Intelligent Automation

Should the public sector embrace intelligent automation?

By Alchemmy’s Maya Kolaska

Our recent report on intelligent automation, the integration of automated technologies to secure business goals, highlights benefits for the private sector. These include improved understanding of profitability. But what about intelligent automation’s relevance for public services?

For more than a quarter of a century, the UK public sector has sought ways to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of public services through introducing technological change. It has embraced new approaches. For example, increasing numbers of government services can now be accessed entirely online such as booking a driving test or completing your tax return.

Automation should be at the heart of the next innovative wave. Improving social care, enabling self-service in local authority provision, managing increasingly complex citizen information: automation can provide effective solutions to these service challenges. In criminal justice, where the secure processing and sharing of case records between agencies is essential, intelligent automation can be enormously beneficial. It could also have a hugely positive impact on other work involving documents and identity – passports, visas, immigration applications. Effective and intelligent automation will become even more important in these areas as the public sector sponsors identity innovations through the Trust Mark and seeks to integrate services through its One Login approach.

However, many automation initiatives fail precisely because the human dimensions are ignored. People fear that automation happens at their expense. Of course, automated capabilities can be used to supplement human capacity and improve efficiency in the public sector at times when human resources are scarce or when budgetary/policy imperatives dictate headcount reductions. For maximum benefits to be achieved, we need to carefully consider how best to integrate human and machine capacity. Indeed, properly handled, intelligent automation can help realise benefits for workers, freeing public servants from undertaking manual processing to more interesting activities. It can also help attract skilled people, able to deploy and work alongside automated capabilities, into public-sector roles.

Of course, to achieve this, especial care must be devoted to managing change and to mobilising people, their skills and effort. Our intelligent automation report emphasises these human dimensions and what can help make automation programmes successful.

If you want to know more about Alchemmy’s work in the Public Sector and on Intelligent Automation, please contact us.

Written by

Zoey Luu

Published on

25th June 2022

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