Recent requirements to stay at home due to COVID-19 have highlighted the importance of digital transformation in the public sector. IDC notes that the Future of Work requires technologies that enable agencies to fulfill their mission when faced with uncertain work environments, recruitment and resourcing.
In a recent IDC Industry Spotlight, the firm outlined the role of Enterprise Information Management (EIM) in enabling the Future of Work. Here are some of the highlights.
The skills gap: A ticking time bomb
While millions have been invested in digital transformation to improve the citizen experience, less focus has been given to the employee experience. The pressure is on to deliver services in line with citizen expectations. However, the need to modernize government IT is clear. In the US, the Technology Modernization Fund is helping with transformation projects but often services still exist in silos due to disconnected systems and processes.
We also have an employee base that is seen by senior management within the public sector as lacking the necessary skills. Research in the UK found that 40% of public sector organizations do not have the right skills in place to adapt to the digital transformation needed to meet their mission. This finding is echoed in a US survey where 7 in 10 government leaders view continuing IT skills gaps as having a high or medium impact on the ability to deliver on agencies’ missions.
To address this challenge, many commentators have recommended taking a ‘people first’ approach to training and skills enablement. While this may be successful as a longer-term strategy, there’s good reason to believe it doesn’t address the short- to medium-term issues. When asked, less than one in five of UK public sector agencies felt that school leavers and graduates have the right skills and experience to enter the workforce.
It seems the challenge isn’t finding and attracting the right people. It’s an understanding that you’re very likely not going to be able to achieve that level of skills quickly. Instead, public sector organizations have to find ways to remove workloads and enable employees with lower skills to complete many of the daily tasks. There’s no doubt that the cultural aspect of Future of Work is important but, right now, a more fruitful focus may be on identifying and implementing technologies that automate tasks, processes, and jobs.
What is the Future of Government Work?
For IDC, the Future of Work is a set of technologies and solutions for public sector agencies that “make human capital more efficient and operations more scalable, and support a better, modern user experience”. It means a fundamental change in the way that agencies operate and employees interact with technology to:
- Foster human-machine collaboration
- Augment human resources with ‘digital co-workers’
- Transform worker behaviors and skills
- Drive team collaboration and content sharing
- Support a dynamic work environment, both in and out of the traditional office environment
- Meet requirements for both innovation and compliance
We want employees to spend their time on higher-value activities that deliver better citizen experience. To achieve that means removing repetitive tasks and inefficient process steps that take time and burn morale. By automating processes and tasks while delivering new content and collaboration tools, employees are freed for more meaningful and rewarding work.
IDC suggests that, by 2021, the contribution by digital co-workers will increase by 35% as more tasks are automated and augmented by technology, including content services, AI, citizen experience management, and intelligent process automation. The foundation of those technologies is EIM.
The Future of Work: Key enabling technologies
According to IDC, EIM is a foundation of transformation and innovation and the firm sees OpenText as well positioned to help public sector executives to meet their digital transformation goals. The IDC report states: “OpenText’s challenge in enabling digital transformation for its public sector customers is in having agency leadership and decision-makers understand its strategic information management capabilities.”
These strategic information management capabilities include:
Visit our website to learn more about how EIM can help transform the public sector.