If there’s one thing we’ve observed in our customer base, it’s that CIOs have a variety of motivations when it comes to automation. We’ve seen these typically fall into one of 5 categories. Which of these drivers holds the most appeal for you?

#1 - Protect the customer experience. Eliminate IT risk for business users every day. And you’ll sleep better, knowing that your processes and enterprise apps are safeguarded.

How? Automation continuously tests every process and every enterprise app end-to-end every day to mitigate the risk of business disruption due to an IT failure. That’s because automation allows you to catch glitches and defects earlier -- before they make it to your production environment. So you’ll eliminate the cost and embarrassment of an IT failure. Continuous functional testing brings peace-of-mind and confidence. Sure, there’s a cost to automation, but it’s small compared to the cumulative cost of major and minor IT failures.

#2 - Be more predictable. Eliminate IT project risk. Bolster the credibility of your team’s ability to execute.

How? Automated testing eliminates the human element and increases predictability in testing timelines, as well as budget predictability. You’ll see fewer time and budget over-runs when your primary testing mechanism is automation.  Also, when your new technology works right the first time for business users, you’ll see stronger adoption of new applications.  Nothing dampens momentum and hurts adoption more than bugs and glitches in a new system.

#3 - Deliver innovation faster. Quickly bring new technology and updates to the businesses you serve. Increase agility in a highly quantifiable, specific way.

How? First, automation shortens project timelines by 40% or more since testing makes up a big chunk of IT projects. Secondly, your test coverage will expand dramatically with automation - which eliminates your team’s fear and risk in deploying frequent updates. You’ll be able to roll out new technology more frequently with greater confidence. When you get improved technology into the hands of your business sooner -- 3 months, 6 months, or 9 months faster -- they can use it to generate value sooner.  What’s that worth? Hard to quantify, but it’s often real value.

#4 - Protect your budget. Lower one-time project costs and recurring maintenance costs in a very measurable way. Do more with less (or the same).

How? Automation dramatically lowers the cost of QA and testing, which can be significant, because it replaces manual labor with digital labor. Whether for new technology projects or on-going maintenance and regression testing for enterprise apps, automation cuts costs. Some companies save millions – that’s tens of thousands of labor hours per year. Yes, you may choose to re-deploy your team rather than reduce headcount, but that’s still smart and still means savings. With the money you save thru automation, you may be able to invest more elsewhere - to fund more innovation.

#5 - Liberate your team. Give business users their time back. Engage your business team and IT staff on higher value, more strategic activities.

How? If you are manually testing business processes and enterprise apps, there’s often a heavy reliance on business analysts and business users to perform time-consuming, repetitive manual tests.  It’s not fun and it’s not professionally rewarding. Plus, with an IT skills shortage today, you probably can’t afford to waste your intellectual capital in this way. Automation eliminates the burden, allowing business and IT staff to focus on higher value jobs. You’ll be giving them back their time, and they’ll be grateful for it!

What other automation motivators matter to you? We welcome your thoughts!