Accenture Technology Vision 2016 identifies five trends critical to digital success for U.S. federal agencies
Thursday, Sep 01, 2020
A people first approach is key for agencies’ digital success.

The digital revolution is dominating and transforming the work of the U.S. federal government, and those federal agencies that develop a people first approach will stand out in an increasingly digital world that is delivering bigger and better citizen experiences, according to research from Accenture Federal Services. The Accenture Technology Vision 2016 identifies five emerging technology trends – fueled by the people first approach – that are key to the federal government’s digital success.
The report highlights how leaders of companies and government agencies can often feel overwhelmed by the rate of technology change and experience a “digital culture shock” at the prospect of keeping pace in today’s digital economy. However, agencies using a people first approach can create new customer experiences that drive digital disruption.
“As technology advancements accelerate at an unprecedented rate, federal leaders who equip employees with the right skills can fully capitalize on digital innovations,” said Tom Greiner, who leads Accenture Federal Service’s Technology business. “Agencies that cultivate and empower a digital culture and talent will have unmatched capabilities to create fresh ideas, develop cutting-edge services for citizens and disrupt the status quo.”
The trends, fueled by the people first principle, that Accenture has identified as critical to the digital success of federal agencies include:

1. Intelligent automation. Federal leaders are embracing intelligent automation — powered by technologies such as artificial intelligence, social, mobile, analytics and cloud or Internet of Things — to fundamentally change the way their agencies operate and drive a new, more productive relationship between citizens and machines. For example, as part of the U.S. Census Bureau five-year Digital Transformation Program, work has begun to set the stage for the first digital Census — including redesigning and deploying to a new modernized web platform, migrating and transforming the millions of existing assets and records, and leveraging modern digital analytics and dissemination capabilities.

2. Liquid workforce. By capitalizing on technology to enable workforce transformation, leading agencies will create highly adaptable and change-ready environments that are able to meet today’s dynamic digital demands. Survey respondents underscored the importance of a liquid workforce by ranking qualities such as “the ability to quickly learn” and “the ability to shift gears” higher than “deep expertise for the specialized task at hand.” With the pending administration transition, building systems that can adapt to wholesale changes in the workforce will be key to helping ensure that citizen services are not disrupted.

3. Platform economy. Business leaders are unleashing the power of technology by developing platform-based business models to capture new growth opportunities. These new models are driving the most profound change in the global macroeconomic environment since the Industrial Revolution, and 81 percent of survey respondents agreed that they will become part of their organization’s core growth strategy within three years. Leveraging disruptive, Cloud-based platforms, Accenture Federal Services is helping the Department of State modernize the Embassy of the Future by delivering a digitally powered, human-centric solution that engages State employees in a simple and personalized service model. 

4. Predictable disruption. Fast-emerging digital systems are creating the foundation for the next wave of enterprise disruption. Previous technology disruptions were often unpredictable, but federal agencies can now develop systems and anticipate the impact of those disruptions. As an example, in response to the growing number of people who use health wearables or add smartphone apps that help them track their health, policymakers at all levels of government are trying to figure out how to safeguard that data and ensure privacy. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is establishing a framework of best practices for the effective use of patient-generated health data (PGHD) in research and care delivery and to identify best practices, gaps and opportunities for the collection and use of PGHD.

5. Digital Trust. Trust is a cornerstone of the digital economy, according to 83 percent of survey respondents. To gain the trust of citizens and regulators in this new landscape, federal agencies must focus on digital ethics as a core strategy; better security alone won’t be enough. For example, the Transportation Security Administration  has created identity management and credentialing system processes to verify and manage millions of identities for those working at sensitive, secure areas throughout the U.S. transportation system.
“While technology is the driver, it is people who will transform federal agencies for the future,” Greiner said. “Federal agencies that embrace digital can empower their workforce to continuously learn new skills to do more with technology and generate bigger and better results that benefit citizens. We look forward to continuing to help federal agencies embrace digital.”
In response to the rapid pace of innovation, Accenture recently launched the Accenture Federal Services Digital Studio in Washington, D.C. The Digital Studio showcases Accenture Digital’s industry-leading capabilities, including Accenture Interactive, Accenture Analytics and Accenture Mobility, and it is being deployed to help Accenture’s federal clients better engage with the people that they employ, serve and protect. The Digital Studio will provide digital strategy, service and experience design, digital marketing and agile product-development capabilities.

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