One of the biggest myths in IT industry is that talking about automation is equivalent to talking about layoffs. This approach may be compelling to IT directors dazzled by the headlights of recession – facing budget pressures and constraints.
It may be compelling but it’s wrong. Because it ignores the fact that the biggest threat to IT budgets is an out-of-control organisation, which Paul Gostick describes as follows: “The staff are overworked, projects don’t get completed on time, security is compromised, audits fail, downtime is frequent, restoration of systems takes longer and longer, there are many middle-of-the-night emergency calls, the budget gets cut, and company executives are researching the benefits of outsourcing IT.”
No wonder that the IT Process Institute (ITPI) calls unplanned, unauthorised work the “silent killer” of IT budgets. This is underlined by Gartner Analyst Daryl Plummer who found many such IT organizations, in which “eight out of every ten dollars spent on IT is … not contributing to growth of business or enhancing competitive advantage … but to keep the lights on.” That’s wasted money. That’s dead money.
Looking ahead with the “headlights of recession” we will find out that change is the only constant. How promising that change, not unplanned work, is also the nature of IT and it is up to IT not to hold onto troubleshooting and firefighting, but to make sure that change is managed and deliberate. Which also means that resource usage is optimized, risk is reduced, processes are transparently monitored and operations run smoothly. This also aligns with the previously mentioned EMA report which emphasizes both the importance AND the danger of always having a red pencil within reach.
Cause if your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail!