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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

The potential for generative AI in government and public services

Governments and public service agencies understand the enormous potential of generative AI. Recent research by McGuire Research Services for Avanade, shows 82% of government employees are using AI on a daily or weekly basis, while 84% of organisations plan to increase their IT investments by up to 24% to take advantage of AI.

Many see AI as a driving force for a sector that has often lagged behind on technology, but which now has an opportunity to take a leadership position. What’s more, the technology is available right now.

Microsoft Copilot brings the power of large language models (LLMs) directly into the applications agencies already use, enabling powerful productivity tools to be harnessed through simple words and phrases. It can bring vast pools of data together from Word documents and Excel spreadsheets, calendars and emails, chats and meeting notes, along with Power BI reports. It can then use this data to generate new content and deliver information and insights when most needed: as a brief summary, an answer to a question or the first draft of a detailed proposal or report.

In a sector where huge amounts of time and energy are spent on mundane and repetitive tasks, the impact is dramatic. A copilot can help employees by prepopulating digital forms with data from word documents, then automating reminders and follow-up communications, summarising meetings and drafting paperwork. According to Avanade’s research, improving efficiency is the number one objective for AI in government right now, according to 44% of respondents. It’s estimated that by automating mundane tasks, workers might gain up to 20 hours per week to focus on activities where their intervention counts.

Yet this is only the beginning, given Copilot’s ability for content synthesis and summarisation. Take case workers in a government agency. Right now, simply pulling in all the information on a specific case is challenging, particularly with multiple workers or agencies involved. Copilot can summarise data from submitted applications, case notes, email or social media interactions, then synthesise it with existing policies and guidance to give workers the best available information and advice, complete with references where required. There are also obvious benefits for new workers. After all, nobody has all the relevant knowledge and resources at their fingertips from day one.

Transforming data to informed decisionsCopilot can also help teams develop a more data-driven approach to strategy and decision-making. Just by asking simple questions, workers can extract insights from a range of complex data sources, isolating trends and patterns, or even getting recommendations on potential actions. This could help supervisors generate reports to highlight where their teams need to focus resources, or recruiting teams to fill new roles to cover changes in requirements or demand. It could aid project managers in identifying how climate events or emerging financial pressures might impact budgets and delivery timelines.  

What’s more, using Copilot could transform the way governments and agencies interact and communicate with citizens, enabling them to generate more relevant, personalised content at scale. It becomes easier to target and tailor communications to specific groups and individuals, enabling them to access public services in their own language. And by helping workers generate everything from reports and requirement documents to statements of work, speeches and policy proposals, a copilot can assist them in delivering high-quality work in less time.

Getting up to speed with Generative AI takes work and vision, but this is where Avanade can help. With its established expertise in Microsoft technologies, including generative AI and data management, Avanade is uniquely equipped to help agencies and organisations work through potential use cases and workflows. Along with the supporting technical architecture. With the right strategy in place, the time and cost savings could be significant, and the potential for improvement stellar.

To find out more, visit: Government AI Copilot | Avanade ↗ to learn more.

James Mackreides
James Mackreides
'Mac' is a short tempered former helicopter pilot , now a writer based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Loves dogs, the outdoors and staying far away from the ocean.

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