Professionals & Digital Innovation

Work Team


The Professionals & Digital Innovation Observatory is concerned with analysing how wide-spread IT and digital technology are among legal and accountancy practices and employment consultancies, where it also provides a breakdown of trends relating to the evolution of organisational and business models in these professional practices. As part of the work carried out at the Observatory: a) we estimate the benefits of digitising primary work-related processes that affect other economic agents (public authorities, financial institutions, companies); b) we analyse the trends and advancements concerning these professions in the long-term; c) we assess customer needs - mainly SMEs and start-ups - in terms of whether the services they receive are satisfactory and which new needs must be addressed.


The Observatory’s work consists of:

  • preparing and extending an online survey to lawyers, certified public accountants, accounting experts and employment consultants to monitor the type of digital technologies and level of diffusion within their practices and firms, highlighting the main market trends:
  • preparing and extending an online survey to ground-breaking start-ups, to verify if and to what extent professionals, when handling this new sector, should apply different frameworks and services than those composing their traditional offer;
  • organising three premium workshops, to present cases of best practice where professional firms have used digital technology to update their organisational and/or business models;
  • organising three focus groups extended to Observatory partners and representatives of the legal profession and sponsoring bodies, to identify the probable directions of progress in the legal profession five years and more from now;
  • establishing and conferring an award for the “Digital Practice of the Year”, now in its second year, for stand-out professional practices because of their use of digital technology within their organisational or business models;
  • organising two concluding events (in Milan and Rome) to present the findings of our research, with round table sessions and talks given by the main players in professional firms, with in-depth analyses of real situations of innovation; our award for leading “digital” professionals is presented at these conventions.
  • organising several local conventions to present the research carried out by the Professionals & Digital Innovation Observatory to spread best practice applied by professionals who are already introducing cutting-edge measures within their profession;
  • preparing Observatory reports that summarise the research conducted both overall and by each profession examined and topic covered.


Research carried out by the Professionals & Digital Innovation Observatory will allow us to:

  • monitor the level of diffusion of different types of information technologies within legal and accountancy practices and employment consultancies, highlighting the trends and evolution at organisational and business level, and verifying their enthusiasm for investing in IT;
  • examine the relationships between professionals and other actors in the ecosystem (public authorities, financial institutions, traditional companies and start-ups), highlighting trends in evolution and use of digital technology, noting that these relationships are transforming from analogue to digital;
  • recognise the specific needs of start-ups and how these needs differ from those of traditional companies;
  • help the professional community, and Italy as a whole, by interacting with representatives of these professions and the ecosystem to which they belong in order to identify the directions of progress in the professions under examination for a time-span of over five years;


The Observatory’s research is based upon an empirical analysis that involves professional communities in several surveys and cases of best practice, achieved through the collaboration of national councils and research institutes for lawyers, accountants and employment consultants.


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Infographics 22.03.2016

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Professionals & Digital Innovation Observatory

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Every year more than 300 companies join the Digital Innovation Observatories activities, getting in touch with the corporate, institutional and academic decision makers

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For further information, collaboration and support requests for the other researches of the Professionals & Digital Innovation Observatory, please contact Claudio Rorato (email: claudio.rorato@polimi.it).