In brief

In brief

  • Continued reliance on manual processing constrains government operations
  • Intelligent automation puts the power of RPA and AI to work delivering cost-savings and improved performance
  • An enterprise strategy is critical to avoiding common pitfalls and realizing sustainable benefits


Even as federal agencies struggle with tightening budgets, rising citizen expectations and a high percentage of the workforce nearing retirement eligibility, they need new ways of handling routine transactions and delivering personalized service to citizens. Addressing the problem with more staffing is not a sustainable solution. That’s true not only because of cost constraints but also because manual processes won’t deliver the speed, quality and control that agencies increasingly require.

In an Accenture survey of 200 federal program leaders with mission, business and operational responsibilities, 58 percent reported that a clear majority of their business processes require significant or complete manual processing. With more than 80 percent of these business process interactions with external parties—citizens, regulated industries, business partners and other government agencies—the implications are significant.

Intelligent automation is an ideal solution for highly process-driven government operations. Yes, the potential cost savings can be significant, but that’s not all. Agencies can also deliver added convenience and control through expanded self-service while freeing their workforce to solve thornier challenges.

What is Robotic Process Automation and Intelligent Automation?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is technology that enables a task to be automated using computer software. By completing repetitive, structured, rules-based tasks (think: data collection, entry and verification), the software makes it possible to automate business processes at scale. In many ways, RPA is the office equivalent of robots on a production line.

Intelligent Automation (IA) combines RPA technology with other artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and surrounds them with an understanding of processes and challenges. IA empowers agencies to automate more complex business rules and decisions that require added judgment. By taking advantage of AI technologies, such as natural language processing and machine learning, IA brings greater scale and insight to enterprise operations.

Another key difference is scope. RPA can be quickly implemented as a desktop solution, operating independently of the underlying processes that it supports. IA solutions, on the other hand, often entail a broader footprint—requiring greater integration to make more cognitive or human-like decisions.

And while RPA can deliver significant value, IA can generate even more. To make the most of Intelligent Automation, tackle it from the top down—with a focus on achieving outcomes, delivering insights and enabling systems to learn from experience.

Read on to discover eight compelling benefits and six common misconceptions about intelligent automation and robotic process Automation. Download the full report for an even closer look at specific ways to apply Intelligent Automation and examples of who’s “getting it right” when it comes to intelligent automation and robotic process automation.

Paresh P. Patel

Director – Intelligent Automation


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