What to look for in a PSA Solution
Desire an in-depth visibility of projects, streamlined business processes and tight cost management across the project life-cycle? In this blog, CCI has helps you evaluate your needs for a PSA solution.
In professional services, your people are the keystone to success. A professional services automation (PSA) solution is the cornerstone supporting them. With a PSA tool, you can manage resources, the engagement life-cycle, and project financials—all within the same application. Rich integration with other core systems (HR, CRM, ERP) aggregates relevant data to create a single source of truth within your PSA tool. The benefit is having all the information in one place, enabling your teams to gain the insights needed to make more informed decisions and the freedom to focus on their jobs.
In 2017, the PSA industry is growing rapidly, and with this growth comes the need for a PSA solution to help automate the overwhelming workload. According to researchandmarkets.com "The Global Professional Service Automation (PSA) Market is poised to grow at a CAGR of around 10% over the next decade to reach approximately $17.33 billion by 2025".
In this blog, we briefly review the business value of a PSA solution. In addition, we identify the most relevant areas to focus on when deciding on a PSA solution to purchase.
The business value of PSA
Most businesses today recognize that professional services automation systems are significant, they also recognize that they can be costly. In order to justify the expense of a PSA solution, service managers will need to build a solid business case surrounding the direct business value such a system can bring.
Below we have listed the direct benefits a PSA solution can offer:
1. Improved visibility across all professional services functions, including intake, execution, and ongoing management of the client lifecycle.
2. Centralized database for project revenue and cost data.
3. Standardized processes for opportunity, resource, and project management.
4. Automated workflow for financial management and invoicing Real-time reporting and analytics for visibility into engagement status and improved communication to stakeholders.
5. Centralized management of information for a seamless audit trail.
6. Improved financial management support through multi-currency and multilingual applications that support localized tax regulations.
7. Reduced manual data entry and elimination of spreadsheets to lower administrative costs and up-keep.
What to look for in a PSA solution
PSA applications typically advertise similar capabilities (e.g., accounting, resource planning, project collaboration) but vary widely in the depth of those capabilities.
As you begin to shop around, here are the important considerations to keep in mind:
Built to fit your needs: That doesn’t necessarily mean customization, but the key features of the solutions under consideration should support your business needs instead of you conforming to the product’s features.
Reports for simpler decision making: A solution that provides powerful reporting capabilities and adjustable dashboards is a must. It’s business-critical to configure reports that depict the most important metrics to your organization.
Embedded analytics: Beyond status dashboards and reports, a solution that includes business intelligence and analytics delivers a 360-degree view of the business for improved decision making and insight.
Familiar technology: Don’t go after the hottest trend (unless you want to); solutions that use technologies, tools, and concepts with which you’re familiar reduce training time, but also ensure that you can access support before and after roll-out.
Mobile capabilities: Being able to record time and expense both on and offline will save your teams time and reduce double data entry without affecting the timeliness of your books.
Global considerations: If you’re a global firm, make sure the solution can support multiple currencies and languages, as well as set up rules to support local accounting and tax laws.
Delivery models: PSA solutions come in all shapes and sizes—and delivery models; determine what’s best for your firm: On-premise, private cloud, or software-as-a-service (SaaS).
Market presence: Vendor partnerships ensure that the PSA solution will easily support integration with other applications.
With a high-performing PMO, projects become easier to manage and thereby easier to execute. Before considering implementation or a transformation, it’s important to ask yourself the hard questions about necessity and readiness.
It’s Time to Streamline…
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RESEARCHANDMARKETS. (2017). Global Professional Service Automation (PSA) Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025. Available: http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/hlnh2q/global. Last accessed 04/10/2017.