Catching up on Charlene O’Hanlon’s coverage of the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015, one thing stuck out: If Gartner’s right (and that’s always a big ‘if’), the next few years could provide an opportunity for savvy IT operators to expand their domains as automation sweeps through business processes.
On their face, the predictions aren’t pretty if you happen to be human:
- Gartner predicts 3 million workers will soon have a “roboboss” overseeing their performance.
- 50 percent of the fastest-growing companies will have more smart machines than employees
- And by 2020, autonomous software agents will be participating in 5 percent of all economic transactions
But already, we see these trends in place: Uber has thrashed the traditional taxi industry by doing away with traditional human dispatch (and yes, ignoring any inconvenient laws), while automated metrics now mark the rise and fall of any number of careers.
But what isn’t decided is which departments will be pushing this automation forward, and IT’s life on the receiving end of automation over the past few years could provide an invaluable advantage when developing strategy, particularly because things can go so wrong with automation (for evidence, see any customer support line).
So what does it take to succeed? As Adam Bertram wrote last June, trust:
How do we show people that automation can be trusted? Through consistent, predictable and error-free results. If done properly, this is what automation does and what makes it such a strategic advantage for not only engineers in the trenches but to managers, directors, executives and ultimately the business as a whole.
For an automation project to be successful and loved by all requires a team of people that “get” automation. Organizations need people who understand that manual processes are not only laborious time-drains, but also introduce potential human error. To be successful, automation projects must be properly designed else the project will be introduced, have multiple issues and will be marked as a failure even once all the bugs have been fixed.
I’m curious what areas you see in your business that are ripe for automation, whether in your own department or across the business. Let me know in the comments, or reach out at [email protected]
Image is licensed under Creative Commons by XKCD, and the full image also serves as a timely warning about automation.