Taking On Routine High
Robotic Process Automation has huge potential in government particularly as public servants work to support social distancing and deliver new services during the pandemic.
Widely adopted in the banking, insurance and retail sectors, RPA software tools can speed up routine, admin-heavy processes by following pre-determined rules. Any public sector organisation interfacing with citizens and service users has IT systems geared to predictable, repeatable tasks and entrusting them to 24/7 bots could improve speed and reliability. And the COVID-19 pandemic has bolted an ever-expanding number of new routine processes on to organisations core missions. Whether its grant or loan applications, or tools that directly support the coronavirus response in healthcare, new systems have been rolled out at astonishing speed.
Panellists on a recent Global Government Forum webinar agreed that COVID-19 has accelerated interest in RPA in the public sector noting how quickly it can be mobilised, the results it can bring, and the range of use cases. But if the panellists agreed on the technologys potential, they also agree that public sector organisations must tread carefully. Poor oversight could mean that RPA tools end up automating errors or replicating biases poor data architecture could restrict their availability to exploit the technology.
Meet Government’s Biggest Challenges With Uipath Automation
Citizen services delivery
Whether it is swift and accurate delivery of critical resources and benefit processing, or contact center activities, people in government everywhere need to work smarter. And personal digital assistants that take on time-consuming routine tasks can help.
Digital assistants emulate human keystrokes and “read” screens to move data from old systems to new onesquickly, securely, and without errorswith no rip and replace.” RPA also works with existing technology to modernize operations without changing your current systems.
Healthcare in government
Healthcare faces big challenges: interoperability, keeping communities healthy, fighting rising costs, and ensuring veterans and the military get the care they deserve. RPA can be a potent treatment for these issues and many more.
Fraud, waste, and abuse
Whether intended by bad actors or unintended by human error, FWA costs tax payers billions of dollars each year and is a universal problem for agencies. RPA + AI/ML does the repetitive checking, verifying, scanning, coding, and algorithmic predictions without delaying services to citizens.
Robotic Process Automation For Local Government
Robotic process automation is the use of software robots to automate a variety of tedious and repetitive manual tasks. According to the consulting firm McKinsey & Company, RPA can offer a return on investment of 30 to 200 percent in just the first year alone.
Like many other industries, public governmental institutions suffer from problems and inefficiencies that can make them less effective and productive. By adopting RPA, local governments can cut their expenses and free up their human employees for more engaging and high value activities.
For example, the North Tyneside Council in northeast England has successfully implemented RPA within its workflows, and expects to see savings of up to £56 million in the next several years as a result. Already, RPA agents have slashed the time required to process benefits claims from 36 days to just 25, with customer satisfaction over 85 percent. Robotic Process Automation finds various use cases like that within local government.
Some examples are listed below –
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Agency Rpa Use More Than Doubled In 2020 But Where Do Bots Go From Here
More than three years after NASA became the first agency to deploy robotic process automation, the rest of the government has come a long way standardizing the rollout of additional bots, giving federal employees more time to focus on higher-value work.
Instances of automation more than doubled between fiscal 2019 and 2020, according to a report from the Federal RPA Community of Practice that reviewed the work of 23 agency program offices.
Most agencies, however, have yet to standardize security and credentialing bots in a way that would maximize their efficiency or give rise to the proliferation of unattended bots.
RPA programs are meeting security requirements, but these requirements continue to limit program capabilities and impact, the report states.
The community of practice found RPA program maturity increased significantly last year. On a five-point scale, the average RPA program in 2020 earned a 2.2 score a 70% increase from the previous year.
The scorecard shows agencies made the most improvement in identifying new opportunities to apply automation and field RPA bots through a centralized process.
What Are The Challenges That Face Rpa In The Public Sector
Some of the challenges that face RPA adoption in the government and public sector include:
- Concerns about abuse of bot credentials
- Concerns about third party access:
- 63% of organizations need a dedicated third-party partner due to a lack of specialist skills. This could expose sensitive information to unauthorized individuals or companies.
To tackle these challenges, government and public sector agencies can rely on credible RPA consultants to deploy a proper RPA solution and increase awareness about its capabilities and risks.
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Considerations For Agency Cios
Finally, the Innovation Committees white paper outlines a list of considerations for agency CIOs. These considerations include:
- Developing a bot governance plan
- Collaborate Government-wide on Bot Sharing Platforms and Tools
- Consider RPA Market Factors
- Join the RPA Community of Practice
- Workforce Considerations
What Is Robotic Process Automation And How Does It Benefit Federal It
Phil Goldstein is a web editor for FedTech and StateTech. Besides keeping up with the latest in technology trends, he is also an avid lover of the New York Yankees, poetry, photography, traveling and escaping humidity.
