4 Reasons Why Integrated PSA Software Increases Utilization
Posted by Alberto Chiang
Professional services organizations (PSO) often struggle with real-time visibility into resources, profit margins, expenses and billing. Organizational silos and multiple disparate systems turn these simple but key questions into difficult if not impossible answers.
According to SPI, real time visibility can only be attained through application integration. This integration allows information to flow across PSOs, so that project and resource managers have a full picture, and can make quick, fact-based decisions. Real-time visibility and predictive analytics have transformed decision-making, managers no longer have to guess and make subjective decisions.
The 2015 SPI Benchmark results show that real-time visibility and integrated professional services automation (PSA) increase revenue growth and billable utilization.
Here are four reasons why integrating your PSA can make a difference in billable utilization:
- Ability to deploy predictive analytics ‒ With integrated systems allowing information to flow across your PSO, you can leverage this data with automated processes that predict behavior, identify trends and suggest optimal utilization. How much time could you save with a tool that suggested previously executed project plans depending on the profile of an upcoming one? You could make tweaks and amend plans as required, and use the achieved utilization rate as a benchmark to improve upon.
- Measure performance to drive up standards ‒ The old phrase “you can’t manage what you don’t measure” certainly applies to PSOs. Having a clear understanding of what is and isn’t working is key for optimal performance. Integrated business applications and real-time visibility allow you to measure all aspects of the business. Measuring profitability by person, consultant, project and sub-contractor will allow you to have a clear picture and ultimately optimize utilization.
- Plan and execute efficiently ‒ Application integration is a key enabler of business performance. Integrating your financial management, HR and professional services automation gives you the ability to plan and execute efficiently at every level of the organization. All financial activities and transactions throughout the project are available in real time to your finance department. HR is able to plan and match skill levels and career aspirations to project requirements. Project managers are able to plan proactively to identify future capacity constraints. This integrated approach means all teams can enable consultants to optimize their utilization rates.
- Changing environments ‒ As a project or resource manager, the change of swapping resources or extending deployment will change billable rates and impact financial forecasts. Having a clear picture of these changes and how they affect the bottom line is almost impossible without integrating PSA and financial management software. The professional services industry is a rapidly changing environment that requires change-supporting and integrated technology. Having an integrated PSA software means you only need to make changes once, then the entire organization can enjoy full real-time visibility for resource allocation.
If you would like to learn more about professional services business applications, download the 2015 Professional Services Maturity Benchmark by SPI. Chapter 5 will provide you with insight into the level of market adoption, integration and satisfaction with core Professional Services business applications. This chapter also explains the different levels of the SPI Professional Service IT Maturity Model.