Let’s gather the automation benefits for IT Operations. Automation is an investment, which comes at a cost, effort and needs good planning. Returns are not immediate, or may never come if the whole automation journey is not planned correctly.
The ultimate goal of automation is to eliminate human involvement. So, all benefits derive from reducing the human factor.
Why to avoid human involvement
Human involvement is not something to avoid, but rather to redirect to where it provides more value. Humans add numerous benefits in whatever they are working on. Good automation and transformation plans must identify the human differentiators in a specific environment, and separate the activities better suited to humans, from common and monotonous activities better performed by machines.
By moving the human excellence to more essential work, you are leveraging progress and proactiveness.
Automation moves humans to working for the future, while machines take care of the present. In this way, automation cultivates a spirit of proactiveness.
As an average, we know that human errors account for roughly 32% of downtime and process errors for another 32% (see this post). So, the most obvious benefit of less human involvement is reducing downtime.
Here are the benefits of automation in IT Operations:
a. Tactical Benefits
- Infrastructure stability – less downtime
- Service quality – higher IT reliability, consistency, robustness, and predictability
- Less operational risks – less deviation from consumer expectations
- Better efficiency (less infrastructure is capable of more throughput)
- Reduced recurring costs for operations, as infrastructure is used more efficiently
- Lower human costs for operations and support
b. Strategic Benefits
- Shorter time-to-production cycle (faster deployment of IT services)
- Improved human productivity, as trivial tasks are handled by automation
- Highly skilled personnel (not for trivial monotonous work), which adds value to services and can quickly adapt to change
- Easier compliance to policies and best practices
- Addressing new challenges for cloud computing, distributed or complex systems
- Support of wider IT automation and business transformation
- New technologies and new opportunities can arise from developing automation
c. Social and macro-economic benefits
These can be more important for Not-For-Profit or Public Organizations, but not to be underestimated nevertheless.
- Environmental footprint – automation results in higher resource efficiency and higher process efficiency
- Ability to achieve – tasks demanding speed and strength (e.g. response to abnormal conditions, endurance) are more easily achieved with machines
- Macro-economic improvement – history has shown that investing in automation fosters new technologies and economic growth
- Workforce improvement – More and better jobs are directed to the development, deployment and operation of automated systems