Insight by UiPath

How robotics process automation is opening doors for agency innovation, transformation

The Office of Management and Budget expects the first progress reports from agencies on how they are moving employees off of low-value work and to high value work sometime before the end of March.

Agencies are on the hook to tell OMB their progress in terms of FTE hours shifted to high-value work. OMB says if agencies implement significant shifts in resources that are not amenable to reporting in FTE hours, agencies should report cost savings instead. And OMB says agencies may use alternative methods, such as number of pages of reporting eliminated, when neither FTE hours nor cost savings is feasible.  A key piece to the shift OMB wants agencies to make is through the use of robotics process automation to reduce repetitive administrative tasks.

And there is a lot of hope around RPA and other emerging technologies.

Deloitte’s Center for Government Insights said in 2017 that RPA could save agencies as much as $41.1 billion over the next seven years.

But it’s just as simple as implementing software and changing processes.

Research firm Gartner offered eight recommendations for organizations before implementing RPA. Among those are

  • Identify and quantify the opportunities to use RPA to support digital transformation.
  • Start with rule-based, standardized processes that cross multiple systems, which need a nonintrusive approach to automation
  • Identify alternative existing tools or services and evaluate these solutions in parallel with RPA, or as a hybrid solution; and look to future artificial-intelligence-based options.

And then there security factors to keep in mind.

As many agencies begin to test and pilot RPA tools, there is plenty of important factors to keep in mind and obstacles to avoid.

Robotic Process Automation Update

Right now [the CFO shop] has six bots deployed that has freed up 17,000 labor hours and are looking at more. Basically, the strategy, and we see this across a number of agencies, is multi-phased where first you start deploying small scale, five or six, test it out and look not just at the technology available but it’s an opportunity to relook at our processes itself.

Why RPA?

[RPA] really helps get that engine of innovation and excitement going within an organization when you say, ‘if you have a great idea, bring it forward and make a recommendation on how to use the technology. I think that is one of the fundamental shifts

Security and the Bigger Picture

The value that each agency is going through with their proof of concepts or their pilots is they are getting to see the promise of [the fact that] it will not doing something bad. Until an agency sees [the bot] and realizes it’s only doing and automating what you were doing manually. Any access the bot has is the access ‘Mark’ or ‘Mary’ have today. If they can do something bad, the bot can’t because [Mark or Mary] can stop in midstream of a process and do something different. That bot will execute from one end to the other.

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