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Debunking today’s dominant automation myths

Dec 19, 20175 mins
Network Management SoftwareNetwork MonitoringNetworking

There should be no doubt that automation is a robust and powerful tool if implemented in the right way. But let's get past the falsehoods, shall we?

16 automation
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Automation is dominating a significant portion of the conversations trending among IT professionals. To those working in the industry, this comes as no surprise – the topic is not a new one. More and more enterprises are adopting automation as it quickly transforms from a luxury to a necessity.

However, while there are well-defined benefits associated with automation, there are also important questions and misconceptions that remain. Smart IT teams must evaluate and analyze the pros, cons and impact of automation in their unique enterprise before moving forward.  The first step is debunking the most common automation myths with the facts.

Myth: automation will completely replace jobs and employees

This tops the list of the most significant automation myths. Some research studies do suggest that automation (especially in the form of robotics and artificial intelligence) will completely replace human jobs. This misconception must be clarified once and for all. There is no doubt that automation will have a noticeable impact on human jobs, but we can rest assured it will not replace them completely. Automation is assigning everyday tasks to computers to free up time for humans to be more creative and strategic.  This takes the meticulous tasks that require significant time, but very little thought off the plates of IT professionals, giving them more bandwidth to make a real impact.

This being said, deploying an entire Datacenter through automation is impossible, and will likely always require human intervention. At the core of automation is the goal to reduce time spent on mundane tasks to provide humans with additional time to strategize, create and innovate. Automation will boost productivity and improve service quality – but it will never completely replace human impact.

Myth: automation is not economical

Cost effectiveness is a major concern for growing companies as they evaluate the benefits of automation. Unfortunately, there is a common misconception that all automation tools are extremely expensive. Like any product or service, there are tons of tools available in the marketplace today, and some are more expensive than others.  Your enterprise may find some solutions to be far outside your price range, while others are much more budget friendly – you just need to choose the right one to respond to your business demands.  

There are leading automation vendors in the industry that integrate with major solution providers and offer customized, affordable automation management tools. Regardless, automation should be viewed as an investment that helps your infrastructure in the long-run.  Enterprises must look at the bigger picture and consider the time and money automation can save them before dismissing it.

Myth: IT teams have no control over automation

Some network engineers mistakenly believe that once they implement automation, they will lose all control over their data centers They wrongly assume that once they automate a process, there is no way to regain control over it. The reality is that with automation, the user maintains the power to define workflows that best suit their organization. They can always add checkpoints and approvals to their processes to make it more streamlined and controlled. They aren’t required to automate everything without leaving room for customization. Each enterprise is unique and automation is designed to accommodate the existing process and evolving with its business requirements. Basically, enterprises can exert as much or as little control as they’d like.

Myth: complex environments cannot be automated

Many people wrongly assume it is nearly impossible to automate a complex infrastructure. For example, if your team supports a large infrastructure with multiple interfaces, applications, network infrastructures, operators and tasks, its management may appear to be beyond the scope of automation. But in reality, it is complex infrastructures like these that benefit most from automation.

It is by no means a quick fix. Processes must first be   streamlined and divided into small chunks to define the easiest automation path. Tasks must be grouped and processes defined in the correct order. Breaking the infrastructure down into smaller pieces will help enterprises more successfully automate their data centers. Large global institutions, corporations and MNCs have already implemented automation successfully, proving no environment is too complex for automation.

Myth: you can automate and move on forever

Many enterprises today are misinterpreting the process associated with “automation”. To them, automation incorrectly translates into the complete elimination of management and manual decision-making. Instead, automation should be perceived as a time-saving or productivity enhancing tool, and not as something you implement and forget about. Even after the workflows are automated, enterprises must task their teams with analyzing and tracking the data. Businesses will still need to communicate regularly with customers to assist with ad-hoc requests or concerns that programmed workflows are incapable of handling. Even with automation, user guidance and technical supervision is required.

Automation provides proven results by helping enterprises grow and achieve visible results. Companies must adopt automation to stay ahead of the curve and compete in the marketplace. But, to encourage the successful adoption of automation, myths must be debunked to promote buy-in from decision-makers. There should be no doubt that automation is a robust and powerful tool if implemented in the right way. It’s not too late to automate your complete infrastructure and watch your business soar.


As chief technology officer, Murali Palanisamy is responsible for the overall product vision, development, and technical direction of AppViewX. Before joining the company, he served as senior vice president at Bank of America, where he led an architecture and engineering team of ecommerce application delivery.

Prior to that, Murali was vice president of architecture and product engineering at Merrill Lynch. He has designed and developed automation and integration solutions for servers, application delivery controllers, IP services, and networking.

Murali is an electronics and communication engineer from Bharathiyar University in India. Currently he is based out of New York.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of Murali Palanisamy and do not necessarily represent those of IDG Communications, Inc., its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.