I had the privilege of attending the Shared Services & Outsourcing Network’s 26th annual Shared Services & Outsourcing Week in Orlando, FL. Shared services remain a hot topic among federal government leaders and there was no shortage of interesting discussions. I also enjoyed speaking with many of you during breaks in the action. In case you couldn’t make it to the conference, here are my top takeaways from the event.
- CX by Any Other Name. Many attendees were talking about customer experience – they just weren’t calling it customer experience. I heard the words “customer engagement” mentioned numerous times. However, the context was less about engagement and more about the experience – or how to better make decisions based on the customer perspective to improve the experience with federal agencies. It was music to our ears. These conversations dovetail with the President’s CX-focused Executive Order and The Clearing’s belief that CX is critical to building a better government.
- Better Decisions Through Data. I heard lots of conversations about making use of data to inform decision-making. In the past, the government didn’t have the right systems in place to capture large amounts of data and while still grappling with data being siloed by agencies things are changing. Aggregating that data equals a huge opportunity to understand what’s happening across government and will ultimately play a role in numerous federal initiatives – including the one mentioned above: customer experience.
- AI and IA. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Intelligent Automation (IA) were hot topics. A lot of the talk centered around using technology to remove some repetitive manual tasks from government employees. This ties both of our previous bullets together. AI and IA require large amounts of data to be effective, while freeing workers from repetitive tasks allows for more time to focus on the customer and their experience. While there is a long way to go on both of these journeys, it’s amazing to see how much progress has been made and how each one of these capabilities builds and relies on the other.
- Digital Workforce. The emergence of digital workers, digital assistants and other new technologies will play an important role in optimizing customer’s experience. The evolving digital workforce is an exciting new area of exploration and development that was the focus of more than a few discussions during the course of the SSOW Conference.
As always, I’d love to chat with you about shared services or fill you in on more details from Orlando. You can reach me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or on my cell at 703.975.6098.