Three Shifts in the Public Sector We Expect to See in 2024

Three Shifts in the Public Sector We Expect to See in 2024

Technology moves fast, and when the public sector struggles to keep up, they risk undeserving their constituents. Government agencies that can successfully integrate new technology and streamline service delivery, on the other hand, will find themselves better positioned to succeed in improving the constituent experience. With that in mind, let’s take a look at three shifts in the public sector we expect to see this year.

1. AI is changing the skills needed for government employees, particularly in call centers

No trend garnered more attention in 2023 than the rise of generative AI. ChatGPT, for instance, racked up 100 million users in just two months, making it the fastest growing consumer app in history. But we’ve only scratched the surface of generative AI’s impact. In a government context, the question is not whether generative AI will impact and improve the way government services are delivered, but how and where. The challenge will be in determining what areas of AI should command valuable focus and resources.

One such example where generative AI can make an immediate impact is in government call centers. Generative AI will likely supplement the work of call center employees, in turn changing the nature of those jobs. To start, call center employees will need to learn to leverage generative AI in their workflows. For example, generative AI can instantly retrieve data on the resident who is calling, allowing the agent to serve them more quickly. Additionally, some calls may not require an agent at all. Bots will be able to handle more basic calls, allowing call center employees to save their expertise for more complex and emotional cases. Thus, soft skills will become even more important for call center employees.

call center

According to McKinsey, call centers will be able to increase productivity by as much as 45% thanks to generative AI. One company with 5,000 call agents increased issue resolution by 14% per hour and reduced time spent handling issues by 9% thanks to the technology.  These increases in productivity may also enable governments to save money and shift resources to provide other valuable constituent services, including offering more in-person support. Altogether, call center employees will need to leverage cutting-edge technology while offering a human touch for those who prefer it.

2. Tax and revenue agencies will use more emerging technologies for compliance

Another area where AI is expected to positively impact the public sector is with regard to revenue collection. Voluntary compliance rates are on the decline, which undermines governments’ ability to fund important public services. New offerings tend to have better UI and are mobile-friendly, which gives users the Amazon-like digital experience they expect and makes them more likely to pay what they owe.

At the same time, AI is well-suited for identifying noncompliance, improving accuracy and security, and generally streamlining revenue collection. It’s no wonder the IRS has expressed its intent to leverage AI, with enforcement focused on high-end earners, hedge funds, and corporations. Meanwhile, the state of Missouri used RevHub’s Audit Optimizer to analyze more than 750,000 entities for non-compliance—an endeavor that yielded more than $108 million in audit investments.

The Arizona Department of Revenue is another first mover in this regard. In addition to offering a seamless experience for taxpayers, RevHub leverages AI and machine learning to predict how legislative changes will affect tax revenue. Altogether, agencies across the country have increased audit ROI by 31%, decreased audit time by 20%, and brought in more than $105 million in assessment funds using the tool.

3. More governments will acknowledge the risk legacy technologies pose for policy implementation

Lastly, legacy modernization remains a priority for state CIOs, as it’s well-known that legacy technologies can pose significant challenges to state and local governments, from increased risk of cyber vulnerabilities to inefficient and reactive processes. But in 2024, the risk that legacy technologies pose for effective policy implementation will become even more evident.

Clean slate initiatives, for example, are gaining momentum across the country. But their implementation is much more challenging than many people realize. Without the proper data sharing and technical infrastructure in place, it’s extremely difficult to verify which individuals meet the criteria for expungement. Connecticut is clearing low-level convictions from the criminal records of more than 80,000 people, but had to implement two and a half years of intensive IT upgrades to make it possible.

When criminal history data is entered in different formats and stored across different courthouses and law enforcement agencies, it slows down these initiatives. Hopefully, as more governments acknowledge the risk of legacy infrastructure, it will jumpstart modernization efforts and allow them to reap the many benefits of emerging tech.

To learn about how your agency can prepare for these trends and more, get in touch today.  State, local, and federal agencies across the country partner with us to address their technology challenges and deliver better outcomes for the people they serve.

-GCOM Leadership Team