Even in today's Digital By Default world, the headstones commemorating the sacrifices of servicemen and women who died in battle will always be analogue. But the process of managing and maintaining those markers is a very different story.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission needed to be able to increase production of replacement headstones ahead of the centennial observation of the beginning of World War I. The process had been paper-based for years, but now the Commission needed a way to speed up the process, while still ensuring the work was handled with the utmost care -- since more than 500 rules govern inscriptions on the headstones.

The Commission was able to get the job done by automating parts of the inscription process. With the help of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and eBECS, the information on the headstones could be managed digitally and checked against the rules. Increasing automation is allowing the organisation to quickly replace thousands of headstones in cemeteries all over the world.

It's easy to let the past paint a path to the future. But as the public sector looks to provide new services with fewer resources, it is essential to find new ways to automate processes and better leverage information. It can take a little imagination, but it's doable, even if your data is sensitive or complex -- or literally carved in stone.

What's your organisation's biggest automation challenge?