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IT Automation Benefits and Best Practices

Author

Craig Davis

https://www.linkedin.com/in/craig-l-davis/
craig.davis@auxis.com

Director, IT Services

In today’s uncertain economic climate, IT organizations face mounting pressure to work more efficiently while driving transformational innovation. The benefits of IT automation create a powerful tool for maximizing efficiency and effectiveness – reducing the cost and complexity of day-to-day operations while freeing staff to support the business at a strategic level.  

By 2025, Gartner expects 70% of IT infrastructure and operations leaders to implement automation that delivers flexibility and efficiency to their organizations – a significant jump from 20% in 2021. In fact, Gartner predicts that IT automation will shift the balance in IT by 2024, enabling teams to spend only a third of their time on operations management and dedicate most efforts to value delivery.  

Traditionally, the day-to-day logistics of IT operations leave little time for innovation, overwhelming IT staff with tedious, time-consuming, error-prone manual work. The pandemic and subsequent rise of remote work increased the time, energy, and resources needed to “keep the lights on” even more – spurring a 37% increase in IT’s overall workload, a 66% surge in security issues, and a 39% rise in ITSM (IT Service Management) issues and requests.  

The hybrid workforce slams IT help desks with an unprecedented number of end-user requests as well, making it even harder to focus on strategic projects that grow the business or help insulate it from future disruptions. A severe IT labor shortage compounds the problem, leaving many organizations stretched too thin to escape a firefighting approach. 

IT automation presents a viable solution to these daunting challenges – relieving organizations from mundane, time-draining work and setting the stage for transformational change. Let’s examine how. 

4 important ways IT automation benefits IT performance

1. Improve productivity and effectiveness.

Automation optimizes IT resources – freeing human staff from repetitive tasks that monopolize their workdays like provisioning new servers and monitoring systems. Instead, they can focus on value-add work like deploying new applications and services.  

Amidst the labor shortage, IT automation benefits enterprises as well by allowing them to accomplish more without increasing headcount.  

2. Decrease errors, increase reliability.

IT automation mitigates operational risks that can disrupt critical business processes and raise IT costs. While manual processes are prone to human error, automation executes tasks accurately and consistently – significantly slashing process-related errors. 

Automation also improves the uptime and availability of IT systems with next-gen monitoring capable of identifying and addressing issues before they trigger business-impacting outages or slowdowns. More than 60% of IT outages lead to at least $100,000 in losses, according to a 2022 Uptime Institute report.  

Avoiding service disruptions also creates goodwill, driving end-user satisfaction with IT. 

3. Better scalability of IT systems.

React faster and more effectively to changes in the business environment. For instance, autoscaling in the cloud with a tool like Kubernetes enables enterprises to instantly respond to unexpected spikes in demand.  

Autoscaling also prevents needless spending, efficiently and automatically managing workloads based on application goals and thresholds. Without autoscaling, organizations tend to overprovision – and thus, overpay – to ensure availability. Otherwise, services can fail if they don’t have enough resources to handle surges.

4. Real-time visibility into system performance and health. 

Previously, troubleshooting involved hands-on work and physical, on-premises equipment. But the advent of cloud computing increased environment complexity and interconnectivity dramatically – making it nearly impossible for IT to manually monitor performance, track end-user transactions, mitigate vulnerabilities and back doors, and pinpoint the root cause of issues or bandwidth slows. 

IT automation benefits businesses with real-time visibility into today’s complex, highly distributed IT landscape. It delivers actionable insights that help IT make informed decisions about optimizing operations. It also can provide AI-powered early warning capabilities, as well as automated alert thresholds, escalation chains, workflows, and more.