Increasing financial challenges, welfare reforms, growing pressure on services and staffing cuts are powering a surge in interest in automation to carry out repetitive tasks, according to new research.
A survey of public sector managers, mainly in local government, found more than half had explored automation technology in the past year in the wake of increasing workloads and tightening budgets - and one in five expect to see it trialled in the next 12 months.
Outsourcing specialist Arvato said the trend came against a background of a sharp rise in work volumes and falling staff levels.
Its findings showed 73% of respondents had experienced rising work volumes in their departments over the last year, while 68% reported a reduction in the size of their teams.
Debra Maxwell of Arvato said: 'Automation has been widely embraced in the private sector and it’s encouraging to see that government bodies are becoming more receptive to this technology as a way to improve services for citizens and increase efficiencies.
'Fundamentally, it’s about enabling public sector employees to focus on what’s really important, and redirect resource away from mundane, repetitive tasks.'