has been written - both in our blog and elsewhere - about the many barriers to achieving the meaningful and sustainable digital transformation needed for businesses to operate in the challenging business conditions prevailing in the early 21st Century. From...read more
Do insurers get FinTech? Coming at a time when, according to Gartner, "half of CEOs expect their industries to be substantially or unrecognizably transformed by digital”, the apparent lack of engagement with FinTech displayed by insurers in a recent PwC US...read more
This is a summary of a talk I gave this week to the Stuttgart Social Forum at the Bosch R&D Campus in Renningen, and you can view the accompanying slides here. What is the use case for organisational structure? The rise of social technology in the workplace...read more