Jim Walker, director of public sector marketing at UiPath, said the federal government increased its use of robotic process automation tools in 2018 and the growth may continue with more agencies looking at the technology to improve operations.
“We're seeing in the government a pretty big uptick in the use of RPA from last year to this year,“ he said in a statement posted Tuesday on Federal News Network. “And with the new AI executive order the president signed, we're actually seeing more agencies even reaching out saying, “˜What can we do? How do we do it?'“
The trend comes amid the workforce gap across the government, with some agencies seeking additional manpower to handle growing tasks.
Some agencies have already started utilizing RPA to close the gap. The technology automates a number of tasks to help workers handle more vital responsibilities.
Walker said the National Background Investigations Bureau launched a pilot program to apply RPA to background investigations, thereby reducing backlogs by 17 percent. RPA mainly enabled the NBIB to speed up investigations without increasing their staff.
However, Walker noted the rise of RPA will not totally replace federal employees and agencies should continue to train and develop their skills.
“And so this idea that the jobs are going away, you just have to retrain people to do their current job when they're using a bot,“ he said. “You have to re-skill some people because what they were doing is no longer needed, but their skill set allows them to do something new.“