Is Professional Services Automation (PSA) Software Worthwhile?

By CIOReview | Tuesday, October 29, 2019

PSA software creates a constant process for planning, managing, and measuring the performance of every project within its lifecycle.

FREMONT, CA: The much talked about professional services automation (PSA) software acts as an alternative to the collection of separate project management, utilized by several project teams.

PSA applications lend a hand in professional services that help the providers to manage client engagements all through the lifecycle of the project. A project begins as soon as there is a visibility of sales opportunity, followed by a closed deal. Once the agreement is signed on the papers, the resources are allocated to get the work delivered. The process or the cycle tends to end when the invoices are issued, and the cash is collected.

Services can be delivered more predictably by centralizing business processes and data. Meanwhile, the repetitive manual processes can be automated. It is somewhat equivalent to the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software and is often referred to as ERP for service organizations.

The general PSA abilities involve:

• Accounting

• Invoicing

• Calendar Management

• Client portals for Client Access

• Teamwork

• Document Handling

• Project Management

• Resource Management

• Time and Expense Tracking

• Software Integrations

The organizations that deliver the billable work are the ones who get the most out of the PSA software. PSA solutions can also help in providing transparency into performance metrics such as revenue, expense, utilization, and profit statistics. Since the dollars caught up in professional service delivery rise with headcount, the financial advantages of a well-implemented PSA solution can level with the size of the company.

Initially, the PSA software was developed for the professional services sector, which involved consultants, lawyers, expert service teams, and many others. It is now gaining a wide adoption all through various project-based industries, including IT services departments, marketing and communications, engineering, and business consulting.

Check out: Top Professional Services Automation Solution Companies

The benefits of a particular PSA solution rely on its abilities; the critical advantage of PSA software is allowing people responsible for business performance to take care of the service delivery at scale as well as to measure it. Features of reporting help the account and resource managers to recognize the trends and allocate staff to meet the demands. Executives can monitor and see where the business is performing better and improve the areas where it lacks behind.

The organization utilizing practical PSA applications can easily manage projects by decreasing the time taken for a spreadsheet. It can optimize the usage of resources by improving the utilization rates and also steer robust margins with the help of better reporting and transparency.

PSA tools can help companies gain control over the project, timeline, financial, and resource data. Organizations sometimes prefer to adopt the PSA tools whenever they require increased headcount, demand, range of services, expansion of the market, and difficult management with manual processes. A useful PSA tool plays a vital role in keeping the top thinkers out of the spreadsheets and engaging them with the data at a higher level, to make decisions that compel better profitability.

PSA software can be bought commercially or built in-house, where both the methods need execution, business process reengineering, and user training, all invite costs in budgets. Commercially acquired solutions might have a restricted integration and limited personalization, so the organizations looking for PSA software must pick an option that satisfies the majority of the required. It should additionally integrate with the systems they use, or offer an API to create their integrations. The home-based solutions come with their set of limitations, including costly maintenance, upgrades, and integration build-out expenses. The solutions are appropriate for organizations that have a great need for tradition functionality shared with significant internal expertise. However, those also demand financial resources to keep going as a custom software application for an indefinite period.

PSA solutions were primarily built with top-down management and planning in mind, and a majority of non-management workers access it only to enter time and expenses infrequently in a services organization. Nearly 70 percent of the authentic work carried out in a services business happens beyond the PSA solution. The most critical challenge with PSA tools is that they do not help with collaboration required in the present time, whereas, collaboration is a key across teams, and client collaboration is crucial in services. To fill in a few gaps and lend a hand with day-to-day operations, workers have integrated added productivity tools, such as collaborative work management software.