The automation of previously human-dependent tasks is nothing new. The industrial revolution was the first big wave of automation where machinery was introduced to production lines as a means to reduce operation times, costs and complexities.
Now, in the Information Age, we’re seeing the automation, yet again, of once human-dependent tasks to ensure faster and more reliable completion of a product – which just so happens to be a piece of software.
Gartner states that, “Digital business is essentially software, which means that organizations that expect to thrive in a digital environment must have an improved competence in software delivery." In a world where the speed of software production can mean the difference between success and stagnation, companies that invest in automation methodologies and tools will excel beyond their peers who don’t.
With this said, let’s look at why software automation will give businesses a competitive advantage in 2017 and beyond.
Automation reduces the risk of costly mistakes
Software development and delivery pipelines have many moving parts: with the development cycle involving various teams, people and processes before producing an end product. During these sequential handovers of code to various players in the fold, a good many mistakes and oversights can go unnoticed well beyond the eleventh hour and into production. This results in false starts for the business with a series of backtracking from the DevOps teams to track and repair bugs.
Moreover, with new software iterations occurring at higher rates, exposure to human-error increases relative to the frequency at which iterations are released. Automation steps in to not only eliminate the chance of errors, but also to free up human resources to focus their energies far more productively.
Software automation will allow you to get the most out of your most valuable resource
In an article that discusses the value of DevOps in delivering software more reliably, McKinsey found that the elimination of “non-value-added” work through automation resulted in the time required to update servers and IT environments to be reduced to 10% of the time taken prior to implementing automation. Humans aren’t designed to perform repetitive tasks. Our time is far better spent on finding solutions to problems in the most creative ways.
This is why centuries-old inventions still undergo modifications and improvements to this day. Software automation isn’t just a product of human creativity, it also facilitates it by freeing up talented and highly paid resources to further add value to your delivery pipeline.
Great apps are often beaten by ones who show up on the market first
Time to market is a critical key to success for any digital product. Research shows that companies that adopt automation into their delivery pipelines, “deploy code 30 times more frequently, have 200 times shorter lead times and recover from failure 168 times faster.” Even the most beautifully designed and feature-rich app can be upstaged by a lesser, competing app that managed to find its way to market before the prior.
Speed is of utmost importance in the world of software delivery and the same goes for deploying a piece of software within your organization. A tool that can help your workforce perform at higher levels than that of your peers, will give you the advantage and capacity to get your product to market before the competition does.
Automation is key to market relevance
Software automation will continue to help companies improve their internal processes and cultures while simultaneously allowing them to be increasingly customer-centric. With consumers enjoying far more leverage in the age of the customer, businesses will need to constantly evaluate their ability to stand up to their demands.
The automation of processes that historically demanded considerable time and resources will be an area forward-thinking businesses will look to for an advantage as the competition closes in.