The UK public sector has experienced rapid disruption in its internal technological systems and processes over the last decade. Increasing demands from the general public, accompanied with the ‘digital directives’ set out by the Government Digital Services’ (GDS) department. The GDS was formed in April 2011 to implement the ‘Digital by Default’ strategy, proposed by a report produced for the Cabinet Office in 2010, called ‘Directgov 2010 and beyond: revolution not evolution‘. The Digital by Default initiative has not been without delays and challenges; constantly evolving technological offerings and ever-tightening budget constraints have played a significant role in hindering the progress to move to a truly digital environment. There is also the question of, where does an organization start its digital transformation? I believe there are 3 relatively simple and key steps to getting that foot on the digital ladder.
1. Digital at the Doorstep
It’s no secret that the first leg of a document’s journey is the most valuable to an organization. An envelope, an e-mail, an invoice – all contain information which could be critical to an operational process downstream. Organizations that can quickly channel that information into the correct business workstream, without the need for an expensive mailroom will reap the digital rewards. OPEX Corporation recognizes the importance of capturing incoming mail quickly and efficiently and has built solutions that enable organizations to quickly open content and digitize directly from the source, thus improving the rate at which information passes through the mailroom and into the correct channels. It’s no secret that simply digitizing paper content is not considered much of a transformation, but as part of a broader strategy and running alongside tools such as AI and RPA that transform the way the information contained within the paper content is used, can make a significant difference to the way the Public Sector works.
2. Introducing AI & RPA in Government
Since Robotic Process Automation (RPA) first entered the scene around four years ago, it has been adopted by banks, financial services and other businesses with highly-repetitive tasks. The technology is gradually being test-launched across central & local government and the NHS, where increasing productivity and releasing scarce clinical capacity is a strategic imperative. Compared to their private sector counterparts, public sector bodies have been much slower in their adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA). If effectively implemented, there is no doubt that AI adoption can boost the UK into becoming pioneering leaders for technology around the world, however, allocating resources and the right budgets requires creating an economy that inspires technological advancements.
RPA is a quick, cost effective solution for government bodies which, even as they are under pressure to slim down, still have responsibilities to the UK public. The bots, which can run 24/7, can help government bodies by taking on time-consuming, manual tasks and allowing its humans to engage in higher level, more meaningful work.
3. Utilising Big Data for Better Insights and Regulatory Compliance
Public sector organizations have more data available today than ever before. This presents a unique opportunity to be more efficient and more responsive to the needs of the UK citizens for greater social impact. The public sector is becoming increasingly aware of the potential value to be gained from big data, as governments generate and collect vast quantities of data through their everyday activities. The benefits of extracting value from an organization’s information pool are clearly evident from the £6m which has been spent on employing data scientists since 2017 alone, across key government bodies. Unlocking big data allows government bodies to realize improvements in operational effectiveness, providing greater internal transparency; improvements in efficiency, where better services can be provided based on the personalization of services; and learning from the performance of such services.
For more information on how OPEX can support your organization contact us today.
This article originally appeared in the March April 2019 issue of Public Sector Focus.