Despite concerns over the health of the global financial economy, 2016 appears to be a growth and technology-centric year, especially for professional services such as medical practices, legal firms, accountancy companies, and mobile home improvement, among many others. Most households consume professional services rather often. Based on recent studies, the top 4 trends that are likely to shape the professional services sector this year are:

1.      Technology

Technology has progressively adapted over the last few decades. Every year, new tools, platforms are discovered that help professionals such as doctors, lawyers, dentists, etc. cultivate more user-convenient service delivery platforms. In the 1990s, when the Internet appeared to be a complicated technology used by the Department of Defense and some highly technical firms, professionals rely had to rely on conventional marketing approaches to pitching their products. Nowadays, the majority of doctors, lawyers, and accountants have websites that they use to attract customers. Research suggests that over 70 percent of users will turn to the internet to check out a business before they engage it. Cultivating a vibrant online presence appears to be the way to go for service vendors. Particularly in the accounting industry, online cloud and mobile platforms are transforming the way things are done. Software is being used to do the heavy-lifting, changing how clients consult, and freeing up time for accounts to be true advisors. Over 95% of legal firms invested in IT to enhance efficiency in 2015. This year, more lawyer practices are adopting technology that allows them to securely share client information online.

2.      Alternative Business Structures

These are an increasingly evident trend, perhaps motivated by the increase in technology use. At least 5 percent of legal services are no longer provided by traditional law firms today. Professional services firms are seeing the possibility of external investment. For instances, law firms that bring in outside investors are increasingly able to hire top talent, increase revenue, boost profitability and more so expand. Alternative business structures are making this happen, and changing the market in the process. Integrated client solutions are getting into the picture, where customers get a specific service as part of a wider offering.

3.      Employee Engagement

Today, over 80 percent of professionals firms consider employee engagement and culture to be a major priority. In 2016, focus on this is likely to increase, given that committed and engaged employees are the core of workplace success.

4.      The rise of Millennials

There’s a notable trend in that millennials are beginning to dominate modern workplace culture. The new generation of professionals is bringing in unique business knowledge and other skills to help the client at another level. Skilled young professionals are moving into more leadership roles.

These trends depict a positive year for the professional sector. Continued growth, increase in the advancement of technology and the weight of millennials continuously attract positive energy to this industry. Individuals and firms who are in this sector can learn a few things from these developments, and adapt accordingly to make their businesses more competitive.