Automation set to transform the government service landscape – 2017 IPAA Conference

A new round of digital transformation and automation is about to transform the government workforce and the way government delivers services.

The 2017 IPAA conference – of which ARTD was a key sponsor – emphasised the need for the government sector to think creatively about how digital technologies will work for staff and clients.

ARTD Managing Principal Consultant, Sue Leahy, says that the clear message at the conference was that while the focus tends to be on the technology, managing digital change starts with understanding the people issues.

Managing change across the sector will mean understanding how digital technologies can be used to improve the workplace or client experience.

We need to put people at the centre of digital transformation. That’s where innovative models of engagement will come in – to ensure we deeply understand what people need from government services.

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology is also advancing rapidly and will soon transform the way we work in government, reducing transactional, information sifting type work and creating new roles. AI technology has the power to reduce paperwork and change the way we deliver services but it will also require active change management as people’s roles are disrupted. New jobs such as robotic orchestration, robot teachers, empathy trainers, business ethics (reviewing inputs and outputs), and privacy guardians will be created.

To ensure that we get the best out of the technology on offer, it will be important that we start with a deep understanding of the human aspects of the problems technological change aims to solve.

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