Automation is more than just a buzzword these days. It is a proven solution for expanding the capacity of a business without actually investing more resources into operations. Automation allows many business processes to run without human input or constant monitoring. In fact, automation allows team members to work on other, more complex tasks, resulting in faster and more sustainable growth for the organization.
The impact of automation on today’s technology industry is massive and wide-ranging. Tech startups and large IT corporations are both leveraging automation to expand their operational capacity. What are the changes and ops made possible by automation? Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
Automated Mundane Tasks
The most basic form of automation is the automation of mundane, repetitive tasks. This type of task is easy to find in the tech landscape. Everything from generating reports to making sure that purchase orders are filed properly can now be automated.
The same is true for tasks that help engineers and developers work effectively. On a project management platform, for instance, tasks are automatically marked completed when new codes are pushed to Git. New tasks are assigned automatically too. This means developers no longer have to worry about keeping up with project management details and can focus on writing good code.
These automation examples certainly help the tech industry overcome its biggest challenges, which is remaining efficient as a business. Many tech startups failed to survive the market not because they didn’t have a strong engineering team or a good technology, but mostly because they failed to organize operations properly as a business.
The automation of these tasks also means team members in certain roles like project managers and general affair officers can focus their attention on more complex challenges. They can direct resources towards creating a suitable environment that promotes growth.
Automation in Agile Development
Next, we have the use of automation in development cycles. With applications being developed as cloud-native microservices, automation is more common than ever. A lot of things about developing new microservices, updating existing ones, and deploying them for users can be automated.
Infrastructure management, for instance, can be fully automated as part of a CI/CD pipeline. Instead of having to manually configure AWS services or a complex cloud infrastructure, developers only need to write a few lines of codes to deploy the infrastructure that their apps need. The same is true with maintaining the cloud infrastructure in the long run.
Testing is another thing that gets automated more frequently. Instead of manually executing testing runtimes and procedures, developers only need to integrate testing APIs and tools to automate the whole process. Testing becomes an inseparable part of the development process rather than a bottleneck at the end of the line.
There are many aspects of app development that can be fully automated. Code review build and releases, and deployment to staging and production are now standardized procedures that can be executed without manual commands from developers and engineers.
The Real Benefits of Automation
From the previous examples of automation in the tech industry, it is easy to see how the approach significantly improves the landscape. There are some definite advantages that automation brings to the table.
Time-reduction is the most obvious one. Since many tasks are now fully automated, they can be completed faster and without requiring as much attention from team members. As a result, team members can allocate the extra time they have to other tasks that still require manual involvement.
Paired with the higher computing power and the technology behind automation itself, it is also easy to see how automation can free up more resources than ever. In the old days, only repetitive tasks can be fully automated. Today, machine learning and AI helps make automation more flexible.
Automation also reduces costs, both the direct cost of developing apps and the overhead costs associated with tech startups and organizations. With costs reduced to a minimum, tech startups can boost their profit and make the company more sustainable in a competitive market.
Productivity of the whole team is also elevated. Automation doesn’t make employees lazier. It produces the opposite effect. Employees are more likely to remain productive when they don’t have to deal with repetitive tasks every day.
With productivity increased, efficiency is also increased. You are getting so much more with every penny you invest, both in employees and in other resources. Considering how the economy now presents additional challenges, a spike in efficiency is always a good thing.
The final advantage is sustainable growth. As more resources are directed towards important tasks, the entire company can grow exponentially, and at a pace that’s sustainable and healthy. Automation will soon be the reason why many tech startups survive this most recent crisis.
Automation vs. Human
The use of automation is not without its challenges, plus there are some debates surrounding automating tasks that used to require several team members. Is automation here to replace humans? Will automation in certain tasks such as testing make specialists (i.e. test or QA engineers) obsolete?
The same questions were raised when artificial intelligence was first implemented for business purposes. These questions about automation are not surprising, but they are also questions that should not be taken lightly.
So, is automation really here to replace engineers and human operators? The answer to this question is a definite NO. The previous examples that we discussed all point to one conclusion, that automation is here to allow engineers and developers to work on more important things.
That’s the idea behind automation all along. The most obvious sign of how automation can help developers in tech startups do more can be seen in the implementation of automation testing. Tools and resources designed to automate testing makes testing a breeze rather than an obstacle.
Besides, there are big names like Globalapptesting.com that now leverage in automation testing. The tests Global App Testing make available are designed to help developers push high quality code faster. At the same time, test engineers can still tweak the way tests are automated in order to produce targeted and relevant results.
The only thing to do now is integrating automation into your existing workflows, and there are many ways to do so. It all starts with using the right tools for the job, including development and testing tools, tools for managing projects and tasks, and other business solutions that support the day-to-day operations of the company.
Integrating those tools and identifying tasks to automate are both very important. After all, not all tasks can be automated immediately; in fact, not all tasks should. For example, it is not easy to automate tasks that require a lot of variations. Nevertheless, automation tools are becoming more advanced now that AI is also part of the equation.
Lastly, don’t forget to measure the impact of automation. Setting goals and metrics to monitor are still important when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of automation in a technology company, and across the industry as a whole. Only when the effectiveness is proven that you should start automating more tasks.
We may be looking at a very streamlined and efficient technology industry becoming a reality. Automation will be one of the key components of that outcome.