2022 SPI Research Benchmark Report: 3 Trends to Watch for Professional Services

2022 SPI Research Reveals Industry Trends

Services Performance Insight (SPI Research), a global research, consulting and training organization focused on professional services, provides excellent work that includes their annual Services Maturity BenchmarkTM Report.

Projector has been a sponsor of this performance SPI benchmark report for years because we truly believe it is one of the best, if not the best, performance improvement tools for professional services organizations and consulting firms. It provides a comprehensive look at the state of the professional services industry, providing a set of measures that helps service businesses understand their current operational processes and how to manage them better.

The 2022 SPI Research Benchmark contains the usual robust research into how the best professional services organizations create better results across the business based on their professional services maturity. And as is the case with many performance benchmark reports, there are some interesting trends emerging from the study.

2022 SPI Research Trend #1: The Great Resignation Continues

The labor market was unilaterally impacted for a second year in a row, and 2022 promises to be another challenging year for hiring, retention and employee satisfaction. A widening skills gap in many professional services fields will lead some businesses to turn to consulting and outsourcing.

The ability for the nimble professional services organization (PSO) to take advantage of the demand for services will hinge on operational efficiencies. As we wrote about in a recent whitepaper on why consultants quit, those efficiencies MUST include managing billable utilization to a number that drives success without burnout.

Another key to employee retention has to be smarter ways of working. Service Performance Insight quantified the real impact that a supportive infrastructure and clearly aligned goals can have:

2022 SPI Research
Performance benchmarks show increased ease of getting things done pays dividends

2022 SPI Research Trend #2: Pricing and Contract Structures Shifting to a Mix

There continues to be a trend to de-risk projects by moving the burden of risk to the consultants and delivery teams. According to SPI Research, “As clients become increasingly concerned about risk and cost overruns, they have pushed more accountability to the PSO through fixed fee and shared risk contracts.” Balancing the mutual risks inherent in project delivery with profitability and revenue targets will require setting and meeting controls for costs, client expectations and deliverables.

The amount of fixed fee projects sold increased by 12% from 2021 according to SPI, but even more telling is the year-over-year change in subscription revenue by vertical.

2022 SPI Research
Drops in services subscriptions across nearly all verticals

For those service providers historically used to predictable revenue, the message is clear: learn how to manage fixed price projects to agreed-upon budgets and be ready to accept that customers may demand a mix of contract types that further complicate the revenue picture.

Bonus: Download the 2022 SPI Report for FREE (a $1,995 Value)! As a sponsor of this industry report, Projector is pleased to be able to offer it to you at no cost. Get your copy of the latest service performance benchmarks now and see where your firm ranks!

2022 SPI Research Trend #3: Move Over, Analytics, Business Intelligence is Now a Strategic Advantage

Successful PSOs have proven to be those ones that are laser focused on efficiently running their professional services firms. The rise of business intelligence (BI) has pushed visibility and analysis forward into new realms. SPI’s professional services market research emphasizes the need for BI as “a strategic solution that helps PSOs plan, budget and forecast their business,” and with good reason:

Service Performance Insight


PSOs will find many options for business intelligence tools in 2022. Options that focus on KPIs specific to professional services and are built into the technology they pull data from will likely deliver the best ROI for the company.

Professional Services Market Research
Projector BI is built into the Projector PSA platform and is specifically designed for services success metrics


The challenge for these BI tools is to continue to deliver value to their users through increasingly specific and customizable reporting and dashboards. With this challenge in mind, Projector PSA has firm plans for Projector BI on their 2022 roadmap.

SPI Research Summary: While Much Has Changed, Fundamentals Remain

The biggest key take from the 2022 SPI research may simply be: the more things change, the more they stay the same. While the world saw monumental change in the last two years, the services delivery charter remains fairly unchanged. Project delivery must consider customer satisfaction and firm goals.

Consultants continue to the be the backbone of any delivery organization and its greatest asset. And technology will continue to advance our business goals in conjunction with our human workforce. To become a high-performer like the ones detailed in the 2022 SPI research, firms will need to integrate data silos, grow their processes and measure and act on business-specific KPIs.

We encourage you to read the entire 2022 SPI Research Benchmark survey that gets into the details that drive success, with SPI benchmarks and measures for each of their five service performance pillars: leadership, client relationships, talent, service execution and finance and operations.

Follow us on LinkedIn for more insights on strategic planning and management for performance improvements as we announce new webinars and resources coming soon.

Get Your FREE Copy of the 2022 SPI Research Report!

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Frequently Asked Questions About SPI Research

What is SPI Research?

SPI Research stands for Service Performance Insight Research, an organization dedicated to providing global research, support and resources to professional services organizations. SPI’s mission is to provide insights and assistance to the professional services industry on how to optimize productivity and profit.

What is the Professional Services Maturity™ Benchmark?

The 2022 Professional Services Maturity™ Benchmark, or PS Maturity Benchmark, is an annual report for professional services organizations to get comprehensive performance benchmarks for the services industry and to see where their firm ranks.

What is included in SPI’s professional services market research?

Service Performance Insight (SPI) Research publishes an annual Professional Services Maturity Model Benchmark Report as a resource for professional services organizations. The report includes: 200+ pages with nearly 350 thought-provoking charts and graphs; Analysis from 540 professional services organizations representing 163,000+ consultants; 5-year trend analysis for 135+ KPIs; Detailed income statements; Analysis of Top 20% High Performance Professional Services Firms; and Data from 14 professional services vertical markets.

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