Industry Leadership Strategies

The Future of Work in Government Drives Innovation

See why AI, remote work, and always-on capabilities are becoming essential to day-to-day government operations.
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Government leaders recognize that modernizing the workforce and implementing strategies that empower workers are critical components in transforming the government. Strategic workforce management includes strengthening leadership of human capital systems, developing better human resources processes and capabilities, and enhancing the workforce culture.

IDC defines the Future of Work (FOW) as a work model that fosters human-machine collaboration, enables new skills and worker experiences and supports an environment unbounded by time or space. As organizations accelerate and expand their digital transformation initiatives, traditional work models aren’t nimble enough, adaptive nor scalable.

Digital natives will make up a growing share of the workforce, enabling human workers to drive new value with skills such as imagination, creativity and empathy gaining prominence. This requires entirely new work environments, organizational structures, tools, training, and metrics for success.

How AI and the Future of Work Will Affect Government Agencies

A big component in approaching the Future of Work is to change how one thinks about what is possible when AI, remote work, and always-on capabilities exist and become essential to day-to-day operations.  Being able to alter strategies and roadmaps, plan budgets, and manage projects in a way that aligns with these new Future of work paradigms will be an important step to drive innovation.

For governments, this will necessitate a change in process, policies, and potentially even legislation to allow for new ways to work. Flexible thinking as well as flexible regulations will give the most advantage.

Governments that want to improve service delivery, increase capacity, streamline operations, and reach policy goals must invest in people resources and create a tech-friendly work culture. In the light of budget cuts, and stiff competition for talent and skills, public sector organizations understand that often it is better to develop their best talent resources and provide employees and managers future of work (FoW) tools and solutions.

IDC predicts that by 2021, 30% of agencies will embrace the organizational skills and technological innovations impacting the future of work to enhance their ability to recruit, train, and retain key personnel. For FoW examples, see Leveraging Technology to Enable the Future of Work in Government; for more information on this prediction, see IDC FutureScape: Worldwide National Governments 2019 Prediction.

IDC Advises Agencies

Don’t limit FoW deployment as a purely HR responsibility. FoW should be within the purview of all other organizational units. Deploy AI to optimize workforce operations, track workforce priorities such as diversity, and deliver strategic labor insights to managers and executives.

Deploy commercial best practices applicable to your mission. Work with vendors knowledgeable of commercial industry tasks and practices that align closely with that of your workforce.

Develop talent excellence to drive successful achievement of the agency operational goals of meeting cost constraints, providing better and more streamlined constituent services, and building a succession bench for leadership as well as enhancing knowledge and skills.

Deploy intelligent solutions via analytics and AI tools to enhance problem solving, improve resource planning, management, and empowerment of employees, and enable a digitally connected workforce with on-demand reporting and analysis.

Think differently about current work and what the future of work really unlocks for your agency. What’s truly possible is continuing to change rapidly, and this is happening through technology, through improved process, and through an increasingly skilled and dynamic workforce. Take the holistic view.

To learn more about the potential for government agencies in the intersection of artificial intelligence and the Future of Work, join IDC’s live web conference, “Scaling AI and the Future of Work” on March 17 at 11am ET.

IDC Research Director Adelaide O'Brien contributed to this piece.

Global Smart Cities Strategies Program Director