More than a year ago, in April 2019, the General Services Administration for robotic process automation technology to help federal leaders explore opportunities, share ideas and work together on how robotic process automation could best be implemented at their agencies.
RPA use in government has been on the rise for a few years. The GSA has an ambitious goal in mind for 2020 and beyond when it comes to RPA: It aims to help civilian agencies free up nearly $1 billion worth of productive time across government by using the technology.
However, the coronavirus pandemic led to an accelerated use of RPA tools in government as agencies sought to increase productivity and make up for the fact that few workers were in offices due to stay-at-home orders. Some bots even helped with the response to the pandemic. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is using an RPA bot to enable its own COVID-19 assessment bot.
Why Submit An Rpa Use Case
- Increase awareness of current RPA applications across the federal government to increase knowledge sharing and accelerate adoption of innovative technologies.
- Make it easier to share individual agency RPA applications and publish government-wide solutions.
- Lead to a deeper understanding of the government-wide impact of RPA: creating additional capacity, increasing efficiency, enhancing quality, and driving greater compliance for federal agencies.
- Help to develop standard performance metrics for RPA deployments, allowing for more accurate statements about the government-wide impact of innovative technologies.
To submit an individual RPA Use case, please visit the form below:
Big Data And Analytics
Most organizations have a wealth of insights at their fingertips, but theyre locked away within unimaginably high quantities of raw data. In 2019 and beyond, the local governments that know how to best leverage this data will be those that distinguish themselves in better serving their citizens.
For example, the city of Dubuque, Iowa installed smart water meters in residents homes in order to collect information about how much water was used at different times of day. Not only did the pilot program save 50 million gallons of water, it also increased the citys revenues by $180,000.
When local governments can tap into these insights, the use cases are significant: improving traffic and public transportation patterns, lowering street crime, and reducing pollution and others listed below:
- Many local governments have high volume of data on local citizens and local businesses. Big Data can be used to improve services, increase quality of life and make doing business easier.
- With GDPR and compliance regulations, Big Data tools are extremely helpful in tagging Personally identifiable Information and process it according to set government rules and policies.
- Big data and analytics can enable local government to customise and improve citizen services by making useable data more accessible. Councils like Manchester, are already using big data to enable deeper analysis of data to help their front line staff provide better services.
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What Can Rpa Do For The Public Sector And Government Agencies
Work is becoming digital, with 89% of businesses reporting an adoption of digital first strategy, the World Economic Forum is predicting that 42% of work in the year 2022 will be performed by robots.
With digital transformation reshaping business processes across all industries, private and public sector organizations are using Robotic Process Automation to solve their most pressing operational challenges including budget constraints, overburdened employees, transactional bottlenecks, ever-evolving compliance requirements, and more. Shifting employees priorities from low-value to high-value workand eliminating the burden of mundane, repetitive tasks to help public institutions focus on citizen related processes a key focus for the federal workforce and a key objective highlighted in the most recent federal Office of Management and Budget memo on leveraging RPA to increase high-value work across the US government, with the GSA fully encouraging agencies to leverage RPA and even releasing a federal RPA playbook for gov agencies.
Robotic Process Automationnow Part Of The Culture At Brent
When Brent Council launched its first three-year digital transformation plan in 2017, Robotic Process Automation was not included. In its next plan, running until 2023, RPA with UiPath had become a core element. So, what changed?Brent is an increasingly digital borough and its important we become a digital council, says Manjula Pindoria, Digital Workstream Lead at Brent Council. We want to apply digital technologies and initiatives to help our workforce and better serve our citizens. What we do differently in the back office can free time to better focus on residents and provide them with faster, more accurate services.We realized in 2018 that RPA could be a powerful tool to automate our business processes. It was clear that UiPath could deliver the powerful features and ease of use we needed.
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Use Case: Global Contracts On
This large pharmaceutical / bio-tech company has more than $5 billion in annual revenue.
This global organization suffered from inefficient processes by which Clinical Study Managers could create new requests and RFPs for services to be performed by external vendors. There was a lack of process standardization, and much of the work required manual and paper based activities. The companys Contracts and Outsourcing groups needed a better method to support bidding by Clinical Research Organizations.
Using Appian, the organization created a modern solution that reduced contract on-boarding time by more than 60%. The solution streamlined the end-to-end process from RFP creation to contract execution while standardizing processes for improved measurement and predictability. Appian provides a unified view of Service Requests / RFPs and vendor responses, enabling quick comparison and efficient decision making. Notifications and alerts to internal stakeholders and external vendors help accelerate process completion.
