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Resolve 2021 Predictions: Automation & AIOps Continue to Accelerate and Mature

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Automation & AIOps Continue to Accelerate and Mature

By Marcus Rebelo, Director of Sales Engineer, Americas, Resolve

With the Covid-19 pandemic remaining an influential force throughout the first half of 2021 at a minimum, the technology trends we can expect to see are subject to a number of variables. One thing we know for sure from our vantage here at the end of 2020 is that the mass work-from-home movement is going to continue. Many large companies have already committed to it for all of 2021. We also know that the ways consumer behavior has shifted to be digital-first shows no indication of abating. As a result, there are a few IT automation and AIOps trends that I expect will continue to pick up steam the coming year.

Automation Accelerates & Matures

Automation adoption will not only accelerate, but it will mature as companies look to reduce costs while supporting digital transformation initiatives in 2021. The pandemic has been a huge accelerant for IT automation in 2020, and while the benefits are now more widely recognized, with IT teams looking to leverage automation to help cope with cost reductions and other challenges, we are not yet seeing widespread adoption and the true ROI potential. In 2021, organizations across the enterprise working with tighter budgets will continue to prioritize projects that deliver IT agility, improved digital experiences, infrastructure resilience and efficiency.

Retail and Healthcare Prioritize AIOps and Automation

From a vertical market focus, we'll see increased adoption of AIOps and IT automation by organizations that have been more heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the healthcare and retail industries. In 2020, retailers were forced to shift key business operations online, but many lacked the infrastructure needed to support the influx of online customer traffic and overnight increases in e-commerce transactions. Many healthcare organizations are dealing with archaic operating systems that put critical patient data at risk, and they have been targets of repeated ransomware attacks throughout the past several months.

In 2021, retailers and IT service providers that support healthcare organizations will look to incorporate IT automation and AIOps into their systems to help manage growing infrastructure, improve performance of core applications, and protect critical data. Retailers in particular will increasingly leverage chatbots and virtual agents to support the massive channel shift experienced this year. Large enterprises that previously put off the adoption of IT automation are also feeling the effects - website or application crashes and system outages can negatively impact end users, customers, and revenue. These larger businesses are now coming full circle, realizing they need the additional support offered by IT automation, and they will be prioritizing its deployment in 2021.

Automation Goes Hyper

Hyperautomation - the orchestration and automation of multiple different processes - will be center stage in 2021. Organizations will accelerate hyperautomation initiatives to streamline and integrate complex business processes and workflows, further breaking down technology silos enterprise wide. These silos will take longer to dissipate at larger businesses, but it's a strategic conversation that will increase in prominence in 2021 as CIOs broaden the scope of their thinking about the potential for automation to accelerate digital transformation initiatives.

Automation Centers of Excellence Grow Organically

Due to resource constraints and the way businesses are shifting, we're going to see automation Centers of Excellence (CoE) grow organically throughout 2021. The further along businesses are in their automation maturity, the more they recognize the need for an automation CoE. In 2021, we'll see small automation teams with the vision and maturity to advance automation grow in size and stature as resources from the business side of the house join their ranks. An automation CoE serves not only to centralize automation functions and provide governance, but also to identify candidates for automation, manage incoming requests, provide low-code/no-code toolsets to enable non-developers to produce automations, and measure the ROI of automation initiatives.

Customer Experience Drives Automation Development

The pandemic has highlighted a number of processes that are ripe for automation, especially those that impact customer experience or bottom-line revenue. IT teams looking to identify processes around these activities often hit roadblocks because they don't understand either the process itself or how the many systems involved are interconnected. This knowledge often lies with subject matter experts, and the intricacies of these processes have never been mapped to easily implement automation due to a reliance on this tribal knowledge. In 2021, there will continue to be a move away from tribal knowledge to roll out a broader automation strategy as process mapping becomes part of the norm. 

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About the Author

Marcus Rebelo 

Marcus Rebelo serves as director of sales engineering, Americas, at Resolve, where he works with the Fortune 1000, leading telcos, and global MSPs to design and implement creative IT automation solutions that enable more agile, efficient IT operations. With more than two decades of experience in networking, software, and hardware technologies, Marcus has deep expertise designing and architecting IT solutions that create strong foundations for innovation.

His love of technology started with his first Basic programming course in the early 1980s, and he has held positions since, ranging from the service desk to complex service development across a wide variety of organizations, including NTT Communications, IPsoft, BMC Software, Wipro, and Hewlett Packard. In his current role at Resolve, he has grown the sales engineering team globally and worked with numerous customers on their journeys to automation. He frequently speaks at industry events on automation, digital transformation, networking, and cybersecurity topics.

Published Friday, January 08, 2021 7:57 AM by David Marshall
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