How to Welcome the Digital Employee

The landscape of the federal government is changing. Budget strains and changing employment demographics call for greater efficiency in the public sector. There is always anxiety about incorporating new technology in the public sector, especially one that could be classified as a “digital employee.” 

The question remains of whether automated technologies will replace actual human workers, but some experts explain that it’s no longer a question of if, it’s a question of when RPA and other processes will be implemented. While certain menial elements of jobs will be eliminated, this will also open up workers to focus on more important developments and create other types of labor.  

At the same time, a Deloitte report, “From brawn to brains,” found while 800,000 low-skilled jobs in the U.K. were lost to automation over a 15-year period, another 3.5 million higher-skilled jobs were created. 

While these systems and processes have proven able to optimize mundane and menial tasks, rather than thinking of jobs as being replaced, the implementation of these processes will shift labor to focus on more important tasks. And as the demographics of the workforce change, younger workers will step in, well-versed in technologies of the past decades.

Digital employees transform the public sector 

The chief of the Enterprise Services Division in the NASA Shared services office has transformed the department by utilizing automation. Working with UiPath, NASA created an RPA system that processes the dozens of grant applications they receive every day, rather than having an employee manually create a case file. This allows the department to shift their attention to more important work and to meticulously analyze eligible grant applications.

NASA uses two types of bots. One uses attended software, which means that the bot will report to an employee. Unattended software refers to a bot that simply works unmonitored by interacting with other apps and automating other menial tasks. 

One “employee” at the NASA Shared Services Center has the ability to copy and paste text, move folders on a computer desktop, open emails, and more. This bot is known as “Washington” and helps to review initial applicant information and screen potential candidates. As a rules-based bot, Washington only operates on a specific set of instructions but also has its own email address, access information, and other typical employee credentials. 

Other digital employees will also require licenses, desktop computers, supervisors, IT credentials, access roles, and more, as they develop and become more robust. “Hiring” Washington and others have allowed for human resources at NASA to shift their focus to more important and time-consuming duties and higher-value work. 

Luckily, the digital employee doesn’t complain about these monotonous tasks, nor does it get tired. 

However, it’s important to understand how to properly implement RPA in your workforce. Confiance Group has worked with civil and military aerospace sector clients in the public sector. In incorporating RPA, these industries have found success in eliminating menial tasks and shifting their focus to more important initiatives

Read more about our capabilities in our white paper, Intelligent Automation for the Federal Agencies and Federal Worker

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