In three years time RPA has become a widespread process automation tool in the US Federal Government. Several RPA programs implement the technology at scale and achieve significant results for the federal workforce, according to the report The State of Federal RPA, which assesses RPA programs’ maturity and its impact.
The report highlights several key trends in the use of RPA by the Unioted States Federal Government. The first one is that RPA programs across the federal government are growing. Last year federal RPA programs significantly grew and matured. The result of more automations is that they give federal employees more time. The federal RPA community has so far reduced over 1.4M hours of low-value work across the government to date. RPA helps federal employees do more important work.
As the benefits of robotic colleagues become widely known, people are asking for more automation. 65% of RPA programs have over 20 automations in their pipelines; 75% of emerging RPA programs plan to launch a pilot within the next 12 months. A lot of those RPA programs are using Intelligent Automation (IA) solutions. 32% of RPA programs have incorporated IA features: like machine learning, artificial intelligence, image recognition, chat bots, and natural language processing.
RPA programs have also enhanced their accountability and oversight. 68% of federal RPA programs are currently centralized with program management. Several are becoming ready for audits and developing dashboards for reporting. Successful RPA programs have now built productive relationships with IT departments. Programs continue to work with IT departments to get approvals and ensure proper security controls. As RPA programs adopted more sophisticated technology platforms, 60% of the programs use enterprise platforms. Most of these are using the cloud.
The report defines RPA as ‘a low- to no-code Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) technology that can automate repetitive, rules-based tasks. RPA products vary in what they do, but all RPA technologies copy human actions.’ Gerard Badorrek, CFO of the US General Services Administration, commented: “[In 2021] RPA programs across the government increased their number of automations in production to around 1K. They created over 1M hours of capacity. Imagine what your agency could do with 1M hours. For federal employees, this growth allows them to focus on agency mission delivery and improve citizen service.”