IT Automation 101

it-automation

Automation. It’s a simple word that has become a prevalent topic in our daily lives over the past couple of years. As humans, we try to figure out the most efficient and reliable way to complete a task. That’s where automation comes in. It’s the creation and application of technology to deliver services and goods that were previously performed by humans. Now the world of IT has taken on the automation technique and it is expected to expand vastly in 2022.

 

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What is IT Automation?

IT Automation includes using a compilation of tools, practices, and capabilities to essentially take people out of the workflow of IT jobs and processes. Most of the processes or jobs that need to be replaced are those that are repeatable and can be accelerated with automation. Where a human would usually need breaks, lunch, time to learn, etc.; a machine can improve speed, consistency, and security. IT Automation also means that the engineer who used to do the jobs that are now being automated can spend their time on something more valuable and complex. The most basic type of automation is robotic process automation, or RPA for short. It is structured by business logic and can be used for mundane tasks like data processes or an automatic response to emails. Automation also includes the newly trending, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. AI mimics human decision-making to set up tasks, and machine learning uses data and experience to help AI be successful.

 

Why is it Used in Our Industry?

With the ever-increasing complexity of the IT world, engineers and architects need to be able to focus on larger, more compound tasks. With IT Automation, repetitive, time-consuming, and error-prone tasks can be set to have a daily completion goal without the engineer. Things like batch processes or data transfers can now be done 100% automatically with no IT staff involved. This helps the entirety of IT operations and cloud infrastructure to increase in scale and complexity. No longer does an entire IT team need to configure thousands of servers. Below are some of the most common uses of automation in the IT industry today:

  • Cloud automation
  • Hybrid IT
  • Resource provisioning (AI + ML)
  • Network management
  • Monitoring and response

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Advantages and Disadvantages of IT Automation

The universal advantage of IT automation is the ability to overcome an IT operation that has been static and of manual nature. Some advantages that go along with this include:

  • Improved security: Most IT processes require human interaction and, in many scenarios, requires them to have access to and manage sensitive information. When you take people out of the equation, private information is at a lower risk of a data leak.
  • Minimized errors: People aren’t perfect, and that includes your IT staff members. Automated processes on the other hand have little room for error.
  • Time and cost savings: When automation is utilized, staff can be freed up from repetitive, time-consuming tasks to work on larger projects, and work fewer nights and weekends trying to keep up. Rather than hiring an additional staff member, automation can free up the time of current team members to allow them to work more strategically.
  • Accelerated operations: AI, Machine learning, and RPA are used to re-engineer sophisticated processes, and make continuous processes self-operating, allowing them to get done faster without human intervention.

With many benefits, it is still important to understand not everything about IT automation is beneficial and without hardship. For business processes to fully adapt a technical way of life, other improvements must be made along the way. IT automation can only be successful if the company trying to implement it improves too. A few disadvantages of setting up IT automation within a business include:

  • More impact for errors: IT automation allows for less human error, but as processes become automated, they can cause errors that, at times, cause more trouble.
  • Upfront costs: Once automation is set up, it can save a lot of money in the long run. The issue comes when setting up the strategy requires a larger investment than normal. A business must think carefully when first deciding what processes to automate and which is worth the investment.
  • Limiting function: Since automated processes are so rigid, built usually for one specific task, they don’t take the function of change very well. Most are restricted to a set path of functions, not easily changed.

 

IT Automation Trending for 2022

IT has rapidly become a main concern to many organizations and has been making its way to the forefront of business decisions. “The worldwide market for technology that enables hyperautomation will reach $596.6 billion in 2022”, according to a new forecast from Gartner, Inc. Hyperautomation is the overall approach to implementing many automation techniques to eventually reach as many automated IT processes as possible. It encourages a more connected automation strategy. “Gartner expects that by 2024, organizations will lower operational costs by 30% by combining hyperautomation technologies with redesigned operational processes.”

This shift towards a digital-first world will come with its benefits and challenges but hopefully will achieve operational excellence and huge cost savings. “Through 2024, enhancements in analytics and automatic remediation capabilities will refocus 30% of IT operations efforts, from support to continuous engineering.” - Gartner

 

Dive Into IT Automation with DSM

Whether you are a newbie in the field of automation or looking to spruce up your existing processes, DSM is here to help with your journey. A multitude of our services includes IT Automation in order to help you and your data reach its fullest potential. Managed Services, Disaster Recovery, Data Protection, and vCD all utilize IT Automation, providing the most effective and efficient solutions for your organization. Learn more about these offerings here, and if you would like to speak to an expert about how IT Automation can help your business, contact us today!

 

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References: 

https://www.cio.com/article/3335717/7-keys-to-an-effective-it-automation-strategy.html

https://www.bmc.com/blogs/it-automation-trends/#

https://www.vmware.com/topics/glossary/content/it-automation

https://www.ibm.com/topics/automation

https://www.softwaretestinghelp.com/best-it-automation-tools/

https://www.advsyscon.com/blog/it-automation-explained/#Trends-in-IT-Automation

https://www.vxchnge.com/blog/it-automation-trends

https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2021-04-28-gartner-forecasts-worldwide-hyperautomation-enabling-software-market-to-reach-nearly-600-billion-by-2022

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