Infrastructure Automation- Infrastructure and cloud automation. You know you want it. Infrastructure as code and programmable infrastructure are hot topics these days. The possibilities opened by applying software development practices to infrastructure make the vision of transparent infrastructure closer than ever.
But before you start automating, you may want to look at the value you get from your investment and make sure your plan makes sense. After working in automation for over a decade, I’ve seen the importance of having a clear understanding of the value of automation time and again. It’s about time I write about calculating the return on investment (ROI) on infrastructure automation. But before getting to the specifics of infrastructure and cloud automation, it may be wise to start with the value of automation in general.
The Value of Automation
The equation is simple. You have a long, manual process. You figure out a way to automate it. Ta-da! What once took two hours now takes two minutes. And you save sweet 118 minutes. If you run this lovely piece of automation very frequently, the value is multiplied. Saving 118 minutes 10 times a day is very significant. Like magic.
The Value Formula
The formula for the value from automation can be very simple:
Time or Money Saved by Automating a Manual Task
Time or money saved by automating a manual task should include any benefit you can attribute to the automation. Here are some examples:
The time saved by automation to accomplish a complex task (this process took eight hours. Automation does it in eight minutes. Now we can do it more often).
The time saved for the person who used to do it manually (the person who used to do it manually now has eight free hours, while automation does the work).
The time saved for a person who was waiting for the task to be completed (the person who used to wait eight hours for the task to be done, now waits eight minutes; they can do more).
The time saved by not making human errors (the person who used to spend 10 hours troubleshooting after the eight-hour person finished saves 10 hours).