Professional Services Firms: A view from 2025

The pace of change is accelerating.

Technology has enabled faster, more flexible service delivery—and client expectations are evolving at a rapid clip. According to a Salesforce report, more than one-third of firms now expect that 75% or more of their revenue will come from digital within three years. This figure has tripled since 2019.

By 2025, firms that cling to old ways of working will likely have fallen by the wayside. Those that adapt will be the ones that can survive.

Talent, technology and data will set the winners apart

Firms that are attentive to the needs of their people, committed to building resilience and able to derive meaningful insights from their data will be more prepared to anticipate and respond to market shifts.

Those that have made the most progress on their digital acceleration journey are better positioned to find more creative and cost-efficient ways to serve their customers. A recent survey by PwC found that more than half (56%) of CFOs say that the tech investments they made during the pandemic will leave their company better off in the long run—and 73% said the same about new ways of working. 

Professional services firms can future-proof their businesses against the next wave of disruption by making the right investments today, starting with taking a holistic approach to digital transformation. Adopting technology platforms that unify the business allows firms to reach the bar that clients are setting today—and build the digital capabilities that can enable them to compete in an uncertain future.

Transformation must be unified

Organizations that have embedded agile capabilities, such as data accessibility and cross-functional collaboration, are better equipped for the future. Professional services firms should take a holistic view of clients’ needs throughout the value stream, from the initial request through final delivery.

Data is king

Investing in solutions that derive more meaning from available data is key. Platforms that enrich data by allowing the addition of contextual metadata, including data origins, deliver more valuable insights. Further, combining data from cross-functional areas of the business gives teams the holistic insights they need to better serve clients.

Optimizing skills and talent is not optional

People are the heart of professional services firms, so attracting and keeping the right talent is essential. That requires firms to evolve along with shifting employee expectations or risk losing more creative and dedicated talent to competitors.

A human-centered strategy

As a company adopts new technologies, employees may worry that these investments will put them out of a job. But digitization can actually make teams more connected, more insightful and more successful.

But being poised to pivot and respond to whatever appears on the horizon doesn’t happen by passively waiting. Instead, professional services firms should move now to accelerate digital transformation, build a unified data strategy and unlock real-time workforce insights.

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Dan Priest

Dan Priest

Cloud & Digital Leader, PwC US