IT Automation | What it really costs

IT Automation has a lot of advantages but it also comes with an incredible amount of expenses. A deep understanding of what it costs us is essential to succeed with it.

Virutally everyone is seeing the benefits of IT Automation and everyone wants to do it. But while few master it incredibly well, the majority of businesses struggles with it from the very beginning. What are the reasons for that?

In the past decade I have got to know three different approaches from the companies and organizations I have worked for. Each of them knew that IT Automation was beneficial for them but their approaches were completely different.

1) Some think that they can have it for free. Employees are expected to do some “Automation projects” besides their actual work or in their spare time.

2) Others are willing to invest a lot of money but see it as some “project” they can outsource to external partners. They don’t see it as their core competency and therefore want someone else to be responsible for it.

3) The third group simply does it and uses it as catalyst to change the world. They get help from external consultants to go faster but they take over full responsibility.

While each of those 3 groups has a different approach, what they all have in common is what drives every human being: The desire to create value and give their life a meaning. In that they are not different from each other, the only thing that is different are their strategies.

Group 1 focusses on not to spend too much money for IT Automation. They decided to spend the money somewhere else and saving the money means they can create value for themselves and their loved ones immediately. Group 2 focusses on creating more value by investing money. They understand that they will have an even greater benefit tomorrow if they invest their money rather than spend it immediately. Group 3 focusses on creating value by maximizing their own productivity. They use money as a means to measure their success.

There is nothing wrong with either of those 3 approaches. All 3 are driven by a legitimate goal. The difference is that group 1 and group 2 focusses on money while group 3 foucsses on their own value creation abilities. Focussing solely on money can easily distract us from what it means to be a successful human being.

There is no such thing as a free lunch. Everything in life comes at a price. But in regards to IT Automation we can not pay that price in terms of money. What we have to invest is our own time and our own energy. Does that mean we shouldn’t think about money at all? No, money is absolutely essential for every civilisation. Without money you wouldn’t be able to read this. We all would sit in a cave trying to lit a fire with some stones. But even though money is essential it is only a means to an end. It helps us to measure and compare values but it is not the value itself.

The only way to make IT Automation a success is to invest our own time, sweat and tears. We have to be willing to grow, we have to be willing to fail, start again, fail again and restart unless we find a way that works. While getting help from experts helps shorteing the process, we are still the ones that need to be 100% commited to what we do. We can never delegate our own responsibility to someone else. The real costs of IT Automation can not be measured in terms of money. The real costs are your time and energy.

People who focus on money often come to the conclusion that IT Automation is “too expensive”. They either stop thinking about it or make it more cost effective. Doing that is the simplest way to bankruptcy.