He points out that with automation, the business can become more efficient and reduce liability because machines can react much faster than humans.
Frees Up Resources for Delivering Business Value
One of the main reasons why companies choose to automate is that they want to enable their workers to do more valuable things with their time. Automation frees an organization to do what it's meant to accomplish.
"It frees up scarce resources so teams can focus on making better applications and services,” Smith said. “They are free to provide better experiences for customers and users. They can make sure the business meets certain service level agreements and deliver services to market in compressed timeframes," he said.
By letting automation take care of the underlying infrastructure, IT resources can be deployed to higher-value activities for the business.
Boosting Automation's Potential
Businesses that want to implement automation must do so by making informed technological decisions. Finding the right things and ways to automate requires a whole-system analysis.
"Any company can claim to employ automation, but you really need advanced machine learning built into an IT solution so that it can learn what applications need based on historical patterns," said Smith.
Smith also asserts that companies should pursue automation for the cloud from the start, and not as an afterthought.
"Automation can’t be bolted on after the fact," he said. "It's extremely hard to retrofit.”
He said that’s why automation needs to be built-in natively.
“Because only then can you truly start to automate all the hundreds of manual steps and tasks that have defined IT over the last generation. All of which need to be taken care of by machines, so that the human talent can be redeployed.
HCI Foundation for IT Automation
Before a business decides to automate IT, they need the right foundation. Smith said IT systems running hyperconverged infrastructure is the way to go.
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"HCI really embodies the notion that even complex operations can be simplified to a single click,” he said. "But you also need the right HCI software, one that views automation as a minimally viable requirement for next-generation data centers.
Cloud Automation for Changing Times
Smith said automation wasn't as common five years ago.
"It just speaks to how fast and how dynamic IT is today,” he said.
“If you were dependent upon an IT admin for everything that has to happen or change in a data center, it's difficult to move the business forward,” he said. “So, in the same way manufacturing becomes more automated, we’ll see the same sort of modernization, the same sort of clamoring for efficiency that occurs in enterprise IT as well."
It’s only a matter of how fast automation moves into an IT organization. Increasingly, IT teams need to adjust to changing customer needs. For many, using automation to create efficiencies is already paving the way to success.