Building the Professional Services E-Practice

Building the Professional Services E-Practice

Dieter Fink (Edith Cowan University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-930708-35-8.ch014
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Abstract

Information Technology (IT) has played an important role in the professional services sector for many years. Professional firms such as accountants, lawyers and management consultants have used IT to increase internal efficiencies, and the expertise gained has enabled some of them to offer IT-related professional advice to their clients. Over time, IT has increased in sophistication and we have now entered the Internet or electronic age (e-age) where the letter ‘e’ precedes commerce, business, government, learning and so forth. The emergence of the World Wide Web (Web) on the Internet has created even greater scope for professional firms to manage their internal affairs more efficiently and effectively, and to improve client services. The purpose of this chapter is to provide small professional services practices with an understanding of how to enter the e-age by building an e-practice. It proceeds by mapping the progress that needs to be made in moving from a previous stage of organizational development to one that is suitable for the ‘virtual age.’ In the transition to the mature stage of development, they need to re-engineer their practices to offer online services and to maximize their intellectual capital through technology-enabled knowledge management.

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