Agencies acknowledge gaps in their business process maturity. However, relative contentment with the status quo may limit digital process automation over the near-term. Survey findings revealed that:

  • Most federal business processes serve external audiences – While specific use cases vary, more than 80 percent of service or business process interactions are with external parties, and just 18 percent are contained within the agency itself.
  • Automation is limited – Fifty-eight percent reported that the vast majority of their business processes were immature, requiring either significant (46 percent) or complete (12 percent) manual processing. Another 23 percent automated their business processes but had yet to take active steps to shape and improve performance using analytics.
  • Full value of operational data not being realized – Just 30 percent describe the operational data supporting their business processes and service delivery as high value, meaning that it is highly accessible, integrated and well-structured. For the majority (62 percent) of federal agencies, operational data offers moderate value, meaning that it is collected and trusted but poorly structured for analysis – for example, missing appropriate meta-tagging and categorization.
  • Automated business rules only partially implemented – A similar trend is evident in the maturity of the system-based business rules and logic supporting business processes and service delivery. The majority (55 percent) of respondents said decision-making criteria were reasonably well documented but only partially integrated within their enterprise systems.
  • Meeting expectations but not setting them – Despite the federal government’s relatively low marks for customer service in many surveys, the vast majority reported that they were meeting or exceeding performance objectives. They ranked highest in customer satisfaction (76 percent), and data quality and processing error rates (74 percent), with their ability to meet or exceed expectations for transaction (72 percent) or operational costs (65 percent) trailing modestly.

Given the rise of what Accenture’s Fjord consultancy describes as “liquid expectations,” where audiences use their best service experiences as their personal benchmark, this suggests that agencies need to re-evaluate their performance standards and consider aiming higher.

Dave McClure

Principal Director – Federal CIO Advisory Services

Malcolm Jackson

Principal Director – Federal CIO Advisory Services


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