A sector driven by time and value-based billing.
Maximising productivity and client satisfaction requires robust and efficient core technology.
If your firm is looking to enhance it's success, consider a strong technology partner to help you maximise your team's output.
Time is money - quite literally in your industry.
Technology is either your most powerful tool for leverage, or else it's the biggest shackle around your ankle. Which result you get depends upon the technology and providers that you choose.
The technology itself and the support of that technology is far cheaper than the cost of your staff wages. Take for example, $75,000 worth of server equipment and software for an Accounting firm of 100 users. Add a high quality PC or laptop for each person, and office productivity software, at $1500 each. That equipment should last 4-5 years before replacement, lets say 4 years. Thats $225,000 over 4 years for 100 staff. It works out to less than $2 per working day per staff member.
Add a high quality support agreement onto that at (nominally) $5 per working day per user, plus some specialised industry software like handy tax, or LEAP, and your total technology cost is somewhere in the vicinity of $10 per person per day. Meanwhile your labour cost is over $300 per person per working day, and chargeout rate is over $1200 per day.
If you could gain another 3% productivity by paying a little more for faster or more reliable technology, that extra spend will have a very tangible return on investment.
Of course you don't want to go spending money randomly, and you need to make sure that expenditure translates into actual productivty (and reliability). That is where your IT partner is extremely important.
When time in money you need a support provider that has their business systems built to be robust and scalable. Jobs shouldnt be missed. SLA targets must be met.
Most IT firms simply dont have those robust sytems, and quiet honestly, it took us about 7 years of constant focus and refinement to get them perfect.
You also need an IT partner that not only claims to know all the relevant technologies, but one that has actually worked with larger organisations than yours. Do you want your staff productivity to be limited by the knowledge of your IT provider? Do you want to find that you need to replace your servers in 2 years rather than 4 years because there wasn't enough foresight? Do you like surprises with your technology bills? If the answer to those questions is NO, then choose your provider wisely.
The other thing you need is a provider who is adept at setting and maintaining a standard. It is staggering the number of professional services businesses who lose big chunks of productivity due to security holes, viruses, backup failures, and other preventable failures. The LATEST technologies in performance and fault monitoring make a huge difference to overall reliability of systems. "Monitoring" has become a meaningless buzz word, but the quality of the result varies tremendously. So too with monthly maintenance schedules.
For those who are risk-averse, you'll also appreciate a provider who has the latest in backup and disaster recovery technologies. They are a quantum leap ahead of products of just a few years ago.
In short, the technology decisions that you make today will impact the profitability of your business into the future.