Ai And Rpa In Federal Government: The Time Is Right
Artificial intelligence is of great strategic importance to the United States. We are recognized as the current leader in the space, and as such, are investing in capabilities and opportunities to ensure we are progressing AI forward across the country. AI is instrumental in providing the country with a competitive advantage. If were not raising the bar in the United States, other countries will become more adept leaders in the space.
AI is a top priority at the federal level right now. The President recently signed an executive order on AI to articulate the investments that are needed for technology breakthroughs and to reduce barriers to entry for firms entering into the AI space. The executive order also addresses the reskilling necessary for the workforce to deliver on AI, as well as building trust in the space around how decisions are made. This executive order is also key to enabling the country to participate in AI at an international level.
This, along with the President’s Management Agenda which addresses leveraging data as a strategic asset recognizes that AI is a capability that the country needs. Not only is it instrumental in improving the experience and effectiveness of citizens engagement with federal services, it also enables core capabilities that strengthen our national security and defense.
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Employee Onboarding And Offboarding
RPA bots can be programmed to automate some of the employee onboarding and offboarding processes, such as:
Streamline Unemployment Claims Systems
Use Intelligent Automation to simplify and shorten unemployment claims processes
PROCESS USING AUTOMATION
APPLICANT NOTIFIES call center operator
APPLICANT NOTIFIES call center operator
CASE WORKER ENTERS information into CICS screen
CASE WORKER ENTERS information into UI claims system
BOT CATEGORIZES race/ethnicity and gender
ERRORS/DELAYS result from applicant sex data entry
BOT AUTOMATICALLY corrects errors
ERRORS/DELAYS result from applicant race/ethnicity data entry
BOT TAKES user requests and categorizes into themes using AI, providing humans a priority list of improvements
APPLICATION is finalized and submitted
Unexpected demand for unemployment benefits has overwhelmed both systems and staff, who are processing high volumes of claims every day. Use RPA to reduce human touch points and wait times to ensure claimants receive benefits quickly. Intelligent Automation is designed to work with any application and can bridge between current and legacy systems right out of the box.
Whatâs the impact of RPA+AI on unemployment claims?
25% Reduction in Applicant UI Claims Processing Time
Save 1,667 hours per 10,000 unemployment applications
Reduce hiring and training requirements for call center
Reduce UI call center training times and time spent processing each application
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The Future Of Rpa In Government
The TCG R& D Lab has been working on identifying use cases for Robot Process Automation and the challenges of RPA implementations. RPA is an emerging technology with the ability to automate workflows. It appears to have applicability throughout the federal government, and as with other emerging technologies there is opportunity for growth. According to TCG CTO Robert Buccigrossi, while RPA can make laborious tasks trivial to execute, it is not suitable for every workflow and requires answers to questions around security, application stability, and configuration management.
Many of the tasks that can be completed through RPA could also be completed with traditional coding. But that requires learning and bridging application programming interfaces complexity that is simplified with RPA. Instead, the robot is trained to click here, go there, type here, scrape data there, and other actions that human beings routinely perform with a mouse and keyboard. In other words, the robot mimics certain human actions.
The TCG R& D Lab will continue to research practical approaches to implementing RPA in government and how we can best support our clients using RPA. Additionally, the team is looking at other emerging technology including machine learning. to our blog to keep up with the latest news from the TCG R& D Lab.
Why Rpa For Government Agencies
RPA is creating a huge positive productivity impact in many areas of businesses. Today, Government agencies are pushing themselves to better serve their people and invest their money in the right technologies to achieve efficiency, speed and accuracy. RPA fits right in this area, by helping Governments automate large-scale processes that are error prone like invoice automation, procurement automation, payroll processing and more.
RPA can be used to reduce majority of the repetitive tasks that consume time of the full-time equivalents such as procurement automation, sourcing and purchase order approvals, report generation, customer query automation and so on.
Here is a demonstration of how RPA can automate your invoice processing:
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Ushering In A New Era Of Work With Rpa And Ai
Here GCN has detailed a brief overall view of the governments goals for RPA bots and how the Presidents Management Agenda is driving adoption. For two years now, agencies have been refocusing on high-value work.
Many agencies across the federal government have initiated RPA programs to automate varying complexity tasks across multiple functional areas, including finance, acquisition, IT, human resources, security, and mission assurance. Popular uses of RPA include data entry, data reconciliation, spreadsheet manipulation, systems integration, automated data reporting, analytics, customer outreach, and communications.
Robotic Process Automation In Government
Robotic process automation has been used in all levels of government and in diverse functional areas. RPA is well suited for the high-volume tasks associated with serving the constituent population. Agencies, who have already implemented RPA, enjoy significant time-savings, increased efficiency in data processing, and a renewed capacity to serve constituents through higher-value tasks.
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