A third of IT managers admit that they have plans to implement an IT automation tool in their business infrastructure within the next year, with 42% believing that future systems will be managed by self-healing technology.
The research conducted amongst senior IT decision makers, also found that over half of IT managers are not finding enough time to innovate and work on proactive business services since they are spending up to 40% of their time on mundane management tasks.
Respondents clearly understand the benefits that automation can bring to their businesses. Almost half agreed that it would enable them to save costs and over a third imagine that it would help them better align their team’s work to the business’s overall objectives.
It’s pretty certain that 2012 is going to be a year of economic uncertainty. Businesses are going to have to rapidly exploit the potential of IT to improve efficiency and become business differentiating, and providing flexibility to cope with the unknown will be key.
But IT managers are going to have to take care that implementing flexible approaches such as cloud does not create peripheral challenges in management and control.
Recent reports from both Gartner and IDC identify this problem and highlight that it will become increasingly important to standardise and automate IT processes and that automation will be a key focus point for CIOs in 2012.
While automation can save costs and ease the strain put upon IT departments, there is a common myth that it inevitably leads to a dramatic reduction in headcount. Contrary to this belief, over a third of the organisations we spoke to believe that automation technology can retain and develop talent by moving their focus from mundane repetitive IT tasks.
When properly implemented, automation can support not just the activities of managing IT, but the business processes in which IT is a factor, such as scaling to meet demand or enabling rapid launch of new products and services. So automation becomes not just an IT but a business initiative, and over the next year, I predict a number of CIOs having to extend their remit and act as Chief Automation Officer.