Automation management may vary on specific sub-components but it generally involves a digital platform, software or set of software applications that can be used to plan, assign, implement, monitor and evaluate the workflow of human workers and the various automated tasks such as those performed by robots in a factory. The smaller details of a company’s day-to-day operations can be micromanaged more effectively by automating the tedious managerial tasks such as checking the daily attendance. For instance, a management software system can be designed to check the real-time location of an employee in a building while also monitoring the progress of his or her assigned tasks. Processing routine customer transactions is also possible using an integrated management system.
Automation itself is not a new concept or practice. It can be traced back to ancient inventions like the windmills and waterwheels. However, integrating multiple automated systems into one ‘intelligent’ coordinated management system is relatively new. Even in some tech companies that are heavily dependent on computerized systems, the systematic and centralized management of the various operations is not fully implemented. They need to precisely tailor automation management to their specific operational needs.
The practical implementation of automating repetitive and bulky tasks, including managerial and administrative tasks, started in the 1950’s with American Airlines and Bank of America. The airline company introduced the Semi Automated Business Research environment or SABRE, which is an airline reservation system. Meanwhile, the bank implemented an automated check processing system known as the Electronic Recording Method of Accounting or ERMA. It was the first computer system used in the banking industry. From these two pioneering innovations, other IT management innovations evolved in different industries.
Coordinating various tasks
The goal of automation management is not to render human workers obsolete but rather to make humans and machines more coordinated and productive. Automation management software solutions offered by companies like Red Hat are useful not only in terms of streamlining internal operations but also in terms of coordinating outsourced services.
The outsourced services from online freelancers, for instance, are hard to manage without a platform that could coordinate their varied tasks into a cohesive whole. A company might need to outsource copy writers, designers, and engineers who are located in various parts of the world in accomplishing a project. The various time zones alone are already problematic in terms of coordinating communications and deadlines. These and other related problems can be solved using an automation management system.
One of the several companies that benefitted from Red Hat services is Lenovo. It has achieved significant transformation through Red Hat Openshift Container Platform. It is a platform-as-a-service or PaaS solution that provides cloud computing. The platform allowed Lenovo to integrate the fast-changing market demands with IT and Internet+. In so doing, the costs are significantly reduced while being able to keep up with the changing business environments. It simplified the previous operations that would typically involve several employees with various roles to complete ten procedures.
Another success story made possible by Red Hat services is the Schiphol Amsterdam Airport. The airport has 2,093 employees and around 63.6 million passengers land and takeoff from this airport every year. The daily challenges such as booking passengers, scheduling flights, and handling luggage are too complex to be handled by the internal automated systems. The airport management wanted to simplify the travel experience of passengers and at the same time become more cost-efficient in its daily operations while collaborating with the various airlines and other stakeholders. It decided to migrate to a cloud-based IT infrastructure to achieve its goals. It had chosen Red Hat Openshift Container platform and other Red Hat products to handle its data storage, IT management, application programming interface (API) and integration. The result is a more efficient operation and better customer service. It was able to reduce the development time for new services and APIs by 50 percent.