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Government CIOs: Accelerate digital transformation through hyperautomation 

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By Irma Fabular, VP Analyst at Gartner

Increasing global uncertainties and disruptions are forcing governments to accelerate the deployment of digital solutions to support their communities and workforces. Governments are under increasing pressure to deliver value quickly with a focus on “speed to value,” and hyperautomation is seen as a promising solution.

Governments have already started modernizing platforms, automating tasks, and redesigning processes to reduce red tape, improve efficiency, and enhance citizen services. For example, governments have been deploying chatbots and using robotic process automation (RPA) to tackle process automation and work around legacy system limitations.

As government automation initiatives continue to result in tangible business outcomes, the adoption and use of hyperautomation tools will grow. Gartner predicts that by 2026, 60% of government organizations will prioritize business process automation, up from 35% in 2022.​

What Is Hyperautomation?

Hyperautomation is a disciplined approach that organizations use to rapidly identify, vet and automate as many business and IT processes as possible. It involves the integration of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), robotic process automation (RPA), low code and integration platforms to automate complex business processes.

Government organizations can balance digital investments for resiliency and flexibility while optimizing costs by automating business processes and public service models. Furthermore, digital workplace solutions, such as unified communications and collaboration, can help facilitate consistent employee experiences and engagement with constituents.

By harnessing the power of this technology trend effectively, governments can streamline their operations while improving service delivery across departments – resulting in better outcomes for the community.

How to Begin

Getting started with hyperautomation initiatives can seem daunting at first. Government chief information officers (CIO), engaged in digital transformation and innovation, can take steps outlined below to ensure a successful implementation.

  • Gain continued enterprisewide support for automation by aligning initiatives with current government priorities to pursue digital transformation, while optimizing operational costs.​
  • Develop sustained funding sources to support hyperautomation. Find synergies in current initiatives (for example, consolidating technology capabilities and tools) that support government needs for end-to-end business or IT process automation​.
  • Seek enterprisewide sponsorship to automate business workflows across agency and department boundaries.​ Build a case for “whole of government” collaboration that proved invaluable during the pandemic and other emergencies and service disruptions.

Implications of Hyperautomation and Related Risks

For government organizations, hyperautomation opportunities are complicated by the siloed nature of government service delivery across various agencies and departments. Thus, government CIOs seeking to successfully exploit this trend should focus on the following key implications:

  • Business-driven outcomes and leadership collaboration: Business process automation initiatives require a unified vision of all stakeholders needs and service outcomes. The success of the initiative depends on collaboration among an ecosystem of stakeholders across multiple government agencies and, potentially, tiers of government.
  • Investments in digital solutions and partnerships with technology service providers: Digital government technology platforms are essential to deliver public services in more efficient and effective ways by making it easier to reuse data, services and capabilities across different organizations. However, the current market offerings are unlikely to provide a complete end-to-end solution. Existing commercial technology products and services need to be woven together seamlessly for optimal results. 
  • Ongoing iterative processes of automation: Hyperautomation initiatives need to be sustained. Government organizations have various priorities that might derail the energy and resources to act quickly. An ongoing sense of urgency focused on human-centred outcomes, such as social programs and public safety, is essential to sustain momentum.

Hyperautomation offers numerous benefits to government organizations, but it comes with risks around the ethical use of data, privacy, accountability and governments’ ability to maintain the trust of the community. While these risks shouldn’t deter governments from pursuing hyperautomation, they highlight the necessity of retaining essential human components and maintaining accountability.

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