By Sarah Sanchez, Vice President, Managed Solutions, SAIC
Our government is facing a challenging moment. Confronted with an unprecedented pandemic, agencies are having to dramatically ramp up their services for our country while large portions of the workforce cannot be in the office. Now more than ever, it is essential that government employees have access to IT systems and tools that are optimized to help them achieve their critical missions.
Fortunately, technology is accelerating in ways that can reduce the friction of obtaining IT support and empower government workers to keep their focus on the challenges at hand. By carefully designing systems and leveraging artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other automation tools, we can bring government users the most user-friendly experience possible.
I think SAIC’s Chief Technology Officer Charles Onstott said it well recently. “Agencies should be looking to deliver the outstanding user experience their workforce and citizens expect as an outcome of their digital transformation efforts,” he noted. “Effective integration of technologies like ServiceNow and Splunk will deliver not only improved operations, but will elevate the overall experience of the agency’s services.”
Delivering an outstanding user experience means more than simple web design or ticket resolution. It demands accountability for delivering quality services to end users by utilizing innovative methods and mechanisms that support effective collaboration across organizations to resolve complex issues. How do we give government employees easy access to the tools they need to do their jobs? How do we make processes more intuitive, information more accessible, and empower work across all the platforms – including mobile devices – that employees have become accustomed to using in their everyday lives? How do we create the environment to facilitate and incentivize innovation that moves our country forward?
At SAIC, we’ve developed an approach that we call U-Centric, because we’re focused entirely on improving that user experience. By unlocking the full functionality of technology platforms like ServiceNow and Splunk, we streamline IT services and transform the end-to-end customer service experience that increases value and improves efficiency. We’re also making agencies more secure through process automation and advanced analytics, and we’re driving costs down and improving the customer experience with self-help and artificial intelligence.
Successful delivery starts with understanding how a user wants to interact with the systems they use, and recognizing that one size does not fit all. U-Centric is built on the premise of providing Omni-Channel access to services, giving the user the ability to choose how they engage with their IT services. This is fundamental to the understanding that IT systems exist to support the user in accomplishing their mission critical job.
U-Centric includes capabilities such as persona-based portals, which contain easy-to-access dashboards to collect and convey useful information quickly. It also utilizes self-help features such as knowledge articles and step-by-step how-to videos, robotic process automation, automated workflow processes, and self-healing systems. It is transparent, so that agencies can have visibility into how data is being collected and utilized in support of these efforts and facilitates informed decisions. And it is built upon the critical business systems and rules that underpin agency work, so that new systems can be as seamless to the user.
The results of our U-Centric approach in these efforts have been fantastic. By streamlining workflows and building user-friendly systems, we’ve reduced the human labor hours dedicated to redundant processes and IT support. In one recent example, we reduced the work hours necessary to complete account administration from more than 16 hours to under 30 minutes. That not only means that IT support staff are more efficient and can serve more users, but it also reduces the time users spend dealing with IT support issues so they can stay focused on the vital tasks at hand.
Now, with our recent acquisition of Unisys Federal, we can do even more. We’ve incorporated their top-flight end user services programs to our existing capabilities, and I believe that combined strength makes us the best in the industry in delivering a comprehensive, seamless user experience for government customers.
By focusing relentlessly on serving user needs and making full use of available workflow tools, we can ensure that technology serves the government employees who serve our country, and facilitate the innovation we need. I’m excited about what’s possible, and I’m proud that SAIC is playing a leading role in this effort.