Government IT Shops Automate


Vast majority of public sector IT workers say automation has saved their organization time and money.

The vast majority of public sector information technology professionals believe the automation of IT has helped them do more with less, a new survey reveals.

The survey of 162 public sector IT workers by SolarWinds found that 84 percent believe the automation of their IT infrastructure initiatives has significantly or somewhat saved their organization time and money, while 67 percent agreed that automation has had a significant or moderate impact on productivity.

The most popular automation technologies in terms of saving time and money were network configuration management (58 percent), followed by help desk automation (42 percent), IP address management (39 percent) and application/server provisioning and configuration management (37 percent).

Survey respondents also emphasized that automation projects will continue to grow in 2014, with two-thirds of respondents indicating they already are in the process of implementing a variety of technologies and 63 percent saying they plan to implement an automation project this year.

Still, despite automation technologies holding promise for agencies, respondents cited several barriers to its implementation. More than half (54 percent) said the biggest barrier to automation is budgetary restrictions, while integration with existing tools (49 percent) and lack of training (42 percent) also present challenges to their automation initiatives.

In addition, compliance requirements – such as the Federal Information Security Management Act – are driving at least a moderate investment in automation. Half of respondents said that they’ve invested a significant or moderate amount in tools to automate compliance reporting, though 37 percent said compliance requirements have had no impact on their investment in automation tools.

Despite the overall growth in automation adoption, more than half (53 percent) of respondents said their IT departments have not hired any new IT professionals in the past year. Some (6.5 percent) said their IT team was smaller because of the productivity increases resulting from the investment in automation.

“Given that the majority of IT teams aren’t growing, it’s especially critical that IT management products are easy to evaluate, quick to deploy without expensive consultants, and that they integrate seamlessly so teams don’t have to spend time learning new interfaces every time they add functionality,” said Chris LaPoint, vice president of product management at SolarWinds, in a statement. 

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