IT automation is the use of software to create repeatable instructions and processes to replace or reduce human interaction and manual operations with IT systems. Sometimes referred to as infrastructure automation, IT automation can mean a single action or creating instructions for separate sequences that ultimately lead to a self-directed IT system that takes steps based on user behavior and other event triggers.
As modern IT environments are required to scale faster than ever, IT automation becomes critical to making that happen. Here are some of the details:
How does automation work?
IT automation relies on software tools to automate jobs, batch processes, and workflows using IT. IT Automation is often used for automating and scheduling repetitive tasks that are time-consuming and prone to errors. Typically, these are extensive batch processes that must be completed every day, large data transfers, or data entry tasks that are often subject to mistakes.
IT automation tools often include a graphical user interface (GUI), a job scheduler, and one or more execution agents, which allow businesses to schedule workflows for processing. IT automation solutions can automate and integrate workflows in a single department or throughout an entire organization.
What is driving IT automation?
While there are multiple factors propelling automation, the low number of computer science professionals entering the workforce has been critical. One recent study found that while there were 50,000 computer science graduates annually, 500,000 computer science-related jobs were waiting to be filled.
The so-called IT Skills Gap, sometimes referred to as the IT Resource Gap, hits those businesses that manually run jobs and processes, especially hard. IT teams, short of trained staff, cannot keep up with increasing workloads, expanding catalogs of tools, and exponential data.
As a result, these teams are turning to IT Automation tools to help manage and coordinate workflows, optimize resources, and provide IT professionals with the time they need to complete higher-value projects.
The future of IT automation
While IT automation is not a new idea, the technology is still in its developmental stages. Even the most sophisticated tools require an IT professional or an entire team to develop and maintain the automation elements, including scripts, templates, policies, and workflows.
IT automation will ultimately achieve superior intelligence and autonomy. Its platforms will probably rely heavily on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. For instance, an automation tool can synthesize data on configurations, performance, and other information across an IT deployment. It can then process these inputs to find a standard system operations benchmark, and any deviation from this benchmark would trigger corrective actions.
IT automation systems instilled with AI insights could decrease the importance of automation rules created by humans. Instead, they would rely on autonomous choices directed by high-level cost and compliance requirements.
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