There is, perhaps, no industry that faces more challenges than that of IT. Between mastering new and evolving technologies, meeting increased demand and dealing with a limited pool of qualified individuals, being successful is no simple feat. IT automation is something that can help change this climate, making for a much brighter future for IT professionals. Here’s how.
Without automation, IT departments face the following dilemmas:
- Decreased efficiency
- Increased risk of human error
- Lack of ability/time/resources to innovate
IT automation is essential to meet the changing and increasing demands on IT professionals. In an ever-evolving environment where new technologies and strategies are constantly being introduced, IT personnel are being expected to provide more and more value with fewer resources. By leveraging the power of automation, everything from simple, routine tasks to complex workflows can be automated so that the entire network infrastructure runs more smoothly. This also frees up team members to focus on other important issues that cannot be automated.
For those concerned about security and the inherent risk that comes along with allowing technology to intervene so heavily, an intelligent automation tool can provide the perfect balance by specifying human decision points. The workflow executes accordingly, stopping only at specified intervals at which point the appropriate personnel will be notified that input is required. Once that point is satisfied, the workflow can then continue automatically.
What about human error? Like it or not, when people are at the helm, there will always be mistakes. Many system problems can be traced back to human error. The key is how these problems are responded to. Traditional IT operations is responsive by nature. When an error occurs, the team receives notification and takes the appropriate actions to resolve the issue as quickly and efficiently as possible. IT automation, on the other hand, is proactive, giving IT personnel the opportunity to correct potential problems before they even occur. This vastly improves system availability and other key factors.
Finally there is the topic of IT innovation. Historically, IT departments were there for one thing and one thing only: to ensure that system operations ran as smoothly as possible across the organization. With so many manual and repetitive daily tasks, there was little time to focus on anything else, least of which would be finding ways to improve and innovate for the better of the firm. IT automation, however, has opened the doors of virtually endless possibilities for these skilled tech professionals. Not only do they now have the time to focus on developing strategies to improve how their organization is run, but they are also free to improve on their own skills and ability, making them much more valuable overall.
So, what type of automation will produce all of these results? Simply saying “IT automation” doesn’t necessarily cover the complexity of the subject. That is, not all automation products are created equal. Decisions must be based on needs as well as the ability to integrate seamlessly with existing infrastructure. There is IT process automation, which can automate key processes such as system, network and application tasks.
Then, there is Run book automation, which extends to cover everything from repetitive IT tasks to complex processes spanning across multiple IT systems. Furthermore, there is automation and orchestration powered by machine learning and AI which is poised to revolutionize the industry. (See a preview here!) It takes careful consideration to determine which tool would be the best fit for each organization.
Regardless of which direction you choose to go in, one thing is for certain: IT automation is poised to fundamentally change the future of IT operations.