Voices from Accenture Public Service


The first trend in this year’s Accenture Technology Vision, DARQ Power, sets out how the next wave of technologies – Distributed ledger, Artificial intelligence (AI), extended Reality (XR) and augmented reality (AR), and Quantum computing – promise to be the next catalysts for change that will offer Border agencies extraordinary new capabilities.

The pace of technology change is gaining momentum and public service leaders recognise this. Ninety three percent of them say that emerging technologies have accelerated innovation in their organisation over the past three years. And as technology continues to evolve rapidly, Border agencies must investigate and prepare for the wave of disruption that is coming. For example, distributed ledger technologies such as blockchain are being widely tested in the trade and traveller ecosystems. The majority of solutions focus on transparency of movements or using the power of smart contracts end to end, including some that combine blockchain, AI, and IOT to gain near real-time traceability and security. Others focus on more ambitious goals such as building and connecting fully automated ports.

The digital revolution has seen SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud) technologies combine to create a step change in how Border agencies are able to understand their customers and deliver more personalised and customised services. Like SMAC, the true power of DARQ lies not in each individual technology, but the combined effect of all four. Sixty four percent of public service leaders believe that the combined impact of these technologies will be transformational or extensive for their organisation over the next three years. For example, as hardware costs decrease, extended reality technologies not only solve the distance challenges faced by border agencies, such as remote port operations, but also provide a powerful talent and skills development platform. Combined with AI and SMAC technologies, Border agencies will be able to build and preserve talent and expertise through truly immersive learning experiences via tools like the AVEnueS virtual reality training.

Border services leaders should not delay in thinking about how they can take advantage of DARQ technologies to increase their agility, improve their customer experience and service, and empower their workforce. Some are already forging ahead. Only six percent of public service organisations that we surveyed say that they are not planning or evaluating AI adoption, with thirty five percent having already adopted it in at least one business unit. While some Border agencies are starting to build their capabilities in AI by developing their policy, ethical, and procurement frameworks to use this innovative technology, other agencies have already reaped the benefits of AI-powered technologies, such as the use of virtual agents and robotics to help travellers through the immigration process in Finland or for taxation services in Ireland.

The potential of quantum computing compared to traditional computing is huge, and while the day to day impact of this technology is still way off, Border agencies should start to understand its impact in how we operate today, especially in the area of cybersecurity. Quantum computing is undoubtedly more powerful than traditional computing, and the application and value of this technology is already being explored. One such use case is advanced route optimisation. Whereas traditional computing techniques would traverse all possible solutions one at a time, quantum computing will find the optimal route by traversing all possible solutions at the same time, speeding up the process rapidly.

The exact rate at which these new technologies will disrupt Border agencies is difficult to measure, but there’s no doubt that we are already seeing their effect. Are you already piloting or adopting DARQ technologies? What challenges do you foresee in embracing DARQ technologies at the border? Follow the rest of this series of blogs on LinkedIn as we explore each technology trend.


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