Published on November 9, 2023, 5:44 am

A recent survey conducted by Gartner in May 2022 revealed that a significant percentage of infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders are planning to increase their automation efforts within the next two to three years. Among those currently lacking full automation, 85% expressed their intention to become more automated in the near future.

According to Gartner’s predictions, by 2025, approximately 70% of organizations will have implemented structured automation to enhance flexibility and efficiency. This represents a considerable increase from the current figure of 20% observed in 2021.

Yinuo Geng, the Vice President at Gartner, emphasized the importance of automation for I&O in catering to the growing demands of digital businesses. With its ability to facilitate speed-to-market, enhance business agility, ensure regulatory compliance and security, as well as optimize service costs, automation technologies are deemed essential for scaling I&O operations effectively.

The survey findings indicated that deployment domains such as application deployment (47%), I&O workload automation (43%), and end-user device deployment (41%) have been using automation most frequently. In fact, an impressive 90% of respondents implementing application deployment automation reported its value.

Melanie Freeze, Senior Principal of Research at Gartner, highlighted how automating deployment activities can reduce friction between I&O and its consumers. While advancements in practices like DevOps, Agile methodologies, and site reliability engineering have led to increased automation within operational domains such as monitoring and incident resolution, justifying investments in these areas has proven more challenging due to indirect returns.

To illustrate further, only 22% of I&O leaders are currently automating patching and vulnerability remediation. Nevertheless, among those who have embraced automation in these activities, a substantial 70% find it impactful for their business. These figures emphasize the urgency for I&O departments to expand their focus on automating operational domains.

The survey also found that only 21% of respondents reported high levels of success in their I&O automation endeavors. Some of the most common challenges cited include estimating return on investment (ROI) when selecting suitable use case opportunities, adapting to more consumer-centric approaches, improving legacy processes and infrastructure, and acquiring relevant skills.

Freeze observed that when deciding on automation initiatives, I&O leaders often prioritize feasibility and demand volume instead of potential business value. She suggests that by prioritizing projects that are reusable, support innovation, and align with emerging business priorities, I&O leaders can maximize their future returns on automation investments.

Overall, the survey results demonstrate the increasing importance of infrastructure automation within organizations. As digital transformation continues to accelerate across industries, harnessing the power of automation is key to driving efficiency, agility, and competitiveness in today’s digital landscape.

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