As we covered in our last article, an as-a-service approach takes a few limitations out of the picture, such as the need to deal with workforce constraints. The most beneficial step agencies can take is adopting an Experience-as-a-Service (XaaS) approach — a holistic program that can transform the technology foundations of the enterprise while improving delivery of core missions.
Here are three steps to get started.
- Define the Overall Strategy
Agencies should develop a thorough plan for transformation, beginning with a clear measurement of their current state. It is also crucial to spend the necessary time defining the end state. That includes the objectives and the outcome of the overall strategy — and measurable outcomes for specific areas of the as-a-service approach.
Your overall strategy requires a comprehensive approach that combines an enterprise-wide view with a focus on specific goals and business outcomes. Make sure that outcomes are aligned to the key technical, financial, constituent and political stakeholders in your city, state or county. Once a strategy is clearly defined, examine all the work and deliverables created and determine which ones are supporting vs. those that are directly in the value chain. From there, leadership and key stakeholders can decide which mission-critical tasks to keep in house and which can be handed to a partner.
Most supporting tasks can be delegated to a trusted partner, allowing your core teams to focus on organizational missions while taking advantage of economies of scale. Not only does this lead to better service outcomes but also fiscal savings. Additionally, this strategy allows for a gradual, phased approach to transformation, which is more practical than trying to do everything at once.
- Map Out Change Management
A transformation of this magnitude is cultural as much as it is technical. Making it work involves having people — from leadership through the ranks — on board. Planning, communication, and collaboration are essential. Agencies need to present a clear business case to the technical, financial, and political stakeholders within the organization, defining the improvements being made and the expected outcomes.
Employees need to have a clear understanding of the changes being made, and how they will affect the way they work. Gather a coalition to support the transition early in the process. Performing this type of transformation also presents an opportunity to design work to be more high-level, mission-focused, and value-added.
- Be Diligent About Due Diligence
An essential part of this equation is performing due diligence on the partner that will deliver as-a-service solutions to your organization. Three key factors to look at include:
- A provider’s track record
- The level of focus they have on customer experience
- Their understanding of the business case you’ve defined
How Virginia Shrunk Its Caseload Backlog Through RPA-as-a-Service
When the pandemic struck, many states saw a dramatic spike in unemployment benefit claims that their largely manual processes weren’t prepared to handle. Virginia was no different. The commonwealth turned to Robotic Process Automation (RPA)-as-a-Service to cut down processing times by developing a bot to handle processing. I spearheaded this effort as Virginia’s then-Deputy CIO and rolled out the RPA-as-a-Service model.
Previously, an unemployment analyst typically took 10 hours to process 120 claims. A bot took 24 minutes to do the same job. Due to technology enhancements alone, the unemployment backlog decreased by approximately 40%. That’s just one example of how Virginia has seen quantitative benefits of the as-a-service model, in this case involving RPA. In another, the state used RPA-as-a-service to develop a couple of bots to audit what typically would amount to tens of thousands of invoices per month.
We invested sixteen hours to develop the script. The bots would take over the labor-intensive work of auditing invoices to the appropriate contract and validated the pricing to make sure it was appropriate. The result was significant savings in analyst hours, as well as the elimination of errors.
Ultimately, state and local governments are being asked to do more with strict limits on budgets and resources. As-a-Service solutions are designed to facilitate business and mission outcomes despite these constraints.
Learn more about Experience-as-a-Service here.
Jonathan Xavier Ozovek is the Chief Transformation Officer of SLED for Iron Bow Technologies. Previously, he was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) and Deputy CIO for Virginia. Under his leadership, the state dramatically improved time to market for new services, scaled best-in-class cyber security defenses, launched first-in-the-nation services, and achieved record customer satisfaction while simultaneously saving the Commonwealth over $200 million. In addition, Jonathan specializes in research, development, and innovation with focus in artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, and machine learning and holds patents across multiple industries. As an expert in Cyber Resilience, he invented the first Resilience as a Service (RaaS) Methodology. Additionally, he has invented systems ranging from a predictive commodity trading system to a medical device research and development Enterprise Program Management (EPM) system.
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