techUK publishes recommendations on Intelligent Automation in central government

Tech trade association techUK has set out recommendations to support the adoption and scaling of Intelligent Automation (IA) in central government.

The organisation said that the use of the technology to replace repetitive and time-consuming manual work has become a critical tool for the public sector to keep pace with high workloads, the added difficulty of COVID-19, and added pressure to the workforce.

techUK members recently met to share their experiences of working with government to automate processes and services.

The resulting briefing paper outlines six recommendations from industry to ensure “meaningful adoption” of IA solutions.

The recommendations are as follows:

• Recommendation 1: Undertake deeper engagement and collaboration between Government and industry through a specific Intelligent Automation forum, in order to shine a light on the possible.
• Recommendation 2: Knowledge-sharing tools and platforms such as the Government’s Automation Register should be more visible and accessible, both within Government Departments and within the supplier community.
• Recommendation 3: In order to move away from point-based, tactical solutions and achieve a sustainable approach to automation, appoint a strategic sponsor within each Government Department’s leadership team. Convene a forum of these sponsors to develop conversations based around strategic value, rather than technical problems, within Departments’ executive suites.
• Recommendation 4: Engage industry to support the consolidation of the Department Automation Blueprints to create a coherent, integrated and well-scoped programme of activity.
• Recommendation 5: Leadership must establish and reinforce the expectation that automation will augment the workforce, enabling employees to spend more time on strategic initiatives instead of mundane tasks.
• Recommendation 6: Ensure appropriate funding is place in the next Spending Review to support the adoption and scaling of automation. 

techUK said that with a number of use cases from industry suppliers, including UiPath, CGI, Workday, and BJSS, the paper also showcases what effective deployment of Intelligent Automation looks like for central government across several different Departments.

“Intelligent Automation has been instrumental for Government Departments in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and now this technology has the potential to drive recovery and resilience in the coming months and years,” said Henry Rex, associate director of public sector at techUK. “As usage continues to scale, it is important that we continue to facilitate even greater collaboration between Government and Industry in order to drive further adoption.”

Rex added: “We hope the recommendations in this paper will showcase how to increase collaboration and support for automation.”

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