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The Effect of Digital Technological Disruption on Professional Services

“Studies showed that already by the end of 2017, almost half of the global workforce will exist of contingent workers, including independent contractors, and freelancers”

Digital technology is changing the status quo in different industries. Disruption is the name of the game, from Alibaba to Netflix, Uber to Airbnb, Konga to Jumia, industry leaders are adopting technology to stay competitive in order to deliver greater value to clients.

The professional service sector is not spared. The sector is currently witnessing a very challenging time, with digital technology and emerging new platforms, Professional services such as accounting, legal, human resource, management, and even IT consulting firms are daily threatened with increasing freelance platforms offering services to end users at relatives low cost.

For example, Quickbooks as well other accounting products are fast replacing the need for accountants, at least for small businesses. Using Artificial Intelligence IBM Watson is providing almost accurate legal and medical among other consulting advices, thereby disrupting the professional service industry.

Globalisation is also a major contributor; with increasing adoption of outsourcing, small organisations are leveraging technology to create models that provide value to clients at affordable rates.

Technology developments such as Machine Learning, Big Date, IOT, Artificial Intelligence, though a possible threat to the professional services industry but can also be an enabler to reinvent the business models of the traditional industry offerings.

Valuable Insights and Positive Effects of Technology

Increase in quality of services
The threat posed by technology can also be an opportunity for traditional companies to improve the way they do business and the quality of services they provided to clients.

Commoditization and automation
The after effect of technology commoditization and automation of services is that there will be more highly specialized firms in services areas that cannot be commoditized or automated.

Digital marketplaces for services
“Studies showed that already by the end of 2017, almost half of the global workforce will exist of contingent workers, including independent contractors, and freelancers”. The rise of the new platforms and related digital marketplaces will lead to the majority of professional services being sourced using online channels.

The ability of service buyer to profile and source service providers through online platforms will lead to more transparency in capacity of the service provider. This also gives the clients the control to find the right provider in a much simpler way.

Increase in market Access
The increasing use of new technological methods will further extend the service firm’s market access to the market, and provides opportunities to connect with clients across the globe.

(Article written by Taopheek Babayeju)

The iCentra Team   

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