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Digital Modernization

DOD Increasing Adoption of Robotic Process Automation

Automation technology

DOD Increasing Adoption of Robotic Process Automation

The Department of Defense is seeing at least a 15 percent increase every quarter in the number of tasks that use robotic process automation.

RPA is the technique of using software robots to perform repetitive tasks such as filing forms and conducting routine analyses, according to RPA software company UiPath.

The General Services Administration’s RPA community of practice in 2020 shows that DOD agencies have applied RPA to about 135 of the technology’s 322 use cases, GovernmentCIO Media & Research reported.

Erica Thomas, director of digital transformation in the DOD’s Office of the Secretary of Defense, said the department has established a shared service that its subsidiary organizations can connect to for RPA capabilities and services.

The shared service is also designed to help DOD organizations have better management and oversight of their automation programs, added Thomas, who is credited with building DOD’s RPA center of excellence.

She added that the RPA center also has a small team of developers tasked with building and scaling automation capabilities across the DOD.

In March, the DOD reported that its logistics arm increased the productivity and accuracy of its supply chain management activities through RPA.

Frank Wood, RPA program manager at the Defense Logistics Agency, said that the organization measures the effectiveness of RPA by how much time is saved of use in other tasks.

DLA has reportedly applied automation to business functions such as employee onboarding, demand planning, coding of materials and its enterprise business system.

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