IT Operations Automation Definition, Benefits and Examples

ARTICLE SUMMARY

Process Automation has already proven itself as a great alternative for improving the performance of all types of teams in many different scenarios.

What is operations automation for IT? 

Operations Automation in IT refers to the use of technology to create a series of automated actions and tasks within IT systems. This can range from simple automated scripts for routine tasks to complex machine learning algorithms that adapt and learn from data patterns. The goal of IT operations automation is simple: to reduce manual effort, minimize errors, and increase efficiency.

When repetitive tasks such as responding to service requests or sending out emails to multiple people get out of the way, your team has the time and energy to focus on the business activities that add value to your company and truly matter for your long-term strategy

Why automate IT Operations management?

The answer is simple: to do more with less. IT Operations teams normally operate under a lot of pressure to maximize performance, efficiency and resource usage – all while aiming to reduce costs and having to spend many hours on repetitive tasks.

According to Spiceworks, 58% of organizations say their IT team spends more than five hours per week, the equivalent of six-and-a-half work weeks annually, fulfilling repetitive requests from the business. Also, 90% of respondents say that manual and repetitive IT tasks contribute to low morale and attrition in their organizations.

Automation not only allows more productivity by streamlining these tasks, but it can also help the department take a step further in terms of innovation thanks to machine learning and/or artificial intelligence technologies. We’ll talk more about this shortly.

Types of automation in IT operations 

Scripting and Task Automation

At its most basic, automation in IT can be as simple as a script that performs a specific task, whether it’s for cloud computing or on-premises software. For example, a script might automatically back up files at the end of each day or restart a server when it becomes unresponsive. This is often the first step organizations take when delving into automation.

Configuration Management

Configuration Management allows IT teams to automate the setup and maintenance of servers and other infrastructure components without the hassle of doing it all manually. These automations, often implemented through infrastructure as code, can automatically install software, implement updates, fix bugs, and ensure that system configurations remain consistent across the organization.

Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD)

Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) is a modern software development practice that involves automating the steps of software delivery, from code integration to deployment. 

In simple terms, it’s like an automated assembly line for creating and updating software. As soon as a programmer makes a change to the code, the system automatically verifies its compatibility with the existing software. If the change passes these checks, it can be smoothly integrated into the live software without any issues. 


This is often a key component in DevOps strategies, allowing for quick iterations and more frequent feature releases, all while maintaining a high standard of quality.

Network Automation

Network automation involves the use of software to create, configure, and manage network devices and services. In the context of a company with multiple offices, this means that, instead of having the IT staff manually configure each router in every location, automation tools can push out the necessary settings all at once.

Another example is automated monitoring. Network automation tools can continuously monitor the health and performance of the network, automatically flagging irregularities, such as unexpected traffic spikes or potential security vulnerabilities. This allows the IT team to address issues proactively, often before they impact the business.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is designed to automate rule-based tasks usually performed by a human interacting with digital systems. For example, RPA software can log into applications, enter data, perform calculations, and complete tasks based on certain conditions.

The applications of RPA are vast and can span multiple departments within the organization. In IT operations, RPA can be used for tasks like automating system backups, monitoring network performance, or even managing user access and permissions based on specific triggers.

Top 5 Gains from IT Operations Automation

1. Enhance productivity and lower costs

Think of automation as adding an extra pair of hands, or ten, to your team. By automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks, companies can reallocate human resources to more strategic roles, getting more value out of their workforce. The cost savings here are twofold: reduced labor costs and the ability to do more with the same number of employees.

Automation also brings a high level of accuracy and consistency, significantly reducing the risk of human error, which can be damaging to a company in terms of both costs and reputation. More about that in a minute.

2. Make the most out of your people

Instead of spending their precious time on tasks that don’t demand their level of expertise, these IT professionals can focus their efforts on complex and strategic tasks, as well as developing their skill sets even further.

Tasks like changing passwords, onboarding and offboarding employees, provisioning software or managing credentials are listed as some of the most common daily tasks that contribute to job dissatisfaction, according to Spiceworks. Does that sound familiar?

As we’ve mentioned above, spending a lot of time on these is not only bad for the team’s overall morale, but workers assigned with repetitive tasks are also more prone to mistakes.

Let automation take the burden off your team and allow them to focus on developing new features or improving existing systems and operations.

3. Make fewer mistakes

As we’ve mentioned before, crossing out the human element of certain activities can be highly beneficial to operations teams’ performance. As dedicated and competent as your employees are, humans are prone to making errors – especially when we’re talking about everyday, repetitive tasks.

Automated systems follow the exact protocols set for them, ensuring that tasks are executed correctly every time. This reliability translates into fewer system downtimes and less resources allocated on troubleshooting and repairs, and the seemingly unavoidable mistakes are drastically reduced if not altogether eliminated.

4. Scale your operations seamlessly

In a traditional IT environment, scaling up to meet increased demand or business growth usually involves a linear increase in manual labor and resources. This not only makes the process slow but also introduces the risk of human error and inconsistency. Automation, on the other hand, allows businesses to dynamically allocate resources and perform tasks based on real-time needs, without the need for human intervention. This means that as a business grows, its IT operations can scale seamlessly alongside it.

Automated systems can perform routine maintenance tasks, security checks, and data backups during off-peak hours, ensuring that the system is always optimized for performance. This allows businesses to adapt to market demands swiftly, ensures optimal resource utilization, and frees up human capital for more strategic initiatives—all crucial elements for sustainable growth.

5. Attain higher satisfaction levels

The benefits of automation go well beyond your team: automation allows your IT Operations teams to provide a much greater level of support, not only when it comes to your internal customers (other teams) but also to your actual paying customers.

