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Pegasystems: Service as life events #techUKSmarterState

This week (26-30 September) the Central Government Programme is running its Building Smarter State Week in the run-up to the eighth edition of our flagship public services conference, Building the Smarter State, which will take place at The Royal Society on Thursday 29 September. All week we'll be featuring guest blogs from members on topics supportive the agenda.

Read the latest blog below:

Great customer service is built around recognisable human 'events” not individual process silos 

When you use a service you normally do it in the knowledge that if something goes wrong you can seek redress at the same location you received it. This is the Amazon experience, where having purchased through Amazon’s website, any further interaction to track, return or review your order happens at the same location. You are an Amazon customer and by paying for goods provided, you are cosseted in their service. All great experiences follow a similar trend of acquisition, full transparency during fulfilment, delivery and, the reassurance of great aftercare. 

So why isn’t the same available with government, when most agencies provide digital access to services and information. One problem is that they tend to be standalone siloes rather than connected experience and often this is no fault of technology or even will, it is more a by-product of how government is organized.  

Life events (birth, marriage, death) can provide a good basis for connected service, as soon as registered a ripple effect can happen across areas of government affected and the citizen concerned receives recommendations on options available to them, for instance, a birth triggering child benefit and, recommendations on tax free childcare.  

This concept has already been attempted in the UK, across a number of departments and of course there is consolidation of service entry points on Gov.UK. However, this is only a “veneer”, after which silos re-engage, which in 2022, is out of step with citizen expectations. 

Failure to “delight” results in consumers dis-engaging and moving on, which is why successful commercial organisations place emphasis on Customer Service. For Government, this “dis-engagement” becomes a factor in non-compliance or error by omission and so, there is just as much need for excellence here. 

However, we won’t get government CDIOs around a table to agree on a single approach to achieve this, so with that reality in mind, moving beyond a veneer to joined-up customer service is going to take some pragmatism!  

A manifestation of this pragmatism among large organisations, is in addressing the challenges of innovating over legacy landscapes by augmenting systems with an “agility layer”, evidenced by the increasing trend toward “Digital Backbone” and “Federated Data” platform technology. Government as a whole is obviously a significantly bigger proposition, but nevertheless the principle is the same, orchestrating processes across organisational boundaries on top of a distributed system landscape. 

This comes down to supporting Task Management but, in a landscape where there are traditional authoritative systems of record with information storage systems, this needs careful consideration to maintain integrity and validity of data records.  

This is a complicated proposition, but is recognised as best practice across the IT Analyst community who advocate the Composable Enterprise1 and the utility of low code digital transformation platforms to address the needs of user journey orchestration, utilising: - 

  • User Journey Management; Connecting customer, partner and, workforce to back-office operations and supplier ecosystems in a context-aware, situationally adaptive way. 

  • Knowledge management; Supporting, management and improvement of process outcomes by delivery of contextual knowledge for self-service and/or assisted service. 

  • Real-time intelligence; Supporting real-time analysis of current and historical data to for intelligent real-time decision making. 

  • 1:1 Experience; Generating personalised and contextually aware interactions at scale, for rapid transformation and/or improvement of customer, partner and, workforce experience. 

  • Manage Complexity and Variation; Adaptive case management, automating operational decisions, coordinating actions and, facilitating human judgment in complex events. 

  • Dynamic Process Management; Automating, orchestrating and choreographing business processes that are adaptive and intelligent, executing the next best action. 

  • Pivoting Staged Interactions; Being able to replace or adjust a course of action when the current proposition is no longer appropriate, based on the most recent behaviour, interaction or, information. 

  • Adherence to Regulatory Compliance; Modelling applying and evolving regulatory rules within operational processes. 

So what we can conclude is that there is a convergence of three factors that drive the need for this type of approach: - 

  1. There will always be IT Landscape, Policy, Risk, Contractual and Investment constraints that preclude big technology led consolidation, so mixed/distributed landscapes will be a constant. 

  1. Continuation of purely bespoke development, especially at the veneer level, is not sustainable from a cost, risk, quality or time point of view and is unlikely to lead to alignment with future policy landscapes. 

  1. The need to manage ambiguity and actions to resolve it, outwith core systems of record, will remain a challenge without a unified platform approach to encompass Process Orchestration, Case management and AI capabilities. 

Once we embrace these realities we can start making tangible progress to the Smarter State! 

This article was written by Owen Hughes, Senior Director of Specialist Solutions Consulting and Pete Wilson, Director, Industry Principal Government at Pegasystems. To learn more about Pegasystems, please visit their LinkedIn and Twitter pages. 

Building The Smarter State Conference - 29 September

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