Autonomics - Automation with Intelligence
I have always been intrigued by the possibility of 'doing more with less'. More output with less input, conservation of effort and energy, increasing productivity - it's all so fascinating especially when managed intelligently without compromising on ethics and ecological balance. The same applies to IT services. If less human effort can be consumed to resolve routine issues, talent can focus on higher-value activities and higher order purpose. This means automation - the execution of activities without human intervention based on pre-determined business rules. This does require someone to initiate a tool or write scripts to automate a process. But, what if automation itself can be automated? There comes the concept of autonomics.
Autonomics is all about building expert systems that are self-learning and self-healing. Can we build software 'robots' to take over the task of writing scripts or initiating an automation? Can repetitive, predictable tasks be executed by a 'virtual engineer' who learns in much the same way as a human engineer does? Thereby, can we free-up talent to work on more complex tasks that require visualization, imagination, team work and collective wisdom?
Technology has become both complex and pervasive. More than 60% of an enterprise's IT spending goes towards supporting, maintaining and enhancing systems that are already built and operational. The time has come to manage such complex technology. That is where autonomics - self-configuring, self-healing, self-optimizing and self-protecting systems - come to play.
One may argue that autonomics or expert systems can take away the jobs of human engineers and thereby create new social issues. In response, I'd say any technology helping us do 'more with less' is good for engineers, organizations, nations, the society and the world at large. Productivity improvement doesn't take away jobs, but helps produce more with less input or effort and thereby helps us produce more and create more jobs.
That's why, we must embrace autonomics rather than dismiss it. It is the next wave of productivity enhancement bringing with it consistency, quality, speed and scalability too.