RPA in the public sector – just as apt as for enterprises?

According to IDC’s Sneha Kapoor, intelligent automation needs to be redeveloped. Source: Twitter / UiPath

RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is fast becoming a mainstay among enterprise technology applications. Interest has only accelerated during the pandemic, as companies in various industries view backend automation as a solution to keep day-to-day operations at a certain level, even with recent restrictions on human participation.

It seems that the time has come for RPA to become widespread, as technology is getting “smarter” and can now automate much more than just repetitive tasks, as IDC’s Research Manager (Financial Insights) Sneha Kapoor told Tech Wire Asia earlier said.

“[Intelligent RPA essentially comprises of] Software robots that can perform both deterministic and non-deterministic tasks by continuously understanding and analyzing structured and unstructured data, ”said Kapoor. “They represent rules and judgment-based automation and, like their human counterparts, are both self-learning and self-healing employees who can discover patterns for predicting decisions and even make recommendations on how to improve those decisions.”

While the relevance of robot automation is beginning to be felt in a wide variety of private industries, RPA has been viewed as being in the corporate sector. Interestingly, governments are increasingly turning to the capabilities of RPA, especially when it comes to handling high-volume, repetitive tasks within federal systems.

According to this year’s US state RPA report, US federal agencies have an average of 10 to 20 automations in their development pipeline. Both state and local governments saw the value in using RPA to reduce their low-value workload, with financial automation being a preferred application of the technology

Government agencies like New York Power Authority, transportation (Virginia Department of Transportation), and Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership are now automating all previously manual workflows in so many applicable departments that RPA can make a difference, including acquisitions, human resources , Administrative services and customer service applications.

Government services can be slow and cumbersome, and often have high traffic volumes that overload websites and make them inaccessible. Therefore, automating a significant portion of the previously manual workflows can help remove bottlenecks and smooth the day-to-day tasks so that the publicly accessible system can provide better services and a better user experience.

Still, government IT managers may not necessarily have the same resources as some companies, and costs always play a role. However, RPA is more cost effective when compared to advanced AI tools or more traditional options like outsourcing business processes and manual offshore processing. Legacy systems and existing applications can be automated with RPA, which does not require a complete IT overhaul.

As a primary software solution, RPA is easier to implement than more advanced AI and machine learning applications, and therefore easier for system administrators to learn and integrate. RPA is the gateway to AI for state, local, and federal agencies. Before agencies can successfully make decisions with large amounts of data, this data must be cleaned, standardized and error-free. RPA is a key mechanism that defines these processes for the adoption of AI / ML and facilitates the transition.

Joe Devanesan
| @ thecrystalcrown

Joe’s interest in technology began when he first saw footage of the Apollo space missions as a child. He’s still hoping to see either the first man on Mars or Jetson’s flying cars in his life.

April 4, 2021