With artificial intelligence (AI) providing deeper insights and chatbots answering citizens’ questions, AI and automation has entered government agencies. However, most agencies still struggle to integrate AI tools across the enterprise and have only applied them to individual cases.
A successful integration of AI and automation into government processes begins with these five key steps:
- Establish an agency-wide strategy. This means all functions must be involved and understand the clear objectives and documented goals with defined accountability. A successful use case will give the transformation momentum and garner support from business leaders.
- Involve the workforce. AI adoption helps to reduce backlogs and enable employees to address more value-added tasks; however, most employees still fear the impact of AI and automation upon their organization, specifically their role. Communicating with employees upfront facilitates the transition, and involving staff in brainstorming sessions about implementation improves morale, especially once employees understand how AI and automation will be implemented.
- Address governance and policy changes. When integrating new technology, getting critical insight from the chief information officer (CIO) and chief information security officer is necessary to mitigating risk and addressing concerns. For instance, does the organization’s IT system or website permit the use of bots? The answer will impact your implementation strategy.
- Evaluate business processes and data. Unstructured and unformatted data impedes efforts to adopt AI and automation, but they also present the opportunity to address data quality issues and inefficient processes. Documenting a process prior to automation can lead to the process being redesigned or even eliminated.
- Engage CIO innovators. With interest for AI and automation stemming from business functions, such as human resources and finance, the CIO is sometimes seen as a gatekeeper or an obstacle to integration. However, the CIO can be a valuable resource for back-, middle- and front-office groups and generally seeks to help the agency run smoother and with more efficiency.
Completing a successful AI and automation deployment requires a sound strategy, effective communication and a thorough evaluation of processes and existing systems. Every transformation affords some risk to the business, but the potential return on investment—improved employee and citizen satisfaction, efficiency and cost savings—outweighs the risk.
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