Automating the Government Workforce
In 2018, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) estimated that workloads for 60 percent of federal employees could be cut by 30 percent, and nearly half of all work activities can be automated with existing technology. This can be done with intelligent automation, the marriage between automation and artificial intelligence.
Given that governments on the local, state and federal levels continue to grapple with tight budgets and suppressed staffing levels, it’s worth considering whether they might one day rely more on automation and technology to carry out tasks performed by humans.
Earlier this month, the White House launched AI.gov – a website that centralizes federal government programs and resources on artificial intelligence. Agencies across every sector are using robotic process automation (RPA), machine learning and other transformative technologies to advance industry and the American workforce. By using desktop tools and RPA to more complex machine learning, workers can accomplish tasks more safely and efficiently, such as:
- tracking employee time and attendance worksheets to ensure work hours, leave time and staff pay are accurate;
- utilizing chatbots in call centers to reduce the need to respond to routine inquiries via phone calls;
- reducing manual errors and access critical data for budgets, grants and project reports;
- reviewing and process employment applications;
- enforcing vendor obligations; and
- increasing the capacity to process claims following large-scale disasters.
Modernizing the workforce introduces a new and better way of doing things. More importantly, it provides an opportunity for employees to upskill and advance into more technical positions that are needed like IT and data management. Younger workers will be more likely to stay in those roles and grow in that career.
The reality is that the public sector workforce is shrinking as baby boomers retire. There’s also an increasing demand to deliver quality services on a constrained budget. After a while, budget cuts start to eat into vital programs. You can reduce costs and maximize employee performance through transformation. Failure to make these changes will have a lasting negative effect. Start today and build the capabilities to remain competitive and serve your stakeholders.
Check out our approach in leveraging the public sector at the federal, state and local level.