IBM i users are a dedicated bunch. While some users are building their IBM i business…
Despite what we’ve learned from The Terminator and Matrix, there’s a lot of good to be said for automation. If nothing else, the sheer number of unattended, automated IBM i systems attests to this.
The State of 2016
While businesses running on 2-5 servers are more likely to opt for an automated IBM i solution compared to smaller environments, company size is not the determining factor for companies having the “to implement, or not to implement” debate. Instead, the decision to automate systems is typically based on company resources – primarily money, and time.
Nowadays more than half of IBM i users run unattended (55.6%). Among the 44.4% of businesses that do not, their reasons for opting out are varied. The leading reason was a preference for having staff run critical processes (59.3%), while 31% stated that automation isn’t a priority for their management. Others stated that their companies were too complicated for automation (20.6%), that they did not have enough resources or budget (14.8%), enough time (11.8%), or that they believed their company was too large (7.4%).
While any CEO or CIO will intuitively sympathize with the desire to have employees run critical processes, this tends to be a counterproductive choice. Many companies underestimate the likelihood and consequences of human error. Meanwhile, automated systems drastically lower the likelihood of error. A similar counter-intuition occurs with users who do not see automation as a wise investment; in fact, automation saves companies a remarkable amount of time and resources after implementation.
RECOMMENDATION: Every company is after error elimination, productivity optimization, and monetary savings. Although some companies don’t consider automation a priority, it brings all of these benefits after implementation. Prove to management the savings automation can provide, and work it up to the top of your to-do list.
To Automate, or Not to Automate?
Eliminating the risk of human error isn’t the only pro to system automation. Automation can also simplify business processes, like with automated responses to events (e.g. certain thresholds being reached). Typical responses could include an e-mail, phone notification, or even opening programs and altering system variables. These responses can be tailored to events involving your critical hardware, CPU utilization, available disk space, and more. The end result? Lowered operation costs, on-point timelines, and employees working more efficiently. By replacing manual tasks with automated ones, you eliminate another vulnerability to error, and time sinks.
While the benefits of automation are apparent, this solution is not for everyone. If business processes are too varied or complicated, then implementing automated solutions can be more of a stress than a relief. Without proper monitoring and management, automated processes could also provide unintended or unwanted results that pass by unnoticed.
RECOMMENDATION: More companies think they are too complicated for many solutions than those that actually are. For companies that don’t consider automation a priority, consider reassessing the effectiveness (and vulnerability to error) of your business processes.
For more information on automated IBM i systems and how to optimize your IBM i, contact us today at 317-707-3941.
Source: 2016 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results by HelpSystems