Automation Technologies in IT Organisations
Most IT organizations would have several automation technologies in use. Scripting would be the most popular method of automation in IT.
Automation is the connecting of different systems and software in a way that they become self-operating. Examples of these systems used are:
- Artificial Neural Network
- Distributed Control System
- Programmable Logic Controllers
- Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition
- Intelligent Automation
In many organizations, automation could be used for data centre operations and batch processing of large files. This would do away with the need for IT employees during this period, with the I.T professionals only being required if a processing situation accoutred. This use of mechanical and electronic equipment will decrease the need for human interaction
Distributed Control systems control action is distributed and monitoring is centralised. The whole system of controllers is linked by networks for communication and monitoring. It a designed control system used to control complex, large, and geographically distributed applications in industrial processes. It divide a large application into multiple smaller subsystems, each of which carries out a portion of the application, and allow these subsystems to communicate with one another. Distributed control systems have advanced from two older technologies, direct digital control, and hybrid control. (Siemens, 2007)
Distributed controllers are linked to field devices and operating PCs through high speed communication networks. Discrete field devices such as sensors and actuators are directly connected to input and output controller modules through communication bus. These field devices or smart instruments can communicate with PLC’s or other controllers while interacting with real world parameters like temperature, pressure, etc. (robo, 2016)
Discrete Control Systems features
- Can process complex processes
- System redundancy
- Scalable platform
- System security
(robo, 2016) says An important concept in a DCS is the of breaking down of software into smaller logical parts, independent of system hardware. This makes system design much more effective as the software is smaller. This makes it easier to write, debug and maintain than the larger programs in computer and PLC systems
An automated system doesn’t learn from previous experiences, a simple example of this would be an email spam filter. Occasionally, vital emails wind up in the spam folder while spam emails gets past the filter (Rouse, 2012). Intelligent automation is helps to solve this errors.
The benefits would not just be cost reduction but can lead to
- Greater scale
- Product innovations
Intelligent automation is changing the way business is done and has progressed substantially in recent years. These new development’s is to have a massive impact in the world of work. IBM has announced a $1 billion investment to commercialize its Watson cognitive computing technology. (Deloitte’, 2015)
Systems and software can detect and produce enormous amounts of data that then automates the entire processes, adapts, and improves. Application variety from the essentials to the ground-breaking. These can be anything from data analysis to unmanned self-driving cars. Intelligent automation software needs to understand your business developments and their variations. It has to take into account that data when performing automated business developments authentication to verify that the correct business result happens.
The variety of business difficulties in which these services and software can be used on the increase as new technologies for voice recognition, natural language processing, and machine learning advance. They can be used by most people and are gradually becoming accessible as open source or low-cost products.
- Employee resistance (worker displacement)
- Less versatility – by having a machine that can perform a certain task limits to the flexibility and variety of tasks that an employee could do.
- High Cost of upgraded – machines can be expensive, operating costs and maintenance for this equipment will add extra cost. Machines can be anywhere between thousands and millions of euro depending on the automation.
- Increase in unemployment – more advanced automation will leave more people out of work.
- Unpredictable costs – there can be several unpredictable costs that may exceed the actual cost saved by the automation itself. Some of these costs could include research and development costs of automating a process, preventative maintenance costs, and the cost of training employees to operate automated machines.
The technologies are starting to become available and if applied correctly and it can lead to opportunities for the future. The opportunity could be beneficial for workers, doing away with repetitive and dangerous work in all forms. This could lead for people having a higher standard of living and a better way of life.
Business benefits would not only be cost reduction over time but can better use the highly skilled workers in other project critical areas. It would lead to faster and better results, better services and products.
Deloitte’. (2015, 03). deloitte.com. Retrieved from deloitte.com: https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/about-deloitte/us-ibm-watson-client.pdf
robo, d. (2016). automationforum. Retrieved from http://www.automationforum.co/2016/04/introduction-to-dcs-distributed-control.html
Rouse, M. (2012). TechTarget. Retrieved from http://searchitoperations.techtarget.com/definition/IT-automation
Siemens. (2007). http://leadwise.mediadroit.com/files/7405DCS_PLC_WP.pdf. Retrieved from http://leadwise.mediadroit.com/files/7405DCS_PLC_WP.pdf