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AI helps slash veterans claims backlog

The Department of Veterans Affairs has quite a backlog of veterans benefits claims. But thanks to artificial intelligence, the department has been able to dramatically chip away at the number, now hovering around 150,000, Paul Lawrence, the head of the Veterans Benefits Administration, said during the IBM Think Gov digital event, produced by FedScoop. By simply applying AI that could more quickly sort incoming claims from multiple inputs — mail, fax and electronic submissions — the VA was able to reduce the time just sorting the claims from 10 days to about half a day. “We realized we had far too many people doing old-fashioned manual labor,” Lawrence said. Jackson Barnett has more.

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IBM CEO champions hybrid cloud, AI

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna kicked off Wednesday's Think Gov digital event detailing the trends he sees driving successful digital transformations across the world: hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence. Especially during COVID-19, these forces are proving key as agencies look to move fast in their response, Krishna said. "I’ve said this before, and it remains true: Transformation journeys that will go on to last few years are now being compacted into the space of a few weeks or months," he said. "Organizations are questioning and transforming that operating model — that thinking about how to use technology to reassess and reimagine modes of consumption, supply, interaction and production. They’re looking for long-lasting answers on what they can do with technology to address the key issues that COVID-19 has brought to light.” More from Krishna.

Workforce takeaways from the pandemic

Many agencies have taken valuable lessons away from the mass shift to telework during the pandemic. And for many, the biggest lessons have been about managing and protecting their workforces. “We are really going to leverage what we’ve learned over these last months, in remote work,” NASA Chief Human Capital Officer Jane Datta said at the IBM event. “Because the more you can have flexibility on geography, and people working from where they are, the greater access to talent we have … as well as plugging people we already have working for NASA into work, wherever that work might be.” Joe Warminsky has the story.

Agencies take to microsegmentation

As agencies moved to telework during the pandemic, many have tried microsegmentation to secure their enterprise. And while it's a step in the right direction, it isn't a full-scale solution, such as those called for in the recent Trusted Internet COnnections 3.0 framework. "We are starting to talk to a number of agencies to look at microsegmentation architectures. It’s one step toward that modernization of their environment,” said Sean Connelly, TIC program manager at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. “We look at it as a way for them to secure their traffic across the enterprise, as opposed to focusing on the traditional network perimeter.” Dave Nyczepir has this one.


How agencies can improve online services using open source

When the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (IDEA Act) was established, the goal was to help federal agencies deliver the kinds of web and customer service experiences that consumers typically expect when they are interacting with the private sector, says Acquia’s Peter Durand. What’s happening with the COVID-19 pandemic is actually forced agency leaders to establish those alternative solutions — and open source solutions are helping. Listen to the conversation.

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