The effective use of government resources is a deep concern in the public sector. Using tax dollars and public funding appropriately is essential since the alternative invites regulatory scrutiny. It is also your public duty. Therefore, it’s in the best interest of government agencies at every level to explore working more efficiently. From a city or county government to the federal level, maturing technologies can offer fresh solutions. Robotic process automation (RPA) is one such technology.
How can today’s government adopt RPA effectively and set the stage for the future of work? To begin, it’s helpful to understand what it’s all about.
RPA for the Public Sector, Explained
Robotic process automation involves the creation of software robots that are excellent at performing repetitive, rules-based tasks in workflows that remain the same consistently. For example, a robot could do the job instead of having a human worker generate report after report from a dashboard before emailing those reports to specific individuals. RPA bots mimic human actions in user interfaces, making them ideal for handling tasks that rarely involve exceptions and often involve a definitive set of steps.
How Can the Government Apply RPA Usefully?
Because you can create software robots to suit many purposes, there are several low-level workflows you can consider automating in government work. Moving data between systems, alerting key stakeholders, and performing other mundane tasks are all possible. More specifically, some of the best areas for applying RPA in the public sector include:
- Procurement processes, such as requests, routing quotes to the appropriate people or placing periodic requests automatically and on time.
- Public-facing service tasks, such as facilitating online self-service portals for citizens to carry out common tasks.
- Accounts payable and receivable automation.
- Enhanced management of repetitive IT processes.
- HR tasks, such as onboarding new employees and offering self-service.
What Are the Key Benefits of RPA for the Public Sector?
With potential impacts across the spectrum of government work, it’s clear that RPA can offer impressive value. Where specifically can the government see improvements because of RPA? Consider the following benefits that software robots bring to the table.
Generate real savings on costs
Software robots can accomplish many of the same tasks as human knowledge workers without the need to pay someone to do repetitive work. RPA can augment the existing workforce, allowing for the completion of more work with the same levels of staffing. Additional robots can reduce the need to hire staff whose only job roles might involve these low-value workflows.
Extend the useful lifespan of legacy systems
Many government agencies continue using legacy software that has seen use for years if not decades. These systems are difficult to connect to modern ones, often resulting in data silos and manual work. However, the wholesale replacement of these old systems can be disruptive and expensive. RPA breaks down the walls between old and new, creating connections and opportunities to keep legacy tools well-integrated.
Boost productivity and recognize process improvements.
When your skilled employees don’t need to dedicate hours of their day to clerical work, you can refocus teams to do work that delivers more value to the public. Eliminating tedious tasks also means that each team member has the opportunity to be more productive. This solution can lead to better, faster work thanks to the collaboration between humans and software.
Achieve higher levels of accuracy with consistency.
Humans can become tired or distracted and make mistakes—losing concentration is natural. Unfortunately, those errors can also be costly to fix or detect. Because software robots conduct the same tasks in the same way every time, it’s possible to slash error rates and boost the quality of the output of your business processes. Such efforts can result in cost savings and efficiency improvements simply by removing common mistakes.
Scale operations to meet unexpected needs without concern.
With RPA, there’s no need to hire many temporary staff to deal with a seasonal rush or a sudden demand for new services because of a real-world situation. RPA scales effortlessly to continue delivering value even in high-volume applications.
See a high ROI on automation implementation
With the right support and a smart choice in technology, RPA is an easy way to achieve “quick wins” that generate value for government agencies almost immediately. With low set-up costs and a gentler learning curve than some more advanced automation solutions, RPA can streamline a government’s transition to be more cost-efficient.
Extending Automation Capabilities With Kofax Solutions
In spaces such as government, where efficiency is a considerable concern, it’s essential to capitalize on every opportunity to save time without sacrificing value. The Kofax suite of tools for automation, from basic RPA to intelligent automation, has a thriving community of developers to support users. Today, the Kofax Marketplace offers an extensive array of solutions ready for the public sector to explore and start using right now.
For example, hiring for some federal government roles is time-consuming because of “Standard Forms,” a series of questionnaires and applications that are key to jobs with clearances. In the Marketplace right now, you can find a tool for extracting data from Standard Forms, such as SF-86 and populating the relevant software directly. With Kofax solutions on the Marketplace, governments can realize even greater value from their automation investments.
Investigate a Better Way to Complete Government Work
With robotic process automation (RPA) tools and the extensive pre-built solutions in the Kofax Marketplace, setting up new public sector automation is easier. With the right technology, governments can save time, use public funds more efficiently, and prepare for the future. As automation advances, now is the perfect time for the public sector to engage with and investigate how these tools can be true game-changers.