Handling Stakeholder Resistance to Automation Technologies like AIOps

Since the days of the industrial revolution, the displacement of manual tasks by technological automation has been a cause for concern in some corners and the net benefit to society has been a topic for debate. However, history has shown that every major technical advance has created a greater number and variety of jobs (even as it has obsoleted some jobs). As a result, most people at every level of any organization understand the need to constantly drive process and cost efficiency to remain competitive and survive.

Nevertheless, there is a new born sensitivity to the plight of workers displaced by the automation and globalization that technology facilitates. As a result, Silicon Valley, historically viewed as an iconic force for progress, is being scrutinized for both the intended and unintended negative consequences of its technologies on the livelihoods of workers  across economic sectors.

But, what if the emotions of the day override the long-understood truths and capitalistic principles that have guided the largest economies in the world? More specifically, how do you defend AIOps from stakeholder challenges driven by fear of job loss?

Here’s the reality. Service-level expectations keep increasing and demands on IT Operations keep accelerating due to the growth of IT complexity, digitalization, and other strategic initiatives such as Cloud migrations and M&A integrations. Our IT resources simply cannot keep growing to keep pace with demand.1 We need AI-driven insights and automation not just to meet rising stakeholder expectations but to do so within our budget and headcount constraints.

Second, our IT Operations team members will welcome anything that makes their lives easier. AIOps will help them address the specific day-to-day frustrations associated with alert fatigue, making sense of a deluge of APM data, and trial and error remediation. Moreover, because the parts of the IT operations processes that can be fully automated2 are the most routine and mundane, AIOps will give them more bandwidth to focus on higher value-add functions like planning and innovation, which will enrich their job satisfaction.

Third, forward looking IT leaders welcome and embrace innovative technologies like AIOps because they recognize the opportunity to deliver better outcomes with existing resources.3

Finally, the hard truth is that the majority – as much as 70-80% of IT budgets go to running and maintaining the environment. To remain competitive, we must find ways to pay down that legacy debt so that more of our IT budget can be redirected to innovation and digitalization. AIOps kills two birds with one stone – we gain experience and show the way by digitalizing our own IT operations process, and free up our resources to support innovation and digitalization initiatives for our business stakeholders.

Companies that don’t embrace automation risk find themselves obsoleted by competitors that do. This results in larger, more wide ranging and longer lasting job losses than any short term perturbations from automation. For IT, automation through AIOps is rapidly becoming table stakes and won’t remain optional for much longer.

You can learn more about how to anticipate and respond to common stakeholder objections to moving forward with your AIOps initiative by accessing our Guide to Making the Business Case for AIOPs.

Sources:

  • IT infrastructure teams are seeing a 64% increase in work with no change in the number of staff. [451research.com, 2018]

  • Less than 5 percent of occupations consist of activities that can be fully automated. [McKinsey, 2018]

  • Global IT leaders responding to a survey on application performance monitoring and AIOps, identified automation as essential to their go forward strategy. [Cisco, 2018]

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