automation_cogs_turningA recent webinar run by Computing magazine featuring a panel of industry experts has come to the conclusion that automation may become the norm. Many traditional IT support roles will be automated out of existence in the foreseeable future. The panel firmly believes that many IT roles will eventually become redundant, but that many other technical roles could follow.

Why are these jobs going to disappear? Put simply, advances in technology mean that IT systems are not only less prone to failure, but they are also better able to fix their own problems without manual intervention.

The future is already here

Smaller businesses have been able to manage without dedicated IT staff thanks to partnerships with third party support providers who can assist as and when required. But there are other technologies that are making the future a reality now.

Automation is a huge leap forward in technology that can really help your business prosper. Without the need for additional support staff, and a system that fixes its own problems, your business will run more smoothly and for much less money.

Virtual servers have helped break the direct link between software and the supporting hardware for instance. By virtualising your server, you can quickly and easily copy files between systems to keep your systems up and running. Cloud-based platforms like Microsoft Azure make this process even easier – virtual servers are spread across thousands of physical servers, further reducing the chance of outages caused by hardware failures.

Much of this load balancing is performed automatically too. Cloud platforms are typically ‘self healing’ identifying faulty hardware, and moving data elsewhere in the system to compensate. And because the platform can manage much of its own diagnostics and repairs, Cloud providers typically need fewer engineers – particularly for technical support.

Reducing support needs in your office

Obviously self-healing Cloud technologies are of little interest to SMEs – but there are also “hands-off” technologies that will help reduce their reliance on IT support engineers too. Take Cloudberry Lab for instance – this Cloud-based platform promises to reduce the manual tasks associated with data backups and archiving for instance.

Traditionally backups involve switching tapes or removable hard drives on a daily basis, before taking those devices off site to protect against loss. Once configured, Cloudberry Lab simply copies your data into the Cloud automatically, instantly doing away with the need for someone to swap tapes and verify that everything has completed successfully.

And because your backup is stored in the Cloud, you can access whenever, and wherever, you need. So there’s no delay in tracking down “yesterday’s tape” – another time-intensive, manual process.

For more help and advice on how your business might be able to use technology to reduce its IT support needs, please get in touch.

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