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Accenture to governments: Don't 'swallow the kool aid' on emerging technologies

Byron Connolly | June 13, 2017
Absence of in-house skills, lack of leadership, and legacy thinking are barriers to successful uptake.

"The third thing - the elephant in the room - is legacy. Legacy legislation, legacy systems, legacy processes, and legacy thinking. One of the things that my team and I are constantly reinforcing with our government and health clients is ... there's going to be a period of existence between emerging tech and what we have today with legacy technology and processes.

"The real challenge is not just saying, 'we want everything new,' the challenge is saying, 'how do we manage the co-existence between where we are today, and where we will be in six and 12 months' time, until we get everything to the new," said Garner.


Addressing the skills shortage

Garner believes there needs to be broader thinking around how governments gain access to skills. She said running pilots, proof-of-concepts, and small projects will create more success.

"People tend to flock towards success and run away from failure. With these emerging technologies whether they be AI, robotics, process automation, or advanced analytics - collectively we need to create some showcases, show our kids, the people who are wanting employees in this industry that this is great stuff, that it's got longevity and there are exciting careers to be had," said Garner.

Changing the 'risk-averse' nature of government and public servants should also be at the top of the agenda, said Garner.

"This is why I am an advocate of doing things in bite-sized chunks because it's okay to fail - as long as it hasn't taken you three years and cost $50 million. If it's taken you three months and you've always set out to understand what the risks are and what the issues are and you've made a calculated risk, then it's okay for some of those things not to pay off."


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