Our key account director, John Wybrant, has been featured in The MJ discussing the significant role new technology could play in developing the digital skills that councils need.
The emergence of process automation, machine-to-machine communication and Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers substantial potential for councils to speed up service delivery, reduce human error and free-up employees to focus on front-line services which are under increasing pressure from budget constraints and citizen demand.
Adoption is well underway. Councils are trialling chat bots which use AI to handle basic customer service queries and a growing number of authorities are looking to implement robotic process automation (RPA) across their back-office services.
John argues that while using this technology to deliver new efficiencies will be the focus, this disruption will provide a significant opportunity to build new digital skills across the workforce – a major challenge in local government.
He said: “We expect it to work alongside employees, acting as a support tool or virtual assistant to complete those high-volume, simple tasks in the front and back office. So rather than councils buying in the expertise to run the technology, staff that use it as an assistant could be given the opportunity to retrain to use it and develop a new skill set.
“A recent Robotic Process Automation (RPA) project we conducted with a local authority in the North West, saw several council employees trained during implementation to become accredited RPA developers. They will now be responsible for the continued management of the software and looking forward, as the technology matures and is rolled-out across other areas of the back-office, a greater number of employees could be offered this opportunity.”
MJ subscribers can access the full article here.