New study from Intapp finds wide gulf between professionals’ expectations and reality regarding firms’ tech-savviness and AI usage

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Knowledge workers across accounting, consulting, private capital, and law are eager to leverage AI technology to automate manual tasks, work more efficiently, and derive greater career satisfaction. Firms have incentive to equip their professionals with the AI tools and training necessary to increase their productivity, help them achieve performance goals, and ensure their retention. These findings and more are revealed in the 2024 Technology Perceptions study released today by Intapp (NASDAQ: INTA), a leading global provider of AI-powered solutions for professionals in advisory, legal, and capital markets firms.

The survey of more than 800 fee earners in the U.S. and U.K. was designed and executed to help inform and support Intapp’s Intelligence Applied strategy. Its purpose is to provide insight into how professionals believe AI will enhance their work performance, and what AI technologies are most needed to help firms remain competitive. The results showed that less than half (45%) of survey respondents rate their firms as highly tech-savvy. And while 91% expressed a desire to use AI in their day-to-day work, only 48% currently leverage the technology.

“Professionals take technology into consideration when deciding which firm is right for them, expecting at least the level of AI-enabled technology they use in their personal lives,” said Ben Harrison, President of Industries at Intapp. “They know AI and other advanced technologies have the power to transform business operations and create a competitive edge, and they expect it to help them improve collaboration, automate tasks, and support knowledge management on a daily basis.”

Growing interest in AI

Many professionals have already seen the benefits of advanced tools in their own personal lives.

  • 77% of survey respondents agreed that technology makes them more productive in their personal lives
  • 59% responded that they already use AI technologies in their personal lives, including voice queries, data entry, data summarization, document generation, and recommendations (such as when to schedule an appointment)

Naturally, many professionals want to use AI technology in the workplace, like they do at home. This is especially true for assisting them with data entry and content generation:

  • 79% say they want to use AI for data-entry tasks such as pulling CRM and contact information from emails
  • 76% express interest in AI data summarization, such as automatically creating minutes or action items from a meeting transcript
  • 73% would like to use AI for document generation, such as drafting standard contracts, proposals, or investor notifications

AI, automation, and integration optimism

The survey reveals that most professionals are optimistic about the benefits of AI — both to themselves as professionals and to their firms in general.

  • 61% believe AI will allow them to focus on delivering higher-level work for clients
  • 59% think that AI will make their firm more competitive
  • 53% expect AI to improve their work/life balance

One of the most anticipated benefits of AI technology is the automation of time-consuming administrative work that takes professionals away from conducting projects, preparing for and attending meetings, and communicating with clients.

  • Professionals estimate that nearly 40% of their work is comprised of manual tasks that could be automated
  • By automating manual tasks via AI-powered solutions, respondents believe they can save an average of 25 hours a week

Higher employee performance, retention, and satisfaction

“Firm leadership may be surprised to learn just howmuch of an impact technology has on employee satisfaction and retention rates,” said Harrison. “Yet the survey response connects a lack of effective technology with the risk of losing talent.”

The satisfaction and retention rates at high-tech firms were much higher than those at moderate- and low-tech firms.

  • 81% of respondents from high-tech firms stated they were highly satisfied at their job vs. 50% at moderate- and low-tech firms
  • 77% were highly likely to recommend their firm as a place to work vs. 49% at moderate- and low-tech firms
  • 80% said they were highly likely to stay at their firm for at least the next two years vs. 56% at moderate- and low-tech firms

This significant gap may stem from how supported professionals feel at their firms in terms of achieving goals. At high-tech firms, most organizational and personal career goals had very high success rates.

  • 80% felt successful in developing expertise in the field vs. 49% at moderate- and low-tech firms
  • 76% felt successful in developing deep client relationships and working efficiently vs. 40% at moderate- and low-tech firms
  • 75% felt successful at creating strong value/better outcomes for clients vs. 47% at moderate- and low-tech firms
  • 75% felt successful at developing skills not taught in school vs. 44% at moderate- and low-tech firms
  • 69% felt successful at both increasing their personal income and getting promoted vs. 39% and 40% respectively at moderate- and low-tech firms

To learn more, see the full survey results and read the research report here: intapp.com/2024-tech-perceptions-survey.

About the study

The Intapp survey was conducted by Rockbridge Research among 800 fee earners in the U.S. and U.K. across four verticals: accounting, consulting, capital markets (investment banking and private equity), and legal. Results were collected between September 25 and October 6, 2023 using an email invitation and online survey. Quotas were set to ensure representative and statistically significant numbers across the four verticals and geographic locations. The margin of error for results is +/- 3.2 in total at the 95% confidence level.

About Intapp Intapp helps professionals unlock their teams’ knowledge, relationships, and operational insights to increase value for their firms. Using the power of Applied AI, we make firm and market intelligence easy to find, understand, and use. With Intapp, professionals can apply their collective expertise to make smarter decisions, manage risk, and increase competitive advantage. The world’s top firms — across accounting, consulting, investment banking, legal, private capital, and real assets — trust Intapp’s industry-specific solutions to drive new growth and multiply opportunity. For more information, visit intapp.com and connect with us on X, formerly Twitter (@intapp) and LinkedIn