Autonomous Systems: Are they good for IT?

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Automated systems are here to stay and it's getting smarter every day.

There is no denying the rise of automation in businesses today. Automation helps you become more efficient and saving money by replacing human work with machine labor. It’s everywhere and it affects all businesses.

It’s not just robots taking away jobs from workers in an assembly line, but it’s everything that takes repetitive tasks out of your hands. If you know how to do macros in Microsoft Word, you’ve basically used automation.

Email marketing is another example. After loading and tweaking your e-mail, you turn it over to a software that does the actual sending for you. You can even have that software send a follow-up e-mail to recipients who have not replied or opened their messages.

Aside from saving money and time, your employees are able to focus on more pressing matters rather than repeating the same tasks day in and day out.

But while automation is very prevalent, some of you might not have encountered autonomous systems before. With automation, you will still need a human to do some of the things. For instance, with e-mail marketing, an employee will still be there to load that e-mail, choose the correct mailing list, and load it up using software.

Oracle Autonomous Database

Autonomous systems work on their own. It’s easy to get confused because autonomous systems are a subset of automation. One excellent example of autonomous systems is Oracle Autonomous Database.

Oracle Autonomous Database can manage, repair, and secure itself. Your IT team is free to work on other tasks because they no longer the ones who would have to update and apply patches. They don’t even have to manage databases.

What happens is that you gain tremendous savings and more work gets done. You also get to avoid the possibility of your IT staff making the wrong move and screwing everything up.

What’s more, because most autonomous systems live on the cloud, you enjoy the benefits of cloud computing. Whatever administering and management you need to do, it will be very minimal. Cloud systems are also more reliable than your own data centers that live in-house.

Cloud computing is also very efficient and reliable. The total cost of ownership is at a fraction for what you would need to spend when you do things on-premise. Cloud systems are more secure, as well.

What’s the difference between automation and automated systems? Machine learning.

But how do automated systems affect IT?

Your IT team might be top-notch professionals, but they are more often than not reactive. Automated systems have the ability to self-repair. The can monitor everything and detect if something is likely to go wrong.

But unlike traditional systems that notifies you of a probable issue and then waits for you to do something, autonomous systems will just fix these problem areas without your help or input.

Your IT team, as well as other end users, will have no idea what’s going on. They will only see a working and fully functional database.

Because of machine learning, Oracle Autonomous Database continues to adopt and learn. It will take more and more tasks away from IT staff, allowing them to ensure better availability and reliability, while they do other things.

Will autonomous systems make me unemployed?

It’s a valid concern that some IT practitioners are asking: if the machine is learning what they are doing and be able to do a task by themselves without human intervention, then it won’t be long before they’re jobless.

For instance, database administrators might find themselves out of work because they are no longer needed to provision, maintain, and look after Oracle Autonomous Database

While this is a possibility, you can be prepared. IT leaders need to figure out if there are other places within the organization that will be perfect for someone who was affected by autonomous systems. It can be a lateral or horizontal transfer. Others might do better working as a consultant or reinventing themselves for other tasks.

Plan for it today

Automated systems are here to stay and it’s getting smarter every day. DBAs and other IT personnel might not yet be nervous about losing their jobs to Oracle Autonomous Database, but it doesn’t hurt to plan early.

It’s only a matter of time. Automated systems are expensive and that is what keeps businesses from adopting these systems right now.

But, cost-savings are substantial and for some the money they save might be enough to drive them to make the switch to automated systems.

Photo courtesy of Airman Magazine.

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