Agencies are pursuing digitalization of their business processes, but their goals are often more fundamental than transformational. In this context, business continuity concerns are cited as a top risk from not modernizing. The survey results related to digitalization and modernization showed that:
- Most Agencies Attempting to Modernize – Most federal agencies are pursuing or have undertaken genuine efforts to modernize and digitize business processes and service delivery. Only six percent reported having no plans or efforts currently underway. Notably, no one reported that they evaluated but declined to pursue.
- Bottom Line Focus Behind Efforts to Digitize – Day-to-day concerns are higher priorities than long term strategic realignment for agencies trying to digitize their processes and service delivery. Priorities include improving quality and reliability (44 percent), reducing operational costs and/or generating other cost savings (35 percent), providing better customer experience (31 percent) and accelerating service delivery/shorten overall process (31 percent).
- Streamlining Processes is a Key Functional Focus - Given the state of business process automation in the federal sector, it was not surprising that reducing the number of manual interventions/process steps (47 percent) was the top functional objective for respondents. This was followed by accelerating end-to-end processing (37 percent), expanding the use of automated business rules management to reduce errors and improve consistency (36 percent) and simplifying how end-users interact with systems to share input and enter data (36 percent).
- Failure to Digitize Risks Ability to Deliver Critical Services – Just four percent believed that there would be no significant impact if their agency failed to digitize processes and service delivery. In contrast, the top three responses – an inability to meet performance objectives (41 percent), fully support escalating program demands (30 percent) or meet heightened user demands (27 percent) – indicate core concerns about maintaining business continuity.
- Funding, Legacy Tech Leading Barriers to Digitizing Processes – The biggest barriers to digitizing processes and service delivery are a lack of funding (38 percent) and legacy technology (36 percent). Other barriers include compliance or regulatory constraints (24 percent), contractual constraints and vendor lock-in with current service providers (22 percent), information silos (22 percent), lack of organizational consensus (22 percent), poor data quality (20 percent), and a lack of talent (20 percent).