According to new research, IT is now crucial for professional services firms to meet their business objectives.
A study of 600 firms in North America reveals that IT is important for 78 per cent of accountancy, legal, marketing and PR practitioners. As a result, they spend a significant proportion of their annual operating expenditure on IT.
Whilst the majority said they have some in-house IT expertise, equally most said they lack the depth or breadth of skills needed to fully meet their IT needs.
The research by CompTIA reveals that around sixty per cent of professional services firms have worked with some kind of external IT solution provider over the past two years. Forty six per cent turned to external IT partners for help “because they want to take advantage of greater tech expertise” and 44 per cent used external providers because their systems are getting too complex to manage internally.
South East accountants need IT consultants
The trends are similar in the UK. Many more accountants, solicitors and marketing firms in Brighton, Eastbourne, Southampton and Worthing are now seriously considering external IT consultants.
“Using an external IT partner makes sense for professional services firms,” explains Gary Jowett of Computer & Network Consultants in Brighton. “An independent IT consultancy will have a good knowledge of all the solutions and services available to help them make an objective choice about the best hardware, systems and applications they need.”
One major factor that’s spurring professional services firms to seek external expertise is the growing availability of robust and secure cloud services which increase the scope and flexibility of the IT services a firm can deploy. However, it’s essential to seek help from an IT consultant to prepare for the migration to the cloud and also provide ongoing support.
All professional services firms in the UK and the US face stiff competition from their rivals so they need to focus on their core skills to provide the very best advice and support for their clients. They simply don’t have the time to spend on managing IT hence why an increasing number realise an external partner is an essential part of their business strategy.