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Automated business processes can pay off in government, study finds

Ben Farrell
September 7, 2012

Government organizations in the United States are currently amid a period of rapid change, as agencies and departments work to transition from paper records management methods to electronic information management. This change is furthered by the growing cloud and mobile climates in the government landscape, which combine with new data sources to make operational adjustments critical moving forward.

According to a recent whitepaper from analysis company Mainstay Salire, state and local governments need to follow the federal government's example in switching to electronic records and work to eliminate unnecessary manual tasks along the way.

The news source explained that receding tax revenues in many state and local government settings are making it much more difficult for organizations to maintain public services that are critical to keep running on a day-to-day basis. Because of this, operational procedures need to be improved in order to eliminate unnecessary costs and increase productivity to make up for restrictions in budgets.

The research for the whitepaper found that business process management software and similar software is becoming necessary to automate repeatable operational functions and streamline processes in government organizations. This allows for more efficient practices and enables better government functionality at a lower cost.

Attie Vandermerwe, director of Mainstay Salire, said that process-level improvements enabled by BPM allow governments to cut costs without eliminating services.

"Automating business processes is one of the smartest and least painful actions governments can take to save taxpayers money and deliver value," said Vandermerwe. "No services have to be cut to achieve these savings. Indeed, if the public sees anything, it is more upfront efficiency, faster service and the convenience that comes from automation."

In many government organizations, whether federal, state or local, processes have become outdated over time because the need to protect data by using tried and trusted solutions has taken priority. With budgets falling, the need to innovate government operations has become critical. In the past year or two, this has led to large-scale projects on multiple levels of government, many aimed at using technology more effectively to support the people of the country by improving day-to-day operations.

As technology continues to play a larger role in government processes, the need for supporting services that help employees keep up with the changes is key to gaining operational benefits from the investment. Government BPM is one solution that can meet this need, as the technology provides process automation and data integration, aligning data and procedures in mobile, cloud and social media technologies.