Digital Process Automaton brings together the benefits of end-to-end process automation and orchestration to the thousands of tasks that define the enterprise. By making it easier to integrate these functions within an adaptive framework, agencies benefit from increased operational agility and real-time intelligence.

Digital process automation accelerates transformation by:

  • Providing the rigor and structure that is missing from many transformation efforts,
  • Engaging mission, business, operations and IT stakeholders around the existing business processes and services that already define how the agency actually operates and executes its mission, and
  • Enabling a shift in perspective from inside-out to outside-in where services are built around the needs of users and the mission, and not system constraints.

Digital process automation is fundamental to delivering better customer experiences (CX) that fully meet user expectations. However, it is also part of a broader shift towards using business objectives and requirements to design enterprise services versus relying on default system configurations that constrain performance.

Achieving sustainable success

Digital process automation is a set of technologies for the rapid and collaborative development of targeted capabilities for enabling the end-to-end user journey. Sitting at the crossroads of design thinking and agile software development, it provides an adaptive framework for automating processes and tasks and infusing them with intelligence.

Digital process automation builds upon digital platforms that:

  • Deliver cloud-based, low-code/no-code development and configuration environments allow diverse computing resources to be brought together quickly and easily via APIs to create new customer-centric apps, services, and processes.
  • Give mission, business, and operations stakeholders a direct role in solution development, working iteratively and collaboratively with IT to design and refine process flow, user interfaces and more.
  • Accelerate IT modernization by shifting to an OpEx funding model that reduces the need for large, upfront investments. Digital platforms are also a potential remedy for shadow IT, allowing agencies to maintain a centrally managed but locally configured IT resource.
  • Provide the flexibility to enable enterprise applications to remain the underlying building blocks for digital systems, sharing key functional capabilities via APIs. Staying current while controlling customization allows agencies to take greater advantage of the more frequent advancements that vendors are delivering.

Accenture’s Federal CIO Playbook: IT Modernization, provides additional guidance as to how cloud-based digital platforms can accelerate modernization efforts.

The complete DPA playbook

To effectively execute digital process automation, agencies need to incorporate all aspects of the framework to include service design, analytics and insights, artificial intelligence, and centers-of-excellence.

  • Service design – This process is used to define the end-to-end user journey, as it is often the “lingua franca” for large, complex digital transformation initiatives. This design thinking approach is increasingly being used as either an enhancement or replacement for traditional business process reengineering methods in building process-based solutions. Like Human-Centered Design (HCD), it brings a consistent user focus to every interaction across multiple timespans, ensuring that service delivery is designed around the needs of the user and not the constraints of the systems.
  • Analytics and insight – Integrated analytics are critical for closed-loop processing with real-time performance monitoring and continuous optimization. Self-service analytics can empower business users to drill-down to specific challenges that they are best equipped to analyzed and resolve.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) – AI is being used to further automate decision-making within business processes. Additional functions can be delegated for system execution via robotic process automation (RPA) for simple transactions or with machine learning used to derive more complex business rules. Intelligent automation also takes advantage of AI-based natural language interfaces, such as chatbots, to extend “touchless” servicing while streamlining user interactions.
  • Centers-of-Excellence (COE) – COEs can serve as "software factories" creating the reusable components that allow agencies to accelerate their overall velocity. As one example, Accenture worked with Schneider Electric to create a digital services factory that has slashed the time required to create and deploy new services by 80 percent.

While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach for federal agencies seeking to embrace digital process automation, the pieces of the puzzle are both well-known and well-defined. In other words, the threshold for sustainable digital transformation has never been lower.

Dave McClure

Principal Director – Federal CIO Advisory Services


Malcolm Jackson

Principal Director – Federal CIO Advisory Services

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