Talent Gap Is a Main Roadblock as Agencies Eye Emerging Tech

Theo Douglas in GovTech: “U.S. public service agencies are closely eyeing emerging technologies, chiefly advanced analytics and predictive modeling, according to a new report from Accenture, but like their counterparts globally they must address talent and complexity issues before adoption rates will rise.

The report, Emerging Technologies in Public Service, compiled a nine-nation survey of IT officials across all levels of government in policing and justice, health and social services, revenue, border services, pension/Social Security and administration, and was released earlier this week.

It revealed a deep interest in emerging tech from the public sector, finding 70 percent of agencies are evaluating their potential — but a much lower adoption level, with just 25 percent going beyond piloting to implementation….

The revenue and tax industries have been early adopters of advanced analytics and predictive modeling, he said, while biometrics and video analytics are resonating with police agencies.

In Australia, the tax office found using voiceprint technology could save 75,000 work hours annually.

Closer to home, Utah Chief Technology Officer Dave Fletcher told Accenture that consolidating data centers into a virtualized infrastructure improved speed and flexibility, so some processes that once took weeks or months can now happen in minutes or hours.

Nationally, 70 percent of agencies have either piloted or implemented an advanced analytics or predictive modeling program. Biometrics and identity analytics were the next most popular technologies, with 29 percent piloting or implementing, followed by machine learning at 22 percent.

Those numbers contrast globally with Australia, where 68 percent of government agencies have charged into piloting and implementing biometric and identity analytics programs; and Germany and Singapore, where 27 percent and 57 percent of agencies respectively have piloted or adopted video analytic programs.

Overall, 78 percent of respondents said they were either underway or had implemented some machine-learning technologies.

The benefits of embracing emerging tech that were identified ranged from finding better ways of working through automation to innovating and developing new services and reducing costs.

Agencies told Accenture their No. 1 objective was increasing customer satisfaction. But 89 percent said they’d expect a return on implementing intelligent technology within two years. Four-fifths, or 80 percent, agreed intelligent tech would improve employees’ job satisfaction….(More).