Through Futureframe, we began to reimagine the future of benefits delivery, examining key trends poised to shape the future (and reshape experiences) across industries and use cases.

We envision a world where these won’t be ideas—they will be day-to-day realities that make people’s lives better:

Intelligent automation is tablestakes.

The increasing maturity of automation, analytics and AI makes it possible to delegate more decision-making to machines supervised by administrators for faster, more predictable responses.

We are our own data.

Wearables, the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing converge to create our own digital twins, capturing, analyzing and reporting milestones large and small.

Services actually serve.

Dynamic, intelligent services integrate into our lives and are available whenever and however we want them. At the same time, financial benefits and assistance are seamlessly delivered digitally.

Machine learning creates smarter systems.

Machines learn from us both individually and collectively to make smarter decisions and anticipate new needs, driving business process optimization over the long haul.

Consumers take charge.

How data is stored and used is explicit and transparent, and people exercise clear ownership and control over how, when and by whom their data is used.

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The omnipresence and seamlessness of these new technology and service interactions establish a new normal. Though they’ve become essential elements to our lives, they’ve also become increasingly familiar, unobtrusive and taken for granted. Opting in to participate has effectively become tacit.

Establishing a North Star Future Vision

Using Futureframe, federal leaders can develop a North Star Future Vision for federal benefits, assistance and insurance programs that pushes the envelope, stretches thinking and inspires—while ensuring that fundamentals of the problem space are addressed head-on. Having a clear and compelling goal empowers leaders to unite the workforce and infuse the future state into every decision made and action taken.

Futureframe provides not just the "what" of the vision but also the "why"—making it easier to align the organization around it.

Gartner has proposed organizing digital government around “civic moments”—an “event that triggers a series of cascading actions and data exchange across a network of people, businesses and organizations, and things to achieve a singular objective.”

The Accenture Federal Studio team reflected that thinking to envision a future in which the system anticipates the needs of beneficiaries and responds accordingly. The system is integrated, holistic, respectful and unified across multiple government organizations on the federal, state and local level.

Our research found that benefits, assistance and insurance programs can become more anticipatory, integrated, trusted, convenient and radically human.

Our research found that benefits, assistance and insurance programs can become more anticipatory, integrated, trusted, convenient and radically human.

Four guiding principles

To anchor, shape and guide the future-state experience for both applicants and administrators, we defined four experience principles.

These design principles underscore the value of the new experience for all stakeholders. They also help in bringing the future vision to life—guiding decision-making and nurturing a unified culture.

Intelligent support

Increase access to useful information and services by providing intelligent support across a range of touchpoints and environments.

Document-free processing

Remove the need to gather documents by providing secure channels with trusted, automated processes that obtain required data directly from the source.


Alleviate the burden of applying by anticipating applicant needs, consolidating processes and requirements, and integrating access to data.

Real-time risk analysis

Improve administrators' ability to mitigate errors and identify fraud by providing instant, automated analysis of applicant data and sources.

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The vision specifies the destination. The experience principles provide design signposts to guide the journey. What’s still needed are the specific mechanisms and approaches to advance toward the destination. The Futureframe team developed core concepts as building blocks of the new model.

Horizon map for federal benefits administration

A snapshot of a Futureframe Horizons Map, showing that the Now state is Enhanced Services, the Next state is Federated Programs, and the Future state is Invisible Benefits.

A transformation roadmap laying out the possible Now, Next, and Future state for the future of federal benefits administration.

Within Futureframe, we define a NOW, NEXT and FUTURE vision:

  • To enhance the NOW for benefits, assistance and insurance programs, we lay the foundation for trusted and verifiable data and convenient, consistent and reliable authentication to bring transparency, speed, resolution and equity for administrators and applicants alike.
  • To forge the NEXT for these programs, we integrate added context to enhance the experience and improve performance.
  • In the FUTURE, the inclusion of greater intelligence and autonomy allow technology and business processes to simply fade into the background for a seamless experience.

