Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 23 - Page 31

COMMENT “Even the most talented member of your IT operations team is human, and humans are prone to mistakes.” A utomation is not merely a technology choice. First and foremost, it’s a business choice. Without automation, supporting the growth of your business can be increasingly complex, to the point of becoming impossible beyond a certain scale. If it’s true that software is eating the world, as the well-known venture capitalist Marc Andreessen said in 2011, and if it’s true that every company is becoming a technology company, as the Chief of Research at Gartner said in 2013, then automation becomes a must-have tool in the hands of business, not just of the IT organisation. Here are four key reasons why automation is critical to managing a large-scale IT environment: • • • • Less waste Less complexity Fewer mistakes Less uncertainty Less waste: Automation optimises IT operations Highways are a good analogy to explain the concept. When the population in a geographical area grows, the government is forced to develop the infrastructure to support the additional cars. In some places, these highways must be equipped with toll gateways to regulate the access, and toll gateways must be operated by humans, each performing thousands of repetitive operations per day. In turn, the newly built highways attract even more citizens in the region, and more cars on the road. The government can deal with the spike in traffic either by adding more gateways and hiring new people to manage them, or it can make the existing highways more efficient by implementing automated barriers and automated access systems. Electronic tolls enable more cars to access the highway in the same amount of time that human operators take: by eliminating the brief stop at the toll and the interaction between the driver and the human operator or the cash machine, automation allows each car to move through the toll at a higher speed, in less time. In the same way, IT automation can help your operations team to manage more workloads over the same working hours, reducing the need to hire more staff to support the growth of the infrastructure. Less complexity: Automation orchestrates sophisticated services Beyond a certain point, success often leads to a diversification in the market demand, as your popularity attracts a broader audience. In an enterprise environment, this dynamic implies that some of the Lines of Business (LoBs) that you are serving may eventually start requesting INTELLIGENTCIO 31