Process automation allows you to reduce points of contact but it also allows you to qualify these contact opportunities a lot further. By adopting an IT service desk automation structure you’ll reduce the need of getting in touch with an IT professional by providing self-service support options.

Qualifying the customer’s needs by automating the first steps of your support structure (such as offering the possibility of choosing the reason why they’re getting in touch and specifying the subject of their request) will allow your helpdesk team to get back to the customer prepared with specific knowledge what will significantly cut down the time spent on each ticket.

Key Components of IT Operations Automation 

Orchestration and workflow automation 

Orchestration in IT is similar to what you’d imagine from a conductor in an orchestra: it coordinates the execution of different automated tasks, often involving multiple systems, applications, and services, ensuring they work in harmony to complete a complex process. 

Workflow automation is essentially a subset of orchestration, focusing on automating a specific sequence of tasks that make up a single workflow. Taking the onboarding of new employees as an example, workflow automation would handle the sequence of tasks involved in this process, from creating a new email account to provisioning the necessary software.

Orchestration, on the other hand, would oversee this onboarding workflow in the context of other ongoing IT operations. For example, coordinating with network monitoring tools to ensure that the influx of new devices (from the new employees) doesn’t trigger false security alarms or overwhelm the network.

Chatbots and virtual assistants for IT operations

Chatbots and virtual assistants are becoming increasingly popular in IT operations and other departments for automating both customer service and internal support tasks. These agents can handle a variety of queries, from resetting passwords to providing system status updates and even guiding users through troubleshooting steps, freeing up human agents to deal with more complex issues.

Moreover, these chatbots can be integrated into a system that serves multiple departments. Imagine a chatbot that’s initially programmed to assist IT but is later adapted to serve HR functions. The same chatbot could handle leave requests, benefits inquiries, and even initial stages of the recruitment process, like answering FAQs for prospective employees.

While they’re invaluable in automating routine IT tasks, chatbots and virtual assistants can be leveraged across the organization, making this even more valuable as a company-wide resource in automation.

Artificial Intelligence 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) takes automation to the next level by adding a layer of intelligence to the system. This goes beyond the scope of traditional automation, which is rule-based and doesn’t adapt over time.

In IT operations, AI excels in areas such as network monitoring, where it can quickly spot irregularities and potential security risks. It’s also valuable in predictive maintenance, using both historical and real-time data to foresee hardware failures, enabling timely repairs or replacements.

AI is also making progress in the realm of customer support. Beyond chatbots, it can study customer behavior and preferences to customize support solutions. 

Hyperautomation 

According to Gartner, by 2024, 65% of large organizations worldwide will have deployed some form of hyperautomation, an advanced form of automation that involves a combination of automation technologies — from robotic process automation (RPA) to machine learning. The goal is to automate as much, and with as much intelligence, as possible, not just individual tasks but entire processes or even sections of the business.

For instance, in the retail industry, hyperautomation can manage not just inventory levels but also dynamically adjust pricing based on real-time analysis of sales data, seasonal trends, and local events. This comprehensive approach allows businesses to adapt quickly to market demands and optimize the use of resources.

Examples of successful implementation of IT operations automation

Through these and other components, automation allows IT professionals to focus on more strategic, value-added roles, ultimately contributing to cost savings and business growth. See some real-life examples of how implementing automation helped companies save money, enhance productivity and visibility and improve overall efficiency across IT and other departments.

How Woba “gained” 2 full-time employees with automation


Woba, Latin America’s largest coworking platform, faced a unique set of challenges as a 100% remote organization. With teams spread across different time zones, the lack of centralized and standardized processes led to inefficiencies and communication breakdowns. Marcelo Bogobil, the IT & Integrations Manager, led the initiative to streamline operations using Pipefy, a low-code platform designed for quick and efficient process management.

Within a short span, automation became essential for Woba’s IT operations. Using Pipefy, the IT team was able to design, test, and deploy over 60 different processes across five departments, resulting in 560 hours of monthly work saved—equivalent to two full-time employees. 

This newfound efficiency allowed the IT team to focus on top-priority projects, elevating the company’s operational maturity. With automation and Pipefy, Woba not only centralized its IT operations but also empowered other departments to optimize their workflows, contributing to the company’s overall agility and responsiveness.

How BASF automated processes across 20 departments

BASF, a global leader in the chemical industry, faced challenges in process visibility, data centralization and workflow efficiency. The company initially adopted Pipefy in 2020 to streamline its project management, from R&D to product launches, across multiple departments and countries. 

The platform’s low-code nature allowed for quick implementation and customization, meeting IT best practices for agility and scalability.

By integrating Pipefy, BASF achieved end-to-end process transparency, enabling real-time collaboration among diverse teams across various countries. The platform’s automation features, such as task assignments, field updates, and standardized email triggers, have saved the division 2,400 hours over a year.

The company now has 20 departments using Pipefy, marking a 1000% growth in user numbers within a year and managing 52 active processes.

Embrace IT operations automation today

Automation is more than just a buzzword; it’s a fundamental shift in how IT operations are managed, offering a path to greater efficiency, cost savings, and innovation.

But how do you make the leap? That’s where Pipefy comes in. Pipefy provides a suite of automation tools tailored to address the specific complexities of IT operations.

Pipefy allows you to eliminate manual, repetitive tasks, simplify intricate workflows, and integrate disparate systems, all through a user-friendly interface that requires no coding skills. Whether your goal is to automate a single function or transform your entire IT operations, Pipefy offers the flexibility and scalability to meet your needs.

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