Private and public sector enterprises alike face numerous operational challenges: increased budget constraints, hiring freezes, overburdened employees, growing backlogs of transactional processes, changing compliance requirements, and more.
Public Sector (i.e., federal, state, and local governments) agencies provide daily services to billions of people around the world. They are responsible for solving the complex yet sometimes mundane tasks citizens expect in the new digital era with an “on-demand” mindset. The drive for more data, faster processing, better decision making, predictive analysis and historical data mining have grown unchecked in this era of big data and mobile computing.
Government employees often spend more time collecting, moving, cleaning and repurposing data than they spend analyzing or collaborating on the data. No greater challenge to governments than how to work with the databases, processes, applications, websites, and forms necessary to serve citizens. Increasingly governments around the world are turning to UiPath’s robotic process automation (RPA) to tackle these challenges.
Pathfinders in the public sector
Earlier this year, UiPath held its first public sector conference in Washington, DC. With the support of one of our system integrator partners (Deloitte), the one-day conference showcased the great strides several agency pathfinders have made in the one year since the first federal bot went into production at the NASA Shared Services Center.
Their core concern: employees were over-burdened with time-consuming, transactional processes, leaving high impact work either undone or pushed too late in the business day.
Discussions and presentations by the United States Postal Service (USPS), General Services Administration (GSA), US Treasury, NASA’s Shared Services Center (NSSC) and the Army, showcased public sector executives describing how their agencies are actively solving problems with RPA. The panelists each identified the tipping point, where they knew their agency was ready to pilot and move to production with UiPath's digital employees. Their core concern: employees were over-burdened with time-consuming, transactional processes, leaving high impact work either undone or pushed too late in the business day.
"We had all this work that had to get done. A lot of it not high value, and then all of this higher impact-type work that wasn’t being done because both things are important [...] There are only so many hours in a work week, there are only so many federal employees that you have. We’re not doing a hiring surge to offset that, so that’s where RPA becomes a reality.” Head of the Federal Acquisition Service at a governmental services agency
“To get to the analytics and the information that we needed to present accurate and reliable financial information for management decisions and in support of our audit, there were hours and hours and hours of work that had to be done in advance to gather the data necessary to do that. [...] We knew we needed to look for a solution that was going to be long-term.” Chief of Accounting Compliance in Department of Defense
Just days after RPA implementation, the government agencies were already seeing tangible results ranging from significant savings in cycle time, improved service levels, increased compliance, and reduced operating costs.
“We were able to have the bot do something that takes 15 minutes for an employee to do, and the software was able to do it in under 10 seconds. We expanded that to something more challenging. What took 22 minutes for a human being to do, it took under 20 seconds for the bot to do.” Head of the Federal Acquisition Service at a governmental services agency
Implementing RPA involves integrating digital employees into the current workforce. This new workforce member allows the existing workforce to focus on high-value work and tasks where empathy and reason are prevalent. Unlike the private sector where RPA can impact staff sizes, government agencies will be able to reimagine the work being done and tackle issues that could not be undertaken in the past while increasing their capacity to serve thanks to the integration and adoption of RPA.
“We want the bot to do the day-to-day, the mundane... pulling documents, stacking them up, putting them in folders. And we want the people to come in and apply their knowledge and expertise to do the analysis to make sure that what we’re providing an auditor, or for management decisions, is as accurate and complete as reasonably possible. I think it’s about applying the brain power to the right areas.” Chief of Accounting Compliance in the Department of Defense
“From the workforce perspective, just the excitement of having this help and this new technology available to them has inspired new creative thinking [amongst our employees]. They were always a very talented, creative group but they are just having some great, outside-the-box thinking now in a lot of other areas.” Chief of Accounting Compliance in the Department of Defense
Transforming government service as we know it
RPA is being used by government agencies in the United States, United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, Finland, Germany and the Netherlands. In just the past year agencies have leveraged the agility, price point and flexibility of UiPath’s Enterprise solution to rapidly address workflow issues. These pathfinding agencies are showing other agencies the wealth of opportunities that attended and unattended digital laborers provide. Unleashing their innovative spirit, across all lines of business creating digital employees puts these agencies at the forefront of the global opportunity UiPath offers to all public sector innovators. Citizens are served better by more efficient civil servants with a secure and rapidly trained and deployed digital workforce.
“We’re at a time in government where this technology can make a huge impact. [...] If you look at the success of leveraging RPA in the private sector, I think those same returns can be achieved on a government basis.” Head of the Federal Acquisition Service at a governmental services agency
As more and more government innovators look at UiPath and use-cases from these pathfinders agencies, UiPath looks forward to providing the benefits intelligent robotic process automation offers. When agency leaders ask, “how are we going to do more with less” we expect to hear “UiPath”, that’s how.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.uipath.com/blog/industry-solutions/uipaths-digital-employees-government-early-adopters