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Certinia 2024 Predictions: Pragmatic AI, Advanced Resource Management, and More: Three Trends that Will Redefine Professional Services in 2024


Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2024.  Read them in this 16th annual series exclusive.

Pragmatic AI, Advanced Resource Management, and More: Three Trends that Will Redefine Professional Services in 2024

By Andy Campbell, Director of Solutions Marketing, Certinia

The rise of Pragmatic AI

Businesses should avoid AI for AI's sake. But with a healthy dose of pragmatism, there is clear evidence of emerging use cases that will help services businesses gain a competitive edge by optimizing the key business metrics sitting below key profitability priorities: CSAT, NPS, and Gross or Project Margin.

In 2024, we'll see professional services organizations embrace Pragmatic AI, which focuses on addressing real, tangible business problems rather than aspirational or flashy use cases. Pragmatic AI gathers, processes and presents data in areas where people are doing work. It is user-friendly and designed for success, with measurable outcomes that help you calculate the return on your investment. Ultimately, it closes a loop through a virtuous cycle of capturing, aggregating, reasoning and surfacing data, to enable more effective decision making. Moreover, it is deployable with clear guidance on data, skill and digital maturity to ensure successful adoption and ROI. To give a specific example: for a services organization Pragmatic AI can be used to predict which customers will pay which of their bills on time, and which other customers will likely pay late. The company can use this information to generate much more accurate cash flow forecasts, manage their own finances far more effectively and avoid putting themself in a situation where they run out of money.

Resource Management comes to the forefront

During times of uncertainty, resource management is one thing that will help professional services providers thrive. These businesses need to make sure that they have enough, but not too much, of the right people, with the right skills, in the right place at the right time. They need to produce realistic, accurate and compelling service estimates for clients and then successfully deliver against those promises and expectations. This will result in improved long term relationships, client retention and ultimately business growth.

With this being the case, we'll see professional services organizations look to build out their resource management capabilities in 2024. These tools will provide a complete insight on capacity, skills availability, and backlog across an entire organization, allowing services businesses to manage their employees, comply with regulations and create a work environment that attracts and retains high quality talent. A powerful resource management platform can track even the most granular resource details - such as certifications and an individual's specific availability, skills and aspirations - so organizations can take advantage of all their team's strengths.

These details can't be effectively tracked via spreadsheets and manual workflows. Modern resource management technology uses automation to ensure data is accurate and up to date, making it easy for organizations to get the most out of all their talent and to ensure that resource utilization rates are optimized.

EX unlocks new CX gains

Employee experience is inherently linked to customer experience. That's especially true in professional services, which is highly dependent on driven, creative individuals. Managing that talent and making sure it is retained and developed is absolutely critical. Professional services employees want to feel engaged, challenged, enthused, and motivated. It means providing them with the tools to do their jobs as effectively as possible, and when employees feel like those needs are being met, then they're more likely to perform to the highest possible standard. It also means sharing information with colleagues and customers as a united, focused team.

This year, professional services providers will increasingly focus on these areas. Many services organizations are already giving their employees more say on the types of projects they work on, and empowering them with more understanding of their personal development opportunities and how work can support their individual aspirations. Employees are free to explore new skills, work in new focus areas and embrace new technologies such as generative AI, as part of their career growth. The results are impressive. Employee satisfaction scores improve, as do retention rates. And of course, there's a knock-on effect on the customer relationship, reflected in increased sales and revenue.

Big Changes Ahead

The professional services industry has changed more over the past five years than it did during the previous 15. The speed of change will only increase in 2024 and beyond. Services organizations that seamlessly adapt - leveraging technologies like Pragmatic AI and advanced forecasting tools - will best position themselves to thrive in this shifting landscape.



Andy Campbell 

Andy Campbell is laser-focused on helping services businesses leverage cloud-based technology to react faster, run smarter, and grow through disruption.

Professional services has always been people-centric. That means it's been particularly susceptible to disruption from the technologies and trends that have been rapidly changing both the employee and customer experience across every industry. This year, this transformation will only accelerate as services organizations embrace Pragmatic AI and advanced forecasting.

Here's a deeper look at the three trends that will redefine professional services in 2024.

Published Friday, February 09, 2024 7:32 AM by David Marshall
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