Transforming IT Operations: Embracing Automation for Enhanced Infrastructure Support

If you are responsible for managing and supporting IT Infrastructure, you know and understand the complexity involved in ensuring systems are available and stable.  Many organizations continue to manually manage their infrastructure but there are opportunities to automate repetitive tasks. Everywhere we turn, we hear about how artificial intelligence will impact so many aspects of our lives going forward. Enabling automation to manage your infrastructure will position your teams to absorb the changes AI will bring.

In the age of information, it would be reasonable to think that those mundane, repetitive tasks are a thing of the past – streamlined, eliminated, by various technologies and automation, or even artificial intelligence. In reality, this is far from the truth. For an example, a recent study from Zapier reported that 94% of workers say they perform repetitive, time-consuming tasks in their role. Imagine unlocking the potential of your employees by eliminating tasks that adherently keep them from being their best, restraining them from driving more growth and opportunity within the organization.

The first question that must be asked is why is this happening, what is causing repetitive manual tasks to continue unchecked?  It comes down to two key factors:  visibility and human nature.

Many organizations are not aware of the manual steps that are done within their organization, whether this is defined under what would be considered Incident or Request Management. Interestingly, in many cases the people doing these repetitive manual tasks are not self-conscious of just how repetitive they are as well – unless directly asked to think about them. These types of activities tend to occur as business as usual, reactionary or through shoulder tapping, leaving no traceable way to understand that these actions are taking place. It is critical for elimination of this type of work to be identified through analytical insight and engagement.

Steps must be taken to first create the ability to be aware of what is happening. All activities being performed in a day need to have a record of them occurring, even for that daily report someone manually executes and sends to a team. Through incident and request based automation, data can be exposed to trend behaviors of events to know what can and should be automated. Without the data, there is no visibility, and without visibility there can be no clear efficient path forward.

The second, and more challenging of the two key factors, is us – humans. Dr. Michio Kaku coined it best as the “caveman principle.” The understanding that humans will always resist what is new, what may change that is considered the norm. We see this every day with new technologies, the perceived pending doom that human advancement carries with it. An example of this was the advent of bicycles in the late 19th century. There was a negative association with bicycles, many medical experts were worried of the implications to the human body. Even worse it, “disgraced a woman’s walk.” It is hard to imagine that such an uproar over bicycles ever occurred, but it did – just like we see today with autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence and automation in general, just to name a few. It is the fear of the unknown and the fear of disruption that causes resistance. The thought that my job will be different because of a certain technology creates concern in us all – myself included.

So how does one get past this barrier of human resistance?  It is through educating that the emotional fear of what is new is instinctive. It is by sharing with those affected that these advancements are an opportunity for the individual and for the company as a whole. These understandings is what will help provide a clearer path to allow for successful implementation of automation. This is not accomplished in a one-hour meeting but through a continuous methodology which engages those that are going to have automation brought into their daily lives. These individuals are the cornerstone to success, they must be involved and play a vital role in driving automation. Not only does this ensure that there is a process that shares in the excitement of implementing automation, but also validates what is being pursued is the right approach step-by-step and that those involved know how the automation will work.

With engagement at the ground roots of a team, success can be driven with automation by helping identify redundant and manual tasks and sharing in the success and understanding of the teams it will affect.

Automating is the easy part, and will be ubiquitous within our lives, as it will play an important role with the upcoming advancement and transformation that Artificial Intelligence will bring. It is the building of automation as a cognitive fundamental part of each area of an organization which is foundational to its success – and to an organization’s success as a whole.

If you’d like to discuss ways that TeamSWAMI can help your organization create, implement and enable an automation strategy, please reach out to Krupal Swami – [email protected] to discuss.