New and emerging technologies will change government in a wide range of ways. They will make it easier to do many tasks quicker, more cheaply, and on a greater scale than ever before. Significantly, these technologies have the potential to automate large swathes of cognitive work. And in doing so they will transform the workforce that is currently performing these tasks. We do not expect that these waves of automation will drive mass redundancies within government; technology is more likely to augment the work done by officials, rather than replace them. Managing this transition will require new approaches and new ways of thinking about capabilities within government.
The government is already beginning to experiment and innovate with these technologies, but their adoption is far from widespread. Crucially, they do not have to force the government to choose between being more effective or efficient. With careful planning and management, this transformation could return the benefits of both. This report assesses the state of this transformation, what it means for the government workforce, and what steps the government needs to take now to ensure that it manages it successfully.