State CIOs see the Covid-19 pandemic as the catalyst they were looking for to implement RPA and other types of automation, according to a new report from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO). While the survey focuses mostly on chatbots, it acknowledges RPA and the role the continuing public health crisis has on state governments implementing automation tech.
The report, Chat With Us: How States are Using Chatbots to Respond to the Demands of Covid-19, notes that when asked what is top-of-mind for state CIOs when considering automation, the most frequent answer has always been “identifying the right business case.”
“The ‘right’ business case seems to have emerged with the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020,” the authors wrote in the report. “States experienced unprecedented surges in online inquiries and transactions. Many digital services and call centers supporting government services were overwhelmed. Citizens were frustrated and the states needed to respond quickly with new approaches.”
According to the NASCIO report, half of all states already have RPA or machine learning programs in progress or planned to begin. Less than 20 percent said they are not looking at automation software. Nearly 75 percent of U.S. states have implemented chatbots as a result of increased website traffic due to Covid-19.