Professionals & Digital Innovation

Work Team


The Professional Practices and Digital Innovation Observatory is instrumental in propagating informed awareness of digital innovation within legal practices, accounting practices and those of employment consultants and notaries and within other professional firms. The approach is system-wide, because it examines the professional world and the relationship between professionals and customers, technological vendors and their channels, public authorities and financial institutes. In this landscape, following a pre-competitive logic, the aim of the Observatory is to: a) elicit the needs and tools that can redirect both demand and offer; b) identify the excellences that can generate processes of emulation and greater education, culture and knowledge; c) trace the ongoing and future trends in organisational models and the business of professional practices; d) provide indications about the strategies that are most suited to meet the changes taking place in the eco-system to which each professional group belongs.


The Observatory’s work consists of:

  • preparing and extending an online survey to lawyers, certified public accountants, accounting experts, employment consultants and notaries to monitor the type of digital technologies and level of diffusion within their practices and firms, highlighting the main market trends within the professional world of each, in order to answer the question: In what direction are professional practices going?
  • Organisation of three focus groups on the following topics: Cloud, Start-ups, Business models for “large professional practices”, involving the research’s Partners, professionals and experts.
  • Organisation of an interactive workshop with the community, involving homogeneous work groups, to examine in detail a series of topics that are important in the process of introducing digital technology within the practice.
  • Organise the fourth “Digital Professionist” award, for professional practices and firms that have set themselves apart for their innovative vision and for applying digital solutions to their organisational and business models.
  • Organise a concluding event (in Milan) 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.
  • Prepare several study cases that analyse large professional practices, in order to capture how their organisational and business models are evolving, and how they can become an example of reference.
  • Prepare Observatory reports that summarise the research conducted both overall and within each professional area examined and for each topic covered (available on www.osservatori.net)
  • Prepare a fortnightly newsletter to update readers on the main topics of interest for the professional areas under consideration (where the topics are linked to innovation in the professional world, the examination of technical and legal matters, and articles of particular interest highlighted by the research’s partners and sponsors).


The Observatory’s research is concerned with monitoring the process of introducing digital technology within professional practices and firms, highlighting the trends in evolution, the tendency among these practices to invest in computer and information technology, the evolution in the business models they are employing and the capacity of these practices to interact with companies and so introduce a new management culture.

In particular, the Observatory will prepare four vertical studies, ordered by theme, in order to:

  • Analyse the impact of the Cloud on professional practices in terms of its economic, financial and organisational implications.
  • Analyse the impact of B2B Electronic Invoicing on the world of professional practices, in terms of technology and regulations/standards, and its economic and organisational implications, examining above all the functional aspects of these measures that can generate business opportunities for these professionals.
  • Map the start-ups operating in this professional market, identifying the fields of activity and their level of maturity.
  • Develop research focused on the evolution of organisational and business models implemented in large professional practices and firms, comparing these with the specific features of the small practices that populate the Italian landscape, and highlighting how the latter can emulated the former in terms of these models.


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, employment consultants and notaries.


Sponsorship opportunities

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

More Details

Partners and Sponsors


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).