RAISA* on the Public-Sector Express

by Elizabeth Falkowska

An exploratory study of the resources and capabilities needed for the Public Sector to successfully adopt and utilise RAISA*.

*(Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Service Automation)


 Robotic surgeons, self-driving cars, neuro-technological brain enhancements, genetic editing, multimodality hybrid imaging detecting prostate cancer, real- time speech translation and digital cities encompass RAISA technologies and is the ‘evidence that dramatic change is all around us’ (Schwab 2016 p.8). These innovations are possible due to digital technologies that resulted from the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’, which ‘is comprised of new technologies that are said to ‘fuse the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries’ (Marr 2016, p.1).

There are concerns surrounding this, such as the loss of jobs for humans. For example, Chatbots enable predictive customer service, removing the need for employees to manually execute certain tasks. However, recent study found that digital technologies including AI actually created, 80,000 new jobs across a population similar to the UK (McKinsey 2017).

Furthermore, Industry experts suggest that RAISA applications could contribute up to 75% of revenue for some sectors of the market. According to (Preston 2015) countless companies will not succeed and the more technologically astute companies will emerge. For the PS, RASIA adoption is becoming of great importance. In the most recent edition of the Industrial Strategy, the HMRC place AI & data at the forefront of their strategy to be the industry of the future. The strategy highlighted how the Government will invest £406m in digital, technical and maths education and introduce a national re-training scheme to re-skill people (HMRC 2018). IT has been instrumental in the development of RAISA. The resources and capabilities aligned to IT seem to somewhat mimic that of RAISA (Chen et al 2015 Suzuki et al 2017); however, as RAISA presents a set of assets that differ from IT, both the complimentary and distinctive resources and capabilities must be examined to allow for integration and alignment for RAISA to be fully utilised within the PS. Previous research has not examined this, leaving many questions and unexplored areas around how this adoption will work in practice. In order for the PS to be able to ‘seize’ the opportunities before them, mass adoption must occur (Schwab 2016) – but to ensure success, there are barriers that need to be understood.

Hence, this study explores the capabilities and resources needed for the Public Sector to successfully adopt and utilise RAISA technologies.


This study is adopting a Grounded Theory research method – normally used by post-positivist studies that aim to develop a theory (Annells 1997).

The author has decided to use semi-structured interviews as this format can include both structured and unstructured questions allowing the author to ask purposeful questions (Saunder et al 2016). Semi-structured interviews enable flexibility in questioning and employ theoretical sampling –exploring in depth certain aspects and adjusting interview guide as the data collection progresses (Corbin and Strauss 1990).

Interviews were carried out via Skype due to convenience, affordability and ability to increase sample by removing the issue of distance, which face to face interviews could cause (Iacono et al. 2016).

This study adopted the cross-sectional approach due to time constraints. This approach is less time-consuming than longitudinal and will allow the author to discover variations (Bryan and Bell 2015) which is fits the research method, Grounded Theory, by allowing the author to catch all applicable information as it appears, and identifying patterns and variations. This is crucial to successfully exploring a phenomenon (Corbin and Strauss 1990). See profile of the interviewees/participants below.


Findings: RAISA on the Public Sector Express

Hercule Poirot – the detective on the Orient Express. In this case, Poirot is the author. Poirot boards the Orient Express among strangers, but observes some peculiar events, which gives him the impression that these ‘strangers’ may know each other after all. He finds himself investigating the death of Ratchett (who kidnapped and killed Daisy Armstrong in exchange for money), who is murdered on the train. Evidence leads Poirot to the conclusion that all members on the train were involved with the death of Ratchett, and that all 12 passengers had links with the Daisy Armstrong case.

In place of a ‘murder’ we have RAISA stakeholders: Microsoft and PS employees. The ‘strangers’ knew which train they were getting and which seat they would be sat in but were not aware of the relationships between them.

RAISA is adopted with the same approach. It becomes apparent, that in both the film and in RAISA on the Orient Express the key theme is ‘relationship’. The capabilities and resources needed for the PS to utilise and leverage RAISA within the PS are both distinctive from and similar to those of IT. Each resource and capability may seem like the strangers on the train to outside individuals, but they are all related by the concept of ‘relationship’, which effects every element and ultimately achieves the outcome.


RAISA on the PS Express: (Image used, Post 2017, Authors Own Creation made in Photoshop, 2018)


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