Roadmap for future-ready firms

Technology trends seem to change quickly from day to day. But a new survey seems to indicate that the bigger picture has remained relatively unchanged over the last 10 years. According to the whitepaper, “Integrated Cloud Solutions Help Firms Overcome Industry Challenges and Achieve Growth Objectives,” technology, staffing and growth continue to be top challenges and priorities for firms. And even more importantly, integration and the cloud continue to be the most effective ways to solve these problems.

Value Change over 5 Years

Overall, 68% of firms surveyed reported growth in firm value over the last 5 years. This percentage has remained consistent since 2013. However, firms that are technology pioneers and early adopters are more likely to experience growth. When analyzed by technology adoption habits, these future-ready firms were more likely to report positive value change. What’s more, the divide between mainstream/late adopters and pioneer/early adopters has widened since 2013.

Leadership Strengths

The survey respondents seemed to have a lot of confidence in their firm leadership, with 81% agreeing that their leaders have the right skills and 71% agreeing that their leaders have a solid vision to lead the firm to success. Although these are great numbers, they represent more than a 12% and 14% decline since 2013. One potential reason for the decline is that only 44% agreed that leadership is investing in recruiting and developing the next generation of leadership. In other words, more than half of all firms are overlooking their potential future leaders.

Plans for the Future

When it comes to planning for the future, nothing beats a written succession plan. Only about 36% of firms surveyed have documented succession plans. But that doesn’t mean their leaders don’t have some idea about what they want to do in the future. Overall, firms were relatively evenly split between selling their firms (35%), growing with existing leadership (26%) and passing the reigns to a new generation of leaders (31%). However, one group of firms stood out in the analysis of these results. Firms that had implemented workflow automation (document management, portal and workflow solutions) showed an overwhelming preference for firm transformation. Among these firms, 61% planned to pave the way for the next generation of partners, and only 8% planned to sell or merge.

Future-Ready Firms See Past the Hype

While many mainstream and late adopter firms hesitate to implement “fad” technology, the survey showed that technology trends like cloud-based software and integrated systems have been consistent over the last 10 years. Future-ready firms have achieved gains by looking beyond the hype and executing a strong vision for the future.

Future-ready firms will use cloud-based technology to stay efficient and competitive. To learn more about the survey, download the whitepaper “Integrated Cloud Solutions Help Firms Overcome Industry Challenges and Achieve Growth.”


Aimee Hall

Product Marketing Manager at Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting

All stories by: Aimee Hall