2013: Automation Opportunity for IT Departments

by Morgan Harvey, in Automation Strategy, posted 1/24/13
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At the end of last year, Spiceworks released its semi-annual State of SMB IT for H2 2012, which reported that IT budgets have reached their highest point in the last three years, while hiring has frozen up:

“IT budgets at SMBs are on the rise in the 2nd half of 2012.  The average annual IT budget is now $162,000, up from the $152,000 reported for the first half of 2012.  Only 26% of SMBs plan to hire IT staff in the second half of 2012, which is down from 31% a year agofor the next six months, more folks aim to hold staff steady than the previous six months.”

Average Planned Budgets and Percent Adding Staff Over Time

It is an ongoing problem for IT departments, to do more with less.  But with automation technologies, companies and organizations can still continue to support their growing businesses without any additional human resources.  Automation enables an existing IT force to increase output and respond to increased demands without expensive training or hiring new, full-time employees.

In the coming years, companies will be faced with more data than ever before, but without the people to stay late after work to run reports.  Instead, automation, without any human interference, can execute reports, save them in any desired format, email to distribution lists, generate notifications, perform direct queries, execute stored procedures, and much more.  And that’s only on the database side of automation.

(Read more on how one company’s small IT team used AutoMate to keep up with growing demands.) 

Automation WheelAutomation technology platforms are highly scalable by definition—the initial investment in an automation platform can be less than 1 month salary for the average IT staff worker.  That said, its productivity can also scale and grow to eventually meet enterprise level demands.  In fact, Health Plus, a customer of Network Automation, did just that.  Health Plus, one of the fastest growing health care providers in New York City, originally purchased AutoMate for two servers.  But once AutoMate’s full functionality was realized, the company began automating more than 160 batches and more than 80 SQL jobs—upgrading from AutoMate to the enterprise platform BPA Server, to expand their automation from two servers to five.

AutoMate utilizes a script-free approach to automation.  Instead of hiring a programmer or training your current staff to be one, which can cost upwards of $70,000, SMBs can benefit from automation for far less money.  In addition, existing scripts can be leveraged to run within the centralized framework with error-handling, notifications, and more.  This allows companies who wish to continue writing scripts to do so, but in a more beneficial way to the business.  AutoMate’s extensive list of pre-built components and drag-and-drop interfaces, make it easy for general IT staff to build complex solutions in days, while easily managing them without requiring confusing syntax.

Furthermore, according to the Spiceworks SMB report, most of IT’s budget is related to maintenance for existing systems.  But with automation, the technology is designed to maximize the return on investment for these systems and software applications.  If you invest in automation to solve one or two processes, you will soon find it can be used, not only in the IT department, but also the HR, accounting, and sales departments as well.

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Stay tuned as we discuss how AutoMate can integrate with the top software purchased for SMBs: Backup/Recovery, Productivity Suite, Email Client and Database Systems. 


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