One of the best things organizations can do to transform their operations is also one of the things they're often hesitant to do: really embrace automation. Most organizations have some automation in their environment, but to really be effective it's time to automate all the things.
The first challenge of automation: Trust
The first big challenge for automation is trust. Not in the sense of "do I trust people I work with," but trusting what we're doing with automation.
Until you get started with the process of automation, there will be people who have doubts about automation. How do we know what's being done, who's doing it, where it's happening?
Most importantly, what happens if something goes wrong? Those are valid questions, but notice that we don't ask the same questions about processes that are being performed manually and therefore are prone to mistakes every time a task is performed.
Automation allows us to refine and improve how things are done, one-off tasks are new opportunities for mistakes each time they're performed. But because we've "always" done it that way, people are more comfortable.
So the biggest challenge isn't technical -- even though automation is heavily technical -- it's the people element. It's establishing trust in what you're doing and getting started so that you can meet your objectives.
Quality everywhere, automation everywhere
We've gotten used to the idea that we can apply testing and validation to software development and releases. Companies have already poured a lot of resources into CI/CD and testing to decide whether something is ready to release. Now we just have to expand that to the larger IT environment.
Other industries have already gone through this type of transformation in other ways. Cars, appliances, any type of manufacturing really, have been heavily standardized and automated.
In the last 10 or 15 years, that transition of IT has become more important, as computing has become more important. Because everything that we do has become more connected we have to change our expectations around how something should be delivered.
And as soon as one area or one group improves a process, the next group wants the next steps to be better as well. It's back to those same parallels in software automation. It's about how we can keep gaining those efficiencies, gain more advantages or benefits from what we're doing.
he advantages of cloud computing at any real scale. And as we look to the near future of computing and the importance of edge computing, automation becomes even more important.
The results are more tangible.
Whether you’re looking to improve the efficiency of delivery time. React and respond to situations that aren't just "lights on" or fire drills. Being able to react and respond to business needs, providing capabilities quicker. Or just look to reduce risk and reduce costly mistakes that may be made because people sometimes just make mistakes.
Automation becomes an enabler and part of what’s expected, rather than a nice to have. You can be proactive about your automation and what you automate, rather than reactive to your lack of automation.
The automated future is automating "all the things" that can, could or should be automated so that the people in the equation can do the more valuable activities required for your business success.