The future of technology in professional services

Bianca Compagnoni
18 Feb
Reading time: 3 minutes
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Are you tech-ready for 2020? We recently hosted a panel discussion with three experts providing insights into the technological challenges and trends they’re seeing in the professional services space.


Pictured: Zahn Nel, Mark Luckin and Emma Seymour.

Led by moderator, Shawn Twomey, Managing Director at The Andersen Partnership (TAP), the panel discussed the latest in cybersecurity and cyberattacks, cyber insurance, AI, and automation. 

Shawn started the discussion by asking:

“In today’s ever-changing tech landscape, what do you see as the biggest challenges faced by professional services firms?”

Emma believes that “technology is definitely being leveraged in really interesting new ways where the roles of accountants, lawyers and consultants are absolutely evolving beyond what it used to be under a traditional model.”

This included “a massive surge in terms of clientele using systems and technologies.”

If we look at lower end roles (data-driven, process-heavy), technology has ultimately made it faster and more accurate. “It imposed on people in those advisory positions to actually step up,” she said. “It was more about ‘okay how do I use that and where am I going?’ We’re seeing an evolution in these professional services roles,” Emma added.

The main challenge in Emma’s view is “security.”

“Where the traditional 9-5 hours have become redundant, and we’re serving clients over international borders and communicating via phones and laptops,” Emma said. “The perimeter of an office is no longer a ring-fence of where we do our work.”

“With that developing landscape, is the associated risk,” added Mark. “No longer are organisations going down this path. Technology is developing our ability to provide advice in particular areas,” he said. “How organisations identify what risks are associated with these new advantages and what are you doing to mitigate or address that in a way that is relevant to the organisation.”

“It’s great that everyone is leveraging AI, but how is that increasing your exposure and where are you going with that?” he said.

Zahn, however, sees a different challenge within professional services. “The biggest we see is there’s so many systems, solutions and options on the market these days. Clients are struggling with information overload,” he explained.

“Filtering out the white noise is something that we see is the big issue,” said Zahn.

Interested in hearing more? You can listen to the full-length panel discussion, where our industry experts discussed:

  • How companies can leverage technology to improve team performance.
  • The risks of cybersecurity: misuse of information such as data breach/legislative changes/common cyberattacks we’re seeing in professional services.
  • How technology can be used to gain a competitive edge.
  • How AI and automation impact future professions/jobs with a demand of people increasing (work/life balance, companies offshoring, upskilling in the future, fortune 500 companies – which ones will stay and go?)
  • The impact of technology on profitability – efficiency and productivity.

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