In fact, UK businesses are leading the way in automation adoption. 56% of UK organisations surveyed are either in the process of automation or already have automation in place. A quarter have plans to automate, leaving only 4% of UK businesses surveyed with no plans to automate in the future.
UK IT leaders said they were motivated to prioritise IT automation due to fears that ‘without enterprise-wide IT automation, businesses won’t be able to adopt new technology, such as generative AI’ (33% of those surveyed.) ‘Freeing up the business for more creative and strategic thinking’ (36% of those surveyed) was also a key driver for British businesses.
100% of IT leaders across both the UK and Europe believe that IT automation benefits include being able to offer a ‘better customer service/experience (33%)’ generate ‘higher revenue/sales (30%)’ and enable ‘more productive teams (28%)’.
Despite these beliefs, European companies are currently lagging behind in IT automation adoption. For example, 27% of UK companies have already achieved enterprise-wide IT automation, compared to 18% in Germany (18%), 16% in Spain and 12% in France.
Perceived Barriers to IT Automation
Respondents in the Censuswide survey cited these perceived barriers to adopting automation:
- Teams not having the skills (29%) or the time (45%) to implement automation
- Teams considering the changes would be over-complicated or too technical (40%),
- Concerns about the cybersecurity implications of automation (28%)
Simplifying IT Automation
Survey respondents who had already completed enterprise-wide automation gave some useful insights into practical measures organisations can take to overcome ‘people’ barriers.
Clearly outlining the benefits of IT automation at the start and throughout the change process (32%), and providing training to ensure staff felt confident to adapt to changes(31%), were found to play a key role in the successful adoption of the technology.
Red Hat and IBM have also created technical solutions to address the people challenges organisations expect to face.
Richard Henshall, from Red Hat, explains:
‘Enterprises today are asking where they can find the right people, how they can upskill them and how they can motivate wider teams to embrace change. Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform can empower teams with simple automation language that makes it easier to get up to speed…’
AI tools like Ansible Lightspeed with IBM watsonx Code Assistant can also help address these challenges. Ansible Lightspeed enables users to generate consistent, high quality code recommendations for automation challenges, making it easier for novice users to automate tasks.
IT Automation: Reducing Risk and Aiding Compliance
Increased productivity, revenue and better customer experiences is usually what springs to most people’s minds when asked about the benefits of automation. However, fewer people are aware of the security and resilience benefits automation brings.
Increased security: Security automation enables organisations to quickly identify, respond to and prevent potential threats.
Greater reliability: Decreasing human intervention through automating tasks reduces the risk of errors, and improves consistency. Automation is consistent, ensuring steps are completed in the same way every time—so teams know how long processes will take, and if they have completed correctly.
Simplified governance: Automation does away with problems such as knowledge gaps and poor communication, making governance more consistent and easier to manage.
Belkacem Moussouni of Red Hat explained the range of benefits customers experience through adopting automation:
‘The most exciting thing I believe enterprise-wide IT automation will achieve is enabling organisations to use more intelligent and autonomous automation solutions. We’re seeing this in action with our customers who are deploying the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform as a unified foundation they can tap into across their organisation. This will continue to free people from manual tasks, reduce risk and help with auditing and regulation compliance.’
Earlier this year, the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform was named a leader by Forrester Research in The Forrester Wave™: Infrastructure Automation, as it enables consistent implementation, sharing and management of automation across the organisation, while continuously providing security and compliance.
Contact us to talk to our experts about planning your organisation’s enterprise IT automation project.