Between budget constraints, constituent demands, an aging workforce, cyber security threats, and the struggle to support legacy systems, government workers are under pressure to do more with less. To address these challenges, governments are evaluating process and service delivery through new operating models, technology, and process optimization.
Focus on the Citizen Experience
Robotic process automation, or RPA, enables governments to digitally transform and automate bureaucratic processes to provide more modern services to citizens. By streamlining operations and reducing costs, RPA supports public sector objectives, such as augmenting the existing workforce, reducing backlogs, and increasing focus on high-value work.
Public Sector Potential for Automation
Services such as call center support, public record requests, fraud detection, and invoice processing can all be automated to save time and reallocate money for human services, citizen engagement, and education. RPA provides governments the ability to reduce staffing costs and mitigate human error risks. According to a survey by FedScoop, more than 60 percent of respondents use some form of RPA technology at their agency to facilitate work.
The RPA journey starts with lean process optimization and a dedicated RPA project execution team with business ownership priorities. RPA requires proper design, planning and governance if it's to deliver its’ intended benefits. Developing a Center of Excellence (CoE) to focus on RPA can help with the assessment, design, development, and deployment of the robots. The CoE should also include a command center for proactive monitoring and continuous process mining for additional automation opportunities. The benefit of RPA is its low-cost and implementation ease. It does not require custom software or systems integration.
People Are the Key to Success
A major factor to success is managing the people side of change. The mere mention of change can create resistance, so using proven change management techniques helps employees understand and adapt faster to the new way of working. Create a communication plan and build out your change agent network to support employees.
Saving government labor hours and reducing human error are key for a better citizen experience and efficient government.
Tim Atkinson is a technology leader, vice president at Avaap, and passionate about robotic process automation and how it can transform state and local government operations. If you want to learn how robots can perform all the tedious, information-intensive tasks in your organization to standardize, improve, and automate, connect with Tim to get the conversation started about your RPA journey.