The services industry saw many changes and trends across 2018 – some expected and others surprising. The ability to predict what 2019 will bring for services organizations can help prepare for the year ahead, but looking back on 2018 is equally important.
Looking Back on Services in 2018
Mavenlink’s 2018 State of the Services Economy Report surveyed services businesses around the world for insights regarding how the industry would change and grow during the year. According to responses, the most common processes that service businesses planned to implement in 2018 were:
- Project dashboards that included project overview and history
- Mobile access to projects, tasks, timesheets, and expenses
- Contextualization caused by linking tasks to project delivery elements
In addition, 32% of respondents stated that they planned to implement a professional services automation (PSA) solution, while 48% said they already had one implemented. Beyond these plans, the biggest challenge seen with current technology infrastructures was manual work required to compile data between disconnected systems.
Beyond what services organizations said they planned to do in 2018, we saw the growing adoption of digital workspaces and more remote workers in the industry, according to numerous reports throughout the year.
As reported by CMS Wire, analytics gained great traction within digital workplaces in 2018, helping companies gain deeper insights into employee utilization and satisfaction. HR Dive revealed that 2018 brought an influx of remote workers due to the continual improvements made in connective technologies. Combined, the ability to better understand employee utilization and an increased usage of the distributed workforce means that services organizations were able to better utilize teams in 2018, no matter where they were.
What Will 2019 Bring to the Services Industry?
The growth of technology and the rise of the remote worker in 2018 will continue to play a prominent role in the services industry, but there may be some unexpected developments as well.
According to Global Workplace Analytics, remote work has continued to massively grow, with some fields seeing an increase in distributed jobs of more than 50 percent. The continued rise of resource management and communication technology, combined with the ever-increasing prominence of remote workers, means that 2019 will see services firms depend on digital workspaces more than ever.
However, the coming year may see some companies worry that remote workers aren’t doing enough. As reported by The Ladders, some agencies may want more in-office workers if there is concern that remote worker policies are not working well. But having the right systems in place and better understanding how the distributed workforce improves their talent pool will keep the remote worker in high demand.
As discussed by John Reese, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Mavenlink, “2019 will see leaders start to lean on something that serves as an operational system of record for their business: a centralized platform that digitizes plans, processes, and collaboration for distributed work teams made up of employees, services partners, and contractors. Fostering productivity in the increasingly distributed workplace is about the enabling technology they use to digitally transform the business and modernize their way of working."
Regarding the future of DevOps, Peter Fry, VP of Engineering, Platform and Security at Mavenlink, revealed "One big challenge organizations will face in 2019 is making sure they have the expertise they need in order to do DevOps right. It’s still very possible to build infrastructure without taking advantage of the incredible leverage provided by public cloud vendors and open standards, for example, building on a virtualization platform versus going straight into containers. However, you need expertise on the decision-making level, as well as in the implementation process to create technology that’s truly cloud-native.”
For those working in the gig economy and not in charge of a services company, CNBC predicts that 2019 will bring even greater opportunities. But workers must be prepared for increasing competition. “If you are working in the gig economy, ensure you are consistently developing a diverse and current skill set to remain competitive.”
It’s important to note that these industry predictions should not be seen as warnings, but rather as opportunities. Evaluate your organization and see where you can take advantage of these trends for growth, profit, and better utilized employees in 2019 and beyond.
Preparing for the Year to Come for Services
Having the right technology in place is a crucial aspect of being prepared for industry changes in 2019 and beyond.
Learn how Mavenlink resource management software can help you.