Accelerating Public Sector Digital Transformation with Intelligent Automation
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many organisations in the public sector to breaking point. Consequently, both central and local governments have had dramatically increased demand for services set against a backdrop of budget constraints and resourcing challenges.
As these compounding factors mean public sector bodies must achieve more with less, organizations across the UK have seen the potential of intelligent automation to accelerate their transformation programs and the way they deliver public services. From freeing up frontline staff, optimizing service delivery, lowering the cost to serve, and providing resilience and agility, automation is now a significant tool across departments for delivering a better service for citizens.
But how should they use intelligent automation as part of their digital transformation programs? And how should they approach delivery?
Re-thinking Service Delivery
The pandemic has forced many public sector organizations to re-think how they work. As many have likely experienced, accessing public sector services has historically been reliant on manual, paper-based processes. But, during the pandemic, the slow shift to digital channels was accelerated almost overnight, with people working remotely, digitization of resources and increasing demand for 24/7 access to services by citizens.
This posed a problem for government organizations. As we all know, many public sector bodies are burdened by out of date, legacy IT systems and firmly entrenched ways of working. Systems are often long past their best days and many departments rely on workarounds that have been built up over many years.
Intelligent automation gives public sector organizations a chance to modernize legacy systems and rethink the way they deliver services. It can help teams use technology faster, deliver more efficient ways of working for staff and build new digital channels for citizens to interact with them.
But how should they approach deploying intelligent automation?
Start small but think strategically
While it can be tempting to rush into first automations, eager to deliver easy, quick wins and demonstrate value, it pays to take a strategic approach from the outset. By putting the right governance structures and policies at the beginning, public sector organizations can ensure they develop the practices and behaviours that can deliver far broader digital transformation and business-level outcomes further down the line.
We’ve found that the best way to achieve this approach is by breaking it down into three phases:
1) Enhance Efficiency and Productivity
Start small with easy, quick wins. We’d advise looking at your HR or finance systems because they’re likely to have some high volume and low complexity tasks that’ll provide you with return-on-investment value. We’ve found that it’s easy to build momentum within your teams and build excitement around what’s possible with some proven results early on.
2) Improve Organizational Performance
After successfully automating a few processes in the organization, start looking at how intelligent automation can be scaled across multiple business functions. Here you can build upon the early efficiency and productivity gains, adding complexity to the tasks being automated or looking at ways to free up staff members to perform more value-added work.
3) Transform Citizen Services
In the final phase, automation leaders further accelerate their digital transformation programs and start introducing new services with intelligent automation. This means that organizations can not only reinvest freed up resources but more importantly can deliver wholesale business change and channel shift to meet changing citizen demands.
Learn more about how Blue Prism is transforming the public sector in our whitepapers: How Intelligent Automation is Driving Transformation in the Public Sector and Intelligent Automation in local and regional Government during Covid-19 and beyond
Katherine joined techUK in May 2018 and currently leads the Data Analytics, AI and Digital ID programme.
Prior to techUK, Katherine worked as a Policy Advisor at the Government Digital Service (GDS) supporting the digital transformation of UK Government.
Whilst working at the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) Katherine led AMRC’s policy work on patient data, consent and opt-out.
Katherine has a BSc degree in Biology from the University of Nottingham.
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