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These are the 3 key trends for IT service providers

IT-dienstverlening

"Customers and employees are now used to working remotely. IT service providers will have to set up their processes accordingly", says Exact Consultancy Director Thijs Boeser. IT service providers have accelerated their digitalisation because of the coronavirus pandemic. Besides working in the cloud, there are some other digitalisation trends you need to be aware of. We've listed them here for you.

Trend 1: Flexible working: everything in the cloud

According to the Exact SME Barometer (2021), as many as 45% of SMEs feel that their IT environment needs to become more flexible so that they can implement changes more quickly. The coronavirus pandemic has made IT service providers more aware than ever that processes need to be flexible.

In the past, consultants tended to visit customers every day to help them get started with the software, but the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic forced them to provide their services remotely. Notes, project progress and customer information: consultants working at customer sites had to have this information to hand to keep doing their work. IT service providers who were unable to provide this to their employees were at risk of becoming less efficient and losing control over their dynamic project environments.

"Consultants working at customer sites must have access to and insight into current projects at any time wherever they are and must be able to update this information when necessary. Examples of such data are reports and working hours. It is preferable not to rely on a VPN connection for this."
Thijs Boeser | Consultancy Director | Exact
More and more IT service providers are choosing to work in the cloud. Consultants are no longer tied to a fixed time or place to do their work. All they need is a well-functioning internet connection. This also makes collaboration far easier, as the projects and files are accessible to everyone anytime, anywhere, at one central location.
"During the coronavirus pandemic, digital systems enabled our consultants to log their hours worked directly from their laptop and mobile device. We could then see the hours instantly on clear real-time dashboards."
Thijs Boeser | Consultancy Director | Exact

Trend 2: One system for greater insight

"I can find the answers to all my questions in one system." More and more IT service providers no longer use separate systems and integrate everything into one system, from scheduling and billable hours to financial administration.

Some companies may log working hours on an Excel sheet, update customer information on a portal and check their schedule in a project management tool: having your project information and administration in different places is inconvenient for the consultant and is quite error-prone as well.

Digitalisation is the solution. Modern software makes it possible to link project management tools to keep track of your scheduling, working hours, projects and operational and financial processes. For example, if you quickly want to check your professional service automation (PSA) situation and know what your financial situation is, the smart software lets you run reports for each question and share this information directly with the management.

In short, IT service providers can save a lot of time and hassle by linking smart financial software to their project management tools. And besides that, you always have all the information you need readily available in one place.  

"We can immediately extract the right overviews from the software for ad hoc reports. That makes working with one system so great."
Thijs Boeser | Consultancy Director | Exact

Trend 3: Management information: new software gives you an insight into the future

How many hours have been spent on each project? How profitable are the projects? What was the biggest cost item this month? For IT service providers, management information is more important than ever to successfully complete projects and make the right decisions for the future.

The number of projects per period can fluctuate significantly for IT service providers. Insight into the total project work inventory and backlog is essential to ensure the right capacity for each project. Although you may think that every IT service provider has all this data readily available, many service providers lack this management information because it is still tucked away somewhere in Excel or on paper.

"These organisations run the risk of losing control over projects, budgets and the efficient use of the available capacity, which has a huge impact on the organisation's margin and efficiency."
Thijs Boeser | Consultancy Director | Exact
IT service providers who digitalise these processes with project management software can immediately see what project periods still need to be invoiced, gain useful insight into their recurring turnover and expected growth, and have an instant overview of their bank balances, purchases and sales. This tells you exactly how your organisation is doing and makes it a lot easier for you to make the best decisions for the future.

About Exact
Exact is the market leader in business software in the Benelux. For many years, Exact software has helped IT service providers to digitalise their time tracking and project administration in a smarter way to save a great deal of time and money.  

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