Decreasing operating costs and increasing working efficiency are core goals accounting leaders work to achieve for their firms. Today, it seems as though these goals and strategic priorities are becoming increasingly more attainable with the advancement of technology.

With the rise of artificial intelligence and other technological applications, many firms have become intrigued with the idea of implementing new systems into their existing networks. They hope that these changes will optimize productivity, improve client experience, and increase their top line. While adopting new tech may seem straightforward at first, it’s important to note that incorporating the latest and greatest is no easy task.

Taking advantage of technological innovations and completing a digital transformation requires a capable IT infrastructure. Lacking such a framework can not only impair the effectiveness of new technology. It can also impede existing efficiencies with down-time and other disruptions. In worst-case scenarios, an outdated or poorly managed IT network can make it impossible to embrace innovation. This can also slash potential productivity.

How Does IT Affect Productivity?

In today’s business climate, technology infrastructures are connected to every aspect of a company. These networks play a crucial role in the execution of strategic priorities and work efficiencies. Especially streamlined processes that are required to facilitate transactions and client interactions while you are not in the office.

Technology aids a mature accounting firm in nearly all operating activities. This makes it essential to have a competent and well-managed system in place. Ensuring that these tools are operating efficiently and in a harmonious collaboration with all other interconnected technologies in a company’s network.

Collaboration

In order to incorporate new technology into your firm the existing IT framework must be well maintained and capable of accommodating new systems and initiatives.

According to a survey done by the Harvard Business Review, 49% of respondents identified an inadequate collaboration between IT and line of business applications as an impediment towards their digital transformation. Thus, this also becomes an impediment on the path to enhanced efficiency and productivity.

The Growing Complexity of IT

A competent IT department or Managed Service Provider can be necessary to facilitate strong collaboration between technology and all line of business applications in an organization. However, this is not the only responsibility they face when it comes to keeping a network up and running. With the exponential growth rate of technological advancement and sophistication, dedicated professionals are tackling many issues. One of the largest is cybersecurity.

On the road to “Work from Anywhere” transformation and optimization, cybersecurity risks become very real. While it may not seem like the first concern of an accounting firm, cybersecurity is just as important, if not more than other privacy safeguards. With more and more sensitive information moving online with services like cloud computing, the need to protect data becomes even more evident.

Necessity for Talented Individuals in IT

This complexity requires IT departments to take on new and increasingly complicated roles. As such, competent and talented IT workers become necessities rather than luxuries. In a survey conducted by Mulesoft, it was found that 66% of IT decision-makers surveyed admitted that at one point they were unable to complete new initiatives due to a skills gap.

Without the necessary expertise, a firm may never be able to complete its transformation. This can cause serious roadblocks in years to come as new technologies increase the opportunity cost of not bringing in new talent.

What’s the Solution?

Underlying IT issues can cause a firm to be unable to fully optimize in the same way its competitors have. It can be even more difficult to keep up, as those competitors continue to optimize their workforce with new technologies. The stronger accounting firms are always looking to improve by adapting to new market dynamics, investing in technology, and providing easy access to IT support when needed.

Engaging with a Managed Service Provider may be the best course of action to continue upward momentum. An MSP has the resources to invest in capable and experienced technicians, dedicated to understanding their client’s needs. An underdeveloped IT team may not be able to overcome common barriers in the same way as an experienced MSP.