According to a recent report, up to 30% of current UK jobs could be impacted by automation by the early 2030s. And the predictions for professional services firms are particularly worrying:
- Around 114,000 jobs in the legal sector are likely to become automated in the next 20 years
- There is a 93.5% chance accountants will lose their jobs to robots.
But despite the scary (and often widely exaggerated) headlines, it’s not all doom and gloom. In fact, if you take a deeper look at the current evolution of cloud computing and intelligent machines, you’ll find that, rather than replacing humans, the latest tech is all about machine-to-machine interaction. And, with less mundane and repetitive tasks, and more time to focus on client care, this could actually provide expanded, and more rewarding career paths for solicitor and accountants.
So, rather than concerns about employees being replaced by robots, what firms should be looking at is how they can capitalise on the latest cloud and automation developments.
Here are just some of the ways technology is enhancing professional services firms:
- Automation leads to improved organisation. Automation technology circulates information on an unprecedented level. With all the data you need available through one central point. For example, with a hosted desktop, all the files and data you require are instantly available. All you need is a computer (including mobile devices) and an internet connection.
- Automation improves visibility between teams. Departmental silos are still a huge problem for many professional services firms. And, this lack of communication is often at the expense of the client who has to wait longer than necessary for updates. Automation streamlines communications and improves viability between different departments; making sure everyone has access to the most up-to-date information.
- Automation improves efficiency. For automation to work, processes need to be set up. And establishing these process often leads to improvements in workflow and consistency across your operations. For example, with SaaS technology, all users and applications share a centrally maintained common infrastructure. This encourages the simplification and standardisation of business processes, saving you time and money.
- Automation keeps you compliant. Manual processes can lead to over-complicated workflows and data inconsistencies. On the other hand, automation makes it harder for human error to occur, and where it does, provides a digital trail to help resolve any issues quickly and easily. Also, paper records are less prone to loss, misfiling, and compliance violations.
- Automation provides easy access to Big Data. The sheer volume of information and documents that need managing is a challenge for most professional services firms. Particularly with regulatory compliance placing strict rules on how this data has to be stored and processed. But with automation, your firm can capitalise on the power of this information, and use it to extract insights that give you the competitive edge.
- Automation saves you money. Manual processes can result in your firm’s most valuable fee earners chasing up information. This wastes your precious time and damages your bottom line. However, with automation, your fee earners are free to complete more billable tasks.
- Automation keeps your clients happy. Cloud-based software can provide clients with greater levels of transparency. For example, with case management software as a service they can login and review their matters on any mobile device, at a time and location that suits them. This leads to greater levels of satisfaction, and stops them pestering you for updates!
Modern professional services firms do more than just advise on their specific areas of expertise. Today, they provide insights, anticipate future trends, and become a genuine trusted advisor. So, while automation might be taking over a huge sway of tasks, firms shouldn’t be running scared from technological advancements. Rather, an increasingly competitive landscape, liberating teams from burdensome tasks and providing centralised, enhanced management information will make all the difference between success and failure.
At Cloud Geeni, we help firms to work smarter and reduce costs with our impressive Hosted IT Solutions such as hosted desktops, hosted backups, and cloud telephony solutions. To find out how we can help you – speak to a member of our team on 01942 263 434 today.