Digitize your workplace with automation to enhance citizen services
- Posted on February 1, 2022
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
The global war for top talent has been exacerbated by the pandemic. Together with an unprecedented demand for public services, the need to attract and retain employees in an already strained public sector is more urgent than ever. Government and public services organizations are increasingly embracing automation to address these challenges and prepare for a world of continual change. No longer a nice-to-have, we are seeing public sector clients around the world take advantage of automation to establish a more people-first, agile and resilient workforce. By improving the workplace experience (WX) with automation, these organizations are more effectively enabling employees to meet the changing expectations of citizens and other stakeholders. Primarily, public sector clients are using automation to rethink WX to achieve three benefits:
1. Better citizen experiences
A happy employee equals a happy citizen. Automation enables public sector employees to respond to requests faster and smarter, increasing job satisfaction and inevitably more satisfied citizens. Automation also frees employees to do higher-value tasks that require creativity and amplify the capabilities and emotions that uniquely make us human. In the case of criminal investigation reporting, Avanade was able to solve the problem of cumbersome and inefficient tasks by using Microsoft Power Platform. We created a solution that allowed employees to use Microsoft PowerApps to automate and accelerate the process of creating and easily accessing reports prior to court hearings.
While there is a perception that automation requires significant investment and behavioral change, there are solutions to help government and public services organizations progress cost-effectively and collaboratively with employees. For example, Avanade’s Intelligent Automation Platform provides the flexibility to adopt a modular approach to cloud-based workflows that manage and automate business process services. Together with Accenture and Microsoft, we used this flexible platform to create an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered virtual agent with a low-code/no-code framework that public sector organizations can rapidly deploy to keep concerned individuals informed through the COVID-19 crisis.
2. More agility and productivity
The traditional public sector attitude that work needs to happen in an office must continue to shift to a mindset of enabling employees to be productive wherever they are. Cloud-based automation creates the flexibility for employees to work remotely and to do more with less, especially the processing of highly transactional and/or repetitive tasks. While human oversight remains key, automation also cuts down on the potential for errors. Nowhere is the need for agility and accuracy more essential than emergency services. For instance, we have worked with a large metropolitan police department to overhaul its crime reporting system. Automating this work meant a 50% reduction in turnaround times for reports, increasing responsiveness and lowering expenditure.
3. Resilient ways of working
Automation will also help public sector organizations meet the expectations of stakeholders through continual change. We may not know what comes next, but we can expect the pace of change to continue to accelerate exponentially. Demands from employees, citizens and stakeholders will only increase through this uncertainty. Government and public services organizations should take advantage of the capacity intelligent automation can provide in supporting new ways of working to remain responsive to these ever-changing expectations.
As an example, we used intelligent automation to assist current employees with the daily intake, validation, and processing of larger than normal volumes of federal assistance requests related to COVID. Involving your employees in these efforts early will help create a more innovative and productive WX. Enrolling the expertise of your people to stress-test strategies and identify potential data security vulnerabilities will also ensure your organization maintains stakeholder trust through continual change.
Automation is critical for government and public services organizations to meet the ongoing demand from employees and other stakeholders for more flexible, productive, and efficient ways of working.