6 Key Professional Services Organization Trends for 2016 (And How to Make the Most of Them)

Identifying and capitalizing on key trends is crucial for any successful business. In 2016 planning sessions with our Professional Services Organizations (PSOs) customers, we began to notice several common drivers influencing business decisions.

Overall, we’ve seen that PSOs are planning to take bolder steps than ever before in an attempt to capitalize on missed opportunities. In order to do this, they are aligning services with solutions to leverage their organizational talents and intellectual properties. This directly ties back to our push for PSOs to understand their organizational maturity so they can utilize the right tools and technologies to grow.

Bold, New Trends

1. Greater emphasis on strategic planning and forecasting

This year, planning and forecasting is paramount. PSOs are looking to hire early in the year in order to get ahead. Better planning leads to the ability to better forecast revenue, direct costs and EBITDA.

2. Better business development optimization

No one wants to turn down an opportunity for new business; however, optimizing business development by pursuing the right opportunities, while having the maturity to pass on the non-core opportunities, will improve pipeline quality. Forecasting and optimizing business development work hand-in-hand. Aligning service offerings results in effective communication, as well as the creation of strategic training and business development plans.

3. Dedication to recruiting and retaining talented employees

People are the lifeblood of a PSO. Enthusiastic, skilled and productive employees provide PSOs with an edge over the competition. This year, there will be an ever greater emphasis on finding and retaining the right talent. Additionally, there is a growing trend to hire younger talent, while offering effective coaching and mentoring programs. Younger talent is needed to bring fresh ideas into the workplace and help transform it.

4. Strategic delivery optimization

Most PSOs know how to deliver, but providing value effectively and efficiently is key in 2016. Some PSOs will do this by offering value-based services and solutions, so they are able to deliver a highly profitable offering – for a fixed fee and with less of a time investment. Value-based solutions can deliver more profit by providing the same solution delivery at less cost. Further, because you are now delivering a value-based solution, you can build upon that solution to deliver the proverbial "icing on the cake".

5. Superior customer experience

Talented employees, who couple enthusiasm with knowledge, create a positive customer experience. PSOs are looking to the most enthusiastic evangels of the organization to foster new initiatives and pursue new visions, in order to generate superior customer relationships.

6. Enhanced business intelligence

PSOs are understanding that effectively measuring, visualizing and acting upon key information will transform their future. Having the right key performance indicators (KPIs), early enough in the year, provides the ability to adjust the direction of the organization as needed. This information allows PSOs to allocate more work into the near-term, in order to free up team members to work on new projects, predicted from the pipeline, in the future.

Opportunities Abound

The highly optimized PSO is one that has a continual planning cycle that allows them to react to negative market changes such as industry downturns, but more importantly, become more opportunistic in the face of new markets, new solutions and new business.

Your business will not wither away overnight if you do not capitalize on these trends. However, "business as usual" will be the norm and you will miss out on many new opportunities to build a better organization.

To learn more about how Tribridge can help your PSO thrive, reach out to me at robert.houdeshell@tribridge.com. In addition, you can read more about how we helped an award winning development company leverage some of these same trends to increase visibility across the entire organization.

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