Industry Cloud for Professional Services firms offers purpose-built solutions that cater to all their technology needs without needing to plug multiple software from different vendors.

The demands of Professional Services firms today are affected by rapidly changing consumer expectations, collaboration challenges with an increasingly diverse workforce that is spread across different time zones, and higher operational costs, exerting pressure on profit margins.

Technology, therefore, should play the role of an enabler to help drive the larger business goals instead of catering to the specific needs of a business function. Today, firms are finding it a challenge to connect different systems and consolidate data from multiple sources to make strategic decisions.

There are multiple solutions available in the market, some are built for the Professional Services industry but are not well integrated with the other solutions the business uses. There are also other solutions that are built for different industries but are retrofitted to meet the specific needs of Professional Services.

There is a need to change. What Professional Services firms need are a set of applications that are easy to connect with and can leverage data from different sources. All these applications need to be purpose-built to address the specific needs of the industry. That is what Industry Cloud for Professional Services offers.

What is Industry Cloud?

Professional Services firms don’t have the luxury of spending time to make technology work the way it should. What they need is ready-to-use solutions with advanced capabilities that help them focus on business transformation , win new business, and build processes that can help the business scale.

Microsoft Industry Cloud solutions have been building specific solutions to meet the needs of industries like Manufacturing, Financial Services, Nonprofit, Healthcare, and Retail. More industries may be added to this list in the coming months.

There are also Microsoft Partners who are now more industry- and vertical-focused. These partners are building new capabilities and applications to help businesses accelerate their digital transformation and move to the cloud.

The convenience and benefits that the Industry Cloud offers is the future for Professional Services.

How do you get on the Industry Cloud for Professional Services? Migrating your systems to the cloud and implementing the solutions you need for each stage of the journey requires careful planning and a partner who can support you through that journey.

There are different types of industry cloud services that you will need at different stages of your cloud journey. Knowing what these are should help you plan your journey.

What are the main types of industry cloud services and what does the journey to the cloud look like?

Implement the core business applications you need

Professional Services Automation (PSA), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions can be the core or foundational applications you will need to build efficiencies in the business and help you scale with ease.

Legacy solutions that were built for the on-premise environment or cloud solutions that were built by adapting those legacy systems will not help you future-proof your business. That is why you should choose native-cloud applications like the Microsoft Dynamics 365 suite of applications that have solutions for the different functions in your business and more.

Leverage the power of your data

Too much data and not enough insights is a problem most businesses are facing. The way to overcome this challenge is to have interconnected systems with one source of truth for all your data, along with the required data governance structures and backups in place to not only secure your data but also leverage it to gain more meaningful insights that are relevant for the business as a whole.

The HCM system can function well on its own, but when it is connected to the PSA and CRM, your teams will know what kind of deals are in the sales pipe and what kind of specific skills will be needed to deliver those projects. This will give the HR teams the heads-up they need to find the best talent, well in time.

Bring people and systems together

The global pandemic accelerated the virtual delivery approach. With teams spread across the globe, businesses have realized the benefits of leveraging these resources to improve billable utilization and offer clients high quality solutions at a fair price.

To achieve a successful project delivery from a team that is spread across different regions you need technology that can enable active and efficient collaboration.

The right Microsoft Partner can help you identify the needs of your team and implement solutions that can help improve collaboration.

Comply with local laws while running a global business

Managing the data of the business and that of the clients is a huge responsibility. There are specific laws that govern different aspects of the business, especially how businesses collect, manage, and use data.

A Microsoft Partner with expertise in dealing with compliance issues like GDPR and SOX will help you meet the changing regulatory environment in the regions where you have a presence. The partner can also ensure that you have the right security, recovery, and risk management components in your strategy.

Before choosing specific services for your business, it is important to discuss the business outcomes you want with the partner. The partner with the right expertise will be able to advise you on the best-fit solutions, share best practices from the industry, and guide you through the implementation journey.