IT Automation: Breaking The Fearful Perception & Exploring The Benefits

To many small and medium-sized businesses, IT automation is a concept to be feared and avoided. It carries connotations of costly software applications which require expensive servers and large teams of consultants to implement, many days of training, and an ongoing investment in changes, upgrades and migrations. Considering these preconceived notions, it is not surprising that the concept is taboo.

The practical truth

There are costs associated with IT automation, including costs for hardware and software acquisition, implementation and training, and ongoing training and support. Today, there are many IT Automation applications that are right-sized for your organization, whether you are a large enterprise or a small or medium-sized business. The cost investment will provide invaluable benefits, producing less stress and frustration, and fewer feelings of anxiety and helplessness.

Benefits of IT automation

IT automation done correctly, with the assistance of automation specialists, can and will provide significant benefits to your organization. The key is to identify those areas and/or tasks in your IT organization that are repetitive and manual in nature. Evaluate how those tasks can be broken down into logical steps and documented. Be sure to identify and document the desired results and how success is validated. Once these steps are completed, automation can begin. Your organization should then realize the following benefits:

Improved Productivity: As your automation tool is configured, the defined workflow eliminates the need for manual steps that are time-consuming and potentially error-prone. Properly configuring these automation tools includes adding additional knowledge for automatic remediation. This knowledge base grows over time, providing…

Improved Consistency: As workflows are defined and configured, the result is an inherent, natural consistency. If five IT technicians were to work on the same series of tasks, there would likely be inconsistencies in outcomes due to individual preference, knowledge level and approach. IT automation tools bring consistency by the nature of the application. This, of course, leads to…

Improved Performance: IT staff members at the keyboard typing instructional commands, validating results and correcting errors can be a very time-consuming process. IT automation enables these manual activities to be executed automatically (off-hours if necessary) and in much less time. Not only does the automation application execute more efficiently, it also allows your IT resources to focus on other, more strategic activities. This provides…

Improved Cost Reduction: Often, when an IT organization lacks automation tools, manual and repetitive activities are performed by highly-skilled and highly-paid resources. For the more strategic projects, consultants are brought in to design, deploy and often administer the solution. Freeing up your IT team to take a more strategic role is only one of the cost-savings benefits of automation. Others include: fewer errors and rework, lower personal requirements and quicker turn-around time of tasks that may be impacting the business of doing business. This can also lead to…

Improved Availability: Network, system, application and/or database outages can have a significant impact on any business. Large and larger medium-sized organizations are able to afford network and system failover solutions. For smaller organizations, this is often a luxury that cannot be afforded; yet the impact is no less severe. Combined with proactive infrastructure monitoring, IT automation can play a vital role in the automated recovery of business-enabling components and quicker recovery times. This often provides…

Improved Reliability: Outside of IT, no one really cares about SNMP events, HTML or what PING stands for. They do, however, care about are those activities which allow them to get their job done. IT automation takes the human error out of detailed and mundane tasks, providing less room for mistakes that could have been avoided. This also leads to…

Improved Security: Anytime an IT organization can improve its reliability, availability and consistency, there is always an improvement in security as an added benefit. Validation of security guidelines and standards can also be automated so that organizations stay within the parameters defined for a cybersafe and secure working environment.

There are many other advantages of IT automation which benefit organizations, including improvements in policy enforcement, auditability, accountability, reporting, quality, recovery, scalability and others. While there is a cost for IT automation, there is often a greater business cost to not having IT automation.

Share this post

Mike Battistella

Mike Battistella

Mike Battistella is the President of Solutions3 LLC, an IT Management Company focusing on cyber security management, network & systems management, IT service management, critical notification management and technical & soft skill training.

No comments

Add yours