AI can be a big part of the solution – but only if governments exploit its full potential
The research showed that adopting AI is expected to bring four main benefits.
- Optimizing processes to become more efficient and productive. For example, public administrations can improve their workflows by using AI to route inquires, enabling automation of redundant work and reducing errors.
- Transforming services to make them better quality – and develop new ones. In healthcare, for example, AI can improve patient outcomes by analyzing individual patient information to personalized treatment.
- Engaging stakeholders so citizens, business and partners have a better experience. In transportation, AI can enhance the user experience for passengers by using historical and real-time data to predict demand and ensure that services are always available at the right time.
- Enabling employees to get better results with less effort. For example, virtual assistants can reduce time spent replying to basic inquiries, while predictive analytics enables more informed decision-making.
Taken together, these benefits would equip public sector organizations to move beyond process optimization to deliver world class services and tackle long-term global challenges.
The research revealed that public sector organizations fall into one of 4 categories when it comes to their approach to AI adoption:
- Emergents (24%) recognize the importance of AI for the future but had yet to begin their AI journey.
- Adopters (41%) are experimenting with early stage solutions and pilot projects, but AI is not yet embedded across the organization. It is improving processes, not services.
- Innovators (31%) are embedding AI into their core services and digital strategy. They have clear guidelines and processes in place. Innovators are starting to work across the organization to develop solutions. AI is already improving ways of working as well as services.
- Transformers (4%) are using AI to transform the way they deliver public services, supported by a structure for monitoring and continuous improvement.
Learning from the transformers
The “transformers” had one crucial thing in common: their leaders truly believed in the power of AI.
Transformers have a high degree of commitment to AI by top management, and AI is considered a key strategic priority (44% of “AI Leaders” vs. 8% of “the rest”). They have stronger commitment across all leadership levels – from political and executive, to projects and line functions. And finally, transformers tend to have a stronger leadership focus on objectives, including better experiences for citizens and employees, quality and risk management, decision-making and optimizing resources.
Therefore, transformers are able to create an environment in which the right skills and structures can develop – from data governance, technology to ethics and culture. But at the end of the day, it’s people who actually make change happen. So, attracting and developing the right talent, and giving them the conditions to thrive, will be vital if organizations are to fully harness the potential of AI.