Change in Technology Means Little without a Change of Mindset

Posted Jun 06, 2019 by
Mark M.

The Department of Defense (DoD) continues to seek ways to automate redundant tasks and eliminate inefficiencies from its financial systems and business processes… Enter Robotic Process Automation or “Bots”. Bot teams across the Department have been busy interviewing stakeholders, documenting processes, and designing/developing bots to assist with rudimentary tasks. The goal is simple – identify ways to have computers replace repetitive tasks performed by analysts so that they can spend a majority of their time analyzing.

According to a recent Federal News Radio article, the issue is greater than just automating the repetitive business processes. Peter Ranks, the Defense Department’s deputy chief information officer for information enterprise, said, “too much of the focus has fallen on adopting new tools, and not enough on using those tools to tackle fundamental challenges like making sense of the agency’s vast trove of data.”

Prior to the implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, the biggest concern from a data perspective was not having a mechanism to bring together multiple data sets from disparate systems. Now, it seems that a plethora of data and data fields are at an analysts’ fingertips, but it requires a mindset shift to understand how to use and interpret the data. Mr. Ranks goes on to further state, “They’re just great sets of tools, but sooner or later, I have to get to an analyst who’s going to be able to integrate all this data together, and we have right now a surplus of data collection for cyber work but a shortage of analysts who can actually make sense of all that data.”

St. Michael’s works closely with several Bot teams across the DoD. We assist them with documenting business processes and understanding financial transactions with General Ledger impacts. This allows the bot designers to create a fully audit-compliant bot complete with proper internal controls within the ERPs. Find out more about our audit readiness services here.

 

As a service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB), we help government agencies achieve socio-economic contracting goals.