State government agencies process large volumes of data each day, typically requiring employees to enter it manually into a specific system or database. Although necessary, these time-consuming tasks take away large amounts of resources and slow down the other services these employees provide to the public.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has been changing business as we know it in the private sector for several years, and, as key decision makers continue to understand its benefits, it will become increasingly popular in the public sector as well. In fact, President Trump’s 2020 budget calls for more RPA in the government space.
What Is RPA?
Commonly referred to as a Digital Workforce, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a technology application that automates business processes through the use of software robots. More specifically, RPA replicates and replaces high-volume, repetitive tasks that are typically performed by humans. RPA from Keymark gives state and other government agencies the ability to create a scalable and secure Digital Workforce that improves overall workflows while decreasing operational costs.
Uses of RPA for Government and State Agencies
As with other industries, there is a wide variety of potential uses for RPA in the public sector. Any type of task that is high-volume, highly repeatable and rules-driven is suitable for RPA. It’s especially ideal for back-office tasks that are typically managed by human resources, procurement and financial departments.
For example, RPA might be used to handle things like updating constituent records, screening resumes or online applications, completing payroll processes or managing employee data. Another common use of RPA in state government agencies is in customer service applications like chatbots. Chatbots are able to handle simple user inquiries, such as requests to reset passwords or find important documents.
By letting RPA bots handle mundane, routine actions such as searching for, copying and pasting information, you can allow your staff to spend more time on relationship building and problem-solving activities. In the process, you’ll reduce the time you spend on more manual tasks, automate the workflows involved, improve the accuracy of the data entered and enhance the overall productivity of your teams.
Benefits of RPA
There are many impactful ways that RPA can quickly improve productivity at government agencies, such as:
Reduce Manual Tasks
For a majority of state government employees, there simply isn’t enough time in the day. We see many situations where a worker spends hours each day copying and pasting information from one screen to another before they can begin the process that actually creates value. Using RPA reduces the need for time spent on these tasks, giving employees more time to focus on higher-value actions that require problem solving and creativity.
Deliver on Government Mandates
Federal mandates (like the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Affordable Care Act, the Freedom of Information Act and the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act) are orders that require state and local governments to follow specific actions. Following compliance for these mandates, however, is extremely time-consuming and daunting. With its ability to perform routine compliance tasks faster and more accurately than humans, RPA virtually eliminates human error and ensures that necessary information is in compliance, should the agency be audited.
Improve Program Performance
Because a Digital Workforce is able to work 24/7/365, RPA quickly adds capacity to government agencies without having to increase spending. For many agencies, critical roles remain open for long periods of time. RPA empowers current staff by taking some tasks off their plate, allowing them to focus on higher priority tasks whether it’s spending more time with constituents, building relationships, solving issues or innovating new solutions. By reducing stress and providing a better work-life balance, you can also empower employees to be more efficient and productive, improving overall program performance and constituent satisfaction.
Make Implementation of New Technology Easier
RPA does not require backend integration with other systems as it does all of the work at the User Interface level much the same way human workers would. This provides you with the ability to achieve big results without “big project” costs. RPA can also be deployed in a matter of months, not years, and can be implemented in a way that causes minimal interference with your existing technologies.
Provide Real Cost Savings
Although improving workflows and reducing the stress of your employees are major benefits of RPA, there’s something to be said about technology that delivers almost instantaneous cost savings. RPA delivers significant cost savings and operational efficiencies that can help the public sector mirror the achievements of their commercial counterparts. These cost savings will not only contribute to additional resources, but they will also drive more funding to the core mission of the agency.
Are You Ready for RPA?
Although RPA is still fairly novel in government, it is quickly being recognized as a game-changing technology for the future. When it comes to adopting it, RPA has a relatively low implementation period and has proven to be a great segue into more complex solutions down the line, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. In other words, RPA opens the doors to other ways you can streamline processes and take even more work off your overloaded workers. Finally, because RPA reduces the need for employees to perform repetitive tasks, it gives them more time to better serve the public, which, in the end, benefits everyone.
Your Public Sector RPA Partner
Adopting a new technology can be an intimidating process, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right RPA partner, your agency can be confident that the transition will be smooth and successful.
At KeyMark, we have more than 20 years of experience in working with government agencies, and we have a proven partner in Blue Prism, a global leader in RPA software solutions. If you’re interested in learning more about RPA – and understanding how your agency can benefit from it – we’d love to have a conversation about it. Contact us today to learn more.