Digital labor and robotics for the federal government
Perspectives on building digital labor capabilities
Digital labor and process robotics are emerging solutions to help tackle complex budget, labor, and workload constraints including high volume, repetitive work, processes that scale by adding more labor, and situations where significant budget limitations constrain major system modernizations. Building digital labor capabilities empowers federal employees to transition from the data gatherers—pulling, plugging, manipulating, and calculating information—to the data users—actually basing decisions on insights drawn from data.
A roadmap for building digital labor in government
Using automation and data analytics to help federal agencies improve service delivery
The future of how we do work is changing. Solutions and technologies that help make life easier are being introduced and embraced at a pace like we have never seen. The federal government is diligently working to improve efficiency, align its workforce with the needs of today and the future, and remove barriers to deliver results to citizens. Digital labor is a solution that can help federal agencies improve service delivery to citizens through new automation and data analytics capabilities.
IT security for the digital laborer
National security and the management of the classified data is a pressing concern for many leaders within the defense and intelligence agencies; with that said, technology continues to drive the way business is done not only in the average citizen’s life but in the agencies that protect us. Unfortunately, there are ongoing challenges with the rapid change of technology and the outdated policies that provision newly defined technology capabilities.
Thought-leading agencies, such as NASA, have allowed for opportunities to understand security limitations for bots and establish provisions to support and maintain the security of classified and unclassified data.
Audit for robotics
Federal agencies are facing unprecedented budgetary and regulatory disruption as they manage mounting budget constraints while trying to be more agile to increasing mission objectives. The combination of unfunded mandates, a shrinking workforce, and excessive contractor spend is prompting federal agencies to look for innovative solutions such as digital labor to address these challenges. No longer are federal executives limited to the option of simply hiring new federal employees.
Robotics in federal financial management
Process automation is applicable to any organization that has repeatable, manual, rules-based processes—so why is the finance function a good place to start? In today’s environment, many budgets are being updated to shift funding to mission-related activities. Failing projects and back offices are often taking the hit. The finance function is filled with repetitive, but necessary tasks. As budgets shift from finance to the mission and hiring freezes loom, having a digital finance workforce may be the only option to maintain operations and keep the lights on for the organization.
Funds control, spend plans, accruals, audit preparation, joint ventures, account reconciliations, travel processing, property, plant, and equipment (PP&E)—the opportunities for federal financial process automation are vast. By focusing on the finance function businesses can take the lead on solutions that can drive operational efficiencies across the enterprise, and offer a real answer to the question, “How can I do more with less?”
The most often asked question is "Can I use financial process automation in my processes?" There are two simple diagnostic questions to determine the applicability of automation to your business challenge:
- Is the process a computer-based task that a human can do?
- Is the process rules-based?
Driving efficiencies in contracting
Companies and federal agencies are beginning to introduce digital contract capabilities known as “bots” into the workplace. Just as robots had a marked effect on human life over the past five decades, these digital bots have the potential to make the productivity of the professional contracting workforce soar. Contracting organizations are entering a brave new world of machine and human collaboration, creating greater cost savings, a shorter contract cycle time, and customers who are more satisfied with the end result.
The push for digital contract capabilities is already in motion, with several artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities already in use. Initially, the increased use of bots will focus on the simplest of AI capabilities, namely process robotics and intelligent automation. Process robotics makes use of “rules-based” bots that mimic human actions, typically completing routine tasks 10 times faster than a human. This can result in substantial time and efficiency savings as they enable organizations to significantly decrease cycle time and divert resources to higher-value activities.
Intelligent automation applications are more advanced pieces of software that mimic human understanding of text documents. Once properly “trained,” an intelligent content extraction tool typically reviews up to 2,000 documents an hour to find information that is strategically relevant for decision makers.
Reimagining business process reengineering (BPR) in the age of automation
The role of DPR in reengineering is simple: When evaluating a process as a candidate for BPR, it is imperative to consider automation as part of the potential effort. To unlock the full potential of automation for organizations, Deloitte combines the analytical approach of BPR with a focus on where automation can have the greatest impact.
BPR is designed to fundamentally change how organizations balance their key resources (people, process, and technology) against their most pressing business challenges, transforming the core business operations for organizations through a comprehensive, bottom-up approach. Deloitte’s BPR framework has been used successfully with many of our public and private sector clients. To respond to the evolving automation landscape, this framework has been “reimagined” to incorporate an additional consideration for automated solutions.