3 Things to Consider When Implementing Advanced Automation Technologies

The automation technology landscape offers all sorts of exciting and innovative solutions government agencies can use to streamline operations, enhance citizen experiences and make government work smarter — from artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to robotic process automation (RPA) and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Navigating this technology landscape can be complex and confusing. What do each of these solutions bring to the table? How do you determine what technologies should be used to automate a particular workflow or process? How do you integrate them together? IT resources and expertise with these technologies can be in short supply in the federal government, a notoriously slow adapter of innovative technology.

Low-Code as an Enabler of Complete Automation

Help is on the way, however, in the form of complete automation. More than just a one-trick pony, low-code automation allows federal agencies to create and maintain a fully-integrated automation stack made up of multiple technologies that automate workflows across systems, departments and agencies.

The glue that ties them together is a low-code development platform that allows federal workers to build integrations between these technologies and government systems with little or no coding experience required. Orchestrating these technologies in a complete automation stack allows federal agencies to streamline internal workflows and provide better service and support for citizens.

Here are three things that federal agencies should consider when using low-code to implement complete automation in government:

  1. Find the right tool for the job: Many automation technologies overlap in capabilities but have much different on-going maintenance and overhead requirements. It’s important that you pick the right tool for your particular use case — whether it’s using AI to match applicants to appointments or RPA to pull case information from legacy systems. You need to put a process in place to undergo the right discovery that will identify the pros and cons of a particular solution and help you make the right decision without saddling you with outsized overhead costs.
  2. Understand TCO of automation infrastructure: It’s also critical to truly understand the short- and long-term costs of these different tools and service providers. How will you maintain a technology as it progresses through its lifecycle? Do you have the required expertise on staff or will you need to outsource maintenance? Do you really want to invest in a solution that requires specialized resources? You don’t need to take on infrastructure sprawl to achieve real automation transformation.
  3. Future-proof your automation investments: Not all low-code development platforms are created equal. Enterprise-grade low-code development platforms provide more robust development capabilities that include testing, compliance and patching. As automation technologies continue to evolve and new innovations hit the market, it’s important that federal agencies are able to keep up and update their applications appropriately without losing their investment.

Advanced automation technologies such as AI, ML, RPA and IoT can streamline internal processes and workflows, enable self-service and enhance citizen experiences. But federal agencies need to implement these technologies in a practical, cost-efficient manner that matches the desired use case. Low-code help agencies implement and orchestrate these cutting-edge technologies in a single automation stack that is easy to deploy, scale and maintain over the long haul—making the investment in advanced automation technologies worth the investment and risk.


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Jason Adolf is a federal sector expert for Appian, an enterprise low-code development platform.

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