By mapping these desired enhancements to technical, business process and operational maturity, federal agencies can pursue an incremental and sustainable approach to performance improvement. This sets the stage for continuous evolution that layers new innovations and capabilities upon a foundation of past successes. Explore more below:

Concept: Leveraging natural interfaces and conversational AI to work with you to achieve your needs and goals.

  • Now: Simple chatbots with rules-based question banks
  • Next: Natural conversation between the user and AI, including framework for Responsible AI principles
  • Future: Intelligent assistants communicate directly with each other and proactively work alongside individuals

Concept: Builds trust in algorithmically driven decisions via traceability of your data and application of a responsible AI lens

  • Now: Beginning stages of fraud detection and identity verification for a single agency
  • Next: Federated fraud detection across entities; ability to verify trusted data sources
  • Future: Information available in real-time via permissions-based access and data exchange is tied to creation for individual cases

Concept: Provides consistent entry to a unified network of benefits

  • Now: Single-agency benefit application and eligibility processes
  • Next: Shared benefit application processes across multiple agencies
  • Future: Shared benefit application processes across multiple agencies and private-public partnerships

Concept: Anticipates and suggests benefits to you based on emerging needs

  • Now: Transitioning from descriptive to predictive analytics
  • Next: Multi-agency recommendations based on access to applicant data sources
  • Future: Anticipates eligibility based on applicant data history and real-time events

Concept: Facilitates cross-agency collaboration and decision-making

  • Now: Automation of manual data entry and tasks, smart case routing, and case hand-off for easier collaboration
  • Next: Smart case routing for easier collaboration
  • Future: Augmentation of administrator assignments and workflow, with AI decision-making

Concept: Helps administrators navigate and make sense of complex information

  • Now: Decision-making focused primarily on keyboard and mobile interactions
  • Next: Gesture-based interactions with reporting across related benefit programs and agencies
  • Future: AI-driven insights supported by full range of interfaces and interactive controls

Concept: Builds awareness and understanding in the right way, at the right time

  • Now: Auto-generated interactive, personalized content
  • Next: Auto-generated interactive, personalized videos
  • Future: Virtual experiences enabling participation in personalized narratives/exploratory environments

Concept: Facilitates richer interactions between applicants and administrators

  • Now: Smart wearables and video enhance communications and data sharing
  • Next: Smart wearables and augmented virtual reality enhance communications and data sharing
  • Future: Incorporation of sensors and scanning technology; ability to conduct remote meetings/interactions in any appropriately secure physical environment

Prioritizing investments and actions

Agencies today face many challenges in making decisions and prioritizing actions to deliver mission-driven outcomes. Adapting to future change is also paramount to achieving success. Value mapping based on what is important to stakeholders—in this case, applicants and administrators—can be critical to making the business case, selecting investments and guiding decisions.

Applicant value proposition: Applicants are personally assisted and notified of benefits instead of having to search for them. That alleviates dependence on friends, family, legal representatives and other outside support to navigate the process. Personalized, interactive experiences enable federal agencies to target and reach applicants who are eligible and need them most, increasing equity and access to government services.

Administrator value proposition: Real-time, secure data access enables federal program administrators to better determine eligibility, automate communication channels, detect anomalies and identify application errors. Data from state and local administrators is shared seamlessly with the federal level, and federal support is provided, helping ensure compliance and facilitating improved operations through auto-generated reporting and analysis.

These value propositions support business case development for targeted investments.

Finally, learn from federal CX leaders in action.

About the Authors

Elaine Beeman

Senior Managing Director – Accenture Federal Services, Chief Leadership Officer & Civilian Portfolio Lead

Tim Irvine

Managing Director, Lead – Accenture Federal Studio

Kathy Conrad

Director – Accenture Federal Services, Digital Government

Chris Zinner

Managing Director – Accenture Federal Services, Civilian Innovation Lead

Vanessa Godshalk

Senior Managing Director – Accenture Federal Services, Safety & Citizen Services Portfolio Lead


Mapping uncharted territory for federal CX
Government’s accelerated digital transformation
Building government resiliency with strategic foresight

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Futureframe is a human-centered design methodology for tackling the multifaceted challenges government agencies face in serving large, diverse populations. Explore the full research below.

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