When Automation Sets Government Agencies Up for Failure

When Automation Sets Government Agencies Up for Failure

State government chief information officers said technology debt in their legacy systems was a major source of their organization’s inability to be responsive to change, migrate to new technologies, add new functionality to their systems and innovate, according to a recent report by NASCIO


Unfortunately, this is the fate for many government organizations and one major contributor to the mounting technical debt is when automation is simply applied to legacy technology and existing manual processes rather than taking the time to design a better system and workflow. 


And this rarely sets organizations up for success, especially over the long term. In fact, teams will often find themselves in a continuous loop of refactoring the functionality because they’re not achieving the desired outcomes. 


Moving Toward Optimization


It’s been said that all businesses are becoming technology companies, and that applies to the public sector as well. Government agencies are now expected to keep pace with the private sector and the ever-evolving needs and expectations of their stakeholders and constituents. To do that, agencies are turning to digital platforms to enable more seamless experiences—internal and external-facing experiences. 


But today, much of the IT team’s focus continues to remain on keeping the lights on rather than investing in the tools and innovation that will seed long-term returns. Often this means, they’re pressured to prioritize quick delivery over well-thought-out workflows. And this is fine if the goal is simply to automate the current state and realize nominal gains on labor expenditures. 


But most organizations want to achieve far more than the basic labor cost savings automation can deliver. And this requires understanding existing processe ..