In December 2014, the International Data Corporation (IDC) hosted the IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Cloud 2015 Predictions. During the web conference, a number of bold predictions were made based on a new IDC FutureScape report surrounding the state of technology, expected changes over the next year and how business leaders can make the most of what is to come for their own growth and future success. Among those predictions, a clear picture of the increased role of automation emerged. More specifically, the report revealed the expectation that IT process automation will continue to become more user-focused.
Of the many mentions of IT process automation’s role in the not-so-distant future, one particular statistic stood out amongst the rest:
“By 2017, 25% of IT organizations will formally support a ‘consumer tier’ to allow workers to develop their own personal automation.”
What this essentially refers to is the fact that not only is automation expected to become much more accessible, but it’s also going to develop to become much more customizable. Rather than just an overarching automation plan that is handled exclusively by IT higher ups, automation will slowly become part of the everyday workplace experience for employees across departments and skill levels.
According to the IDC study, more IT organizations are going to provide end-user self service automation. Employees will no longer need to be dependent on others to solve their own problems and perform their own necessary tasks, such as password resets, unlocking user accounts and system restarts. Instead of having to contact the help desk and wait for assistance, the automation tool will allow the end-user to handle all the necessary steps on his or her own. This will improve productivity and efficiency across the board.
IT departments need not worry about relinquishing control, either. A pre-defined list of standard options can be developed, which will then be presented to the end-user via an intuitive web portal. Only those tasks available on the list can be “ordered” so there’s no risk of user error. Each available option will have a built-in automated workflow that will be carried out accordingly upon selection. There are no delays to the end-user and, more importantly, IT administrators will still be able to maintain control over each service, with full visibility and tracking.
These enhancements to automation will naturally coincide with big data and other tech trends, such as wearables in the workplace and the Internet of Things (IoT). With more and more businesses shifting toward a “bring your own device” (BYOD) environment, it’s only logical to conclude that there will also be a more widespread use of automation. As the months pass, not only will IT personnel be leveraging automation tools to streamline their day to day workloads, but the end-user will also be taking a more active role, with automation at the forefront.