New technologies are transforming assurance and advisory practices and fueling industry-wide innovation. Here are four technology trends we see rapidly emerging.
1. Consumerization of enterprise software
Enterprise software, especially applications used by assurance and advisory firms, has seen little change for decades. The onset of cloud technology and the SaaS delivery model have had some impact on legacy software, but the most widespread tools – Word, Excel, and email – are largely the same.
But things are changing. Even the most conservative industries cannot ignore the consumerization of enterprise software. Similar to the adoption of Dropbox in businesses being driven by frustrated employees, both practitioners and clients have grown dissatisfied with outdated software tools. It is frustrating to use intuitive consumer apps in personal life, and then be forced to use clunky software in the workplace.
Enterprise software of the future must be dynamic, intuitive, and bring together the right stakeholders to collaborate -- much like consumer apps.
2. Purpose-built productivity apps
Productivity apps in industries such as sales and customer service are not new. They bring together teams, and provide a central resource to collaborate asynchronously. These apps have skyrocketed in popularity, and for a good reason: Productivity powers profitability. Whether managing time, projects, communications, or to-do lists, productivity apps help people increase output and quality of the work.
Many businesses use apps such as Monday.com, Asana, and Zapier to boost productivity. For more specialized verticals, there are apps that help manage social media, run advertising campaigns, and queue customer service inquiries. Why has it taken so long to bring this type of app to professional services?
A purpose-built tool for audit and advisory firms -- like Fieldguide -- automates repetitive tasks, provides a dynamic collaboration space, and streamlines intricate workflows throughout engagements.
3. Big Data and AI/ML
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have the potential to transform tedious tasks that plague everyday workflows and fuel deep automation for many businesses. Software products that facilitate AI/ML provide a significant return on investment.
Data and AI depend on each other to be successful. The more data that’s fed into AI/ML models, the more accurate the models become. There is a promising future in more intelligent enterprise software that leverages data to source central themes, flag patterns, and surface useful information that the professional can use to make informed decisions.
4. Software catalyzes remote work
Remote work is here to stay, and without the traditional in-office structure, many employees and employers are looking bridge the gaps with technology. Whether maintaining culture or adapting managerial processes, technology solutions can augment or replace face-to-face interactions to achieve better results.
Remote work challenges run the gamut. Communication can become slow and impede decisions. Disparate tools can make collaboration cumbersome. Security risks associated with sensitive information loom large. As remote-first companies have known for a long time, these challenges can be met with proper software. However, the difference between good and great exists in how effectively these solutions catalyze remote work, instead of just enabling it. The next generation of software will break down geographic barriers and activate productivity.
The core foundation of remote team productivity is a collaborative platform. That platform must be easy to access by all team members, but also safeguard sensitive client data. Remote working must be facilitated with real-time collaboration and editing, including contextualized communications (such as Fieldguide’s @mentions and linked comments). This is the electronic equivalent of leaving “SIGN HERE” flags in paper documents. No conversation undocumented, no task unfinished, and no request unanswered, because all work is performed on a single platform.
Want to experience the future of your risk practice? Request a Fieldguide demo today.