Automation and services based on artificial intelligence can bring benefits across numerous functions in the public sector. As the public sector is under pressure to operate more efficiently, to serve citizens well and to provide good working environment for employees, these technologies are regarded to be promising for improvement of public sector operations. Recently, automation of services has re-emerged as a popular theme in the e-government discourse; automation of structured and high-volume routine tasks is currently discussed as a way to shorten lead times and reduce costs for manual labor in public service delivery. A current example is RPA (Robot Process Automation), a paradigm in which software-robots imitate human behavior and interact with user interfaces of information systems to perform repetitive tasks quickly and profitable. RPA is an example of lightweight Information Technology oriented towards business with fast and user-driven implementations. 

Based on experiences from the private sector, RPA has been found to increase customer satisfaction, financial performance and process compliance. Also, RPA is found to free employees from repetitive and monotonous work so that they become available for more critical and value adding tasks. RPA is currently discussed as a silver bullet that can resolve the challenges faced by public sector organizations: inefficiency, lack of funds, working environment issues, lack of competence, to name a few. How well automation technologies such as RPA can perform in relation to public service delivery, however, remains an open question; we still lack empirical evidence for the success and suitability of automation technologies such as RPA for public service delivery. Hopes are that service automation will lead to lower costs, more efficient processes, fewer errors, time savings, improved service quality of citizen services to name a few. However, there is yet limited research on service automation in the public sector, and there are only a few studies available that target automation technologies involving robotic or AI elements in public sector organizations. 

Objective of the Book

This title aims at presenting the latest research advancements and findings for applying service automation in public sector organizations. Examples of service automation may include, but are not limited to, Robotic Process Automation and various AI technologies. The book will bring forward conceptual- and empirical work from social as well as technical perspectives. The result will aid researchers and practitioners to advance knowledge and to provide a foundation for policy development and future research. 

Target Audience

The audience of the book includes:

  • Researchers in the digital government/e-government domain
  • Practitioners in public sector organizations working actively with automation
  • University students and professors from different disciplines 
  • ICT industry experts, engaged in public sector information systems, RPA software design and deployment projects related to automation
  • Policy makers at local, regional, national or international government levels