Capgemini develops RPA Centre of Excellence for UK Cabinet Office

20 December 2017 3 min. read

Capgemini has penned a two-year agreement with the UK Government’s Cabinet Office, as it seeks to develop a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Centre of Excellence (CoE). The CoE, which is now up and running, is aimed at aiding the acceleration of RPA uptake across the central government.

Widely seen as a major enabler of public sector transformation, RPA describes a process that utilises software programmed to autonomously carry out basic tasks across applications, reducing the burden of repetitive, simple tasks on employees.  Able to be developed and deployed in a matter of weeks, RPA is highly cost effective and can typically demonstrate returns on investment within a few months. It has been known to dramatically improve the speed and accuracy of processing, resulting in a quicker and higher quality service for the public. Consulting firm Capgemini has subsequently been drafted in to help Government departments leverage RPA, with the creation and development of a new Centre of Excellence, devoted to the implementation of digital technology in the Cabinet Office.

The contract comes at a time when the UK Government continues to struggle with the workload suddenly burdening its institutions, resulting from Brexit. The Civil Service, in particular, finds itself drastically understaffed, following almost a decade of spending cuts – leading to the Government seeking external expertise from the consulting world to help paper the cracks. Robotic processes offer a potential lightening of the workload for national institutions, presently snowed under preparatory work for the divorce between the EU and UK.Capgemini develops RPA Centre of Excellence for UK Cabinet OfficeHowever, while RPA systems offer a potential augmentation of current processes, these would still require human intervention, something which may suffer from the continuing digital skills gap which exists in arms of the UK Government. Earlier in the year, 43% of Civil Servants surveyed by Sopra Steria, suggested that they still do not feel that their training has been sufficient on digital skills, while only 8% said that they received digital skills training as part of their formal induction to the civil service.

Capgemini will be prepared for the need to support departments in their development of plans to automate some of their clerical processes, including the need to upskill staff. The firm is also presently engaged in a contract with fast-food giant McDonalds, which will see it work to upgrade the restaurant chain’s digital solutions.

Speaking on the new Cabinet Office contract, Christine Hodgson, Capgemini UK Chairman, commented, “Automation is a key element of Capgemini’s digital transformation offering and we are pleased to be working with the UK Cabinet Office on such a strategic project. RPA is an excellent opportunity for public sector organisations to realise significant productivity gains and focus on more value-added services. Based on our UK public sector and global RPA experience, we are confident that the Centre of Excellence will have a key role in supporting the public service transformation.”