Harnessing technology in business is really about getting computers to do more and humans to do less. Or rather, to free up human resources by using technology to do the tedious, repetitive tasks.
Jack Santos, a research vice-president at analyst firm Gartner Inc.,writes about how much ground there still is to cover in the area of business process automation. There is hardly any line of business nowadays that cannot benefit from a simplified, streamlined approach. This can mean cutting down on the number of applications (often quite dramatically), moving multiple e-mail systems to a single cloud based service, or consolidating a security strategy.
I wrote about mainframe automation a little while ago, and one thing I learned during the course of researching it was the different business cultures that can contribute to the degree of process automation in an IT department as well. In Europe, for example, vacations tend to be longer than those in North America, so fewer employees are available to do the same tasks, hence more of a need for automation. And in developed countries in general, skills shortages in areas like mainframe administration also create a need.
A lot of IT tasks are being outsourced to other countries, but many more are being “outsourced” to machines out of sheer neccessity.