Jellyfish - Basel zoo

Why Automation?

I worked in IT for many years, mainly in the invisible area called Infrastructure, the place where people look after desktop computers, servers, and networks and make sure everything is running smoothly. The area of IT that most people forget and just assume that it always just works, until one day when it doesn’t, or as I liked to explain it jokingly, “people don’t know you exist until something goes wrong; then they do, and they hate you“. It wasn’t all bad, though; most days there weren’t any major problems and you could get back to firefighting.

In my time in IT, I’ve seen the transition from experts responsible for specific areas like email, to smaller team sizes, each person responsible for more and more things. The result is less time to do things, and limited opportunity to do things properly, and like a plate spinner in a circus, you rush around trying to keep everything from falling apart.

In 2012, I had an opportunity to be involved in a project to review a possible replacement for our in-house built process automation tool. Things progressed and I took responsibility to manage the switch to the new software, but without a team in place, my role evolved to not only establish an amazing team, but to also get hands on doing development, admin, solution design, training, basically anything that needed doing. This wasn’t the direction I was expecting to go in, but I could see the possibility to create solutions that could reduce the workload of not only my colleagues in IT, but also in any other department.

I realised pretty quickly that I’d found the one thing I had been searching for, something that appealed to both the puzzle and problem solving part of my mind that IT had nurtured, and also the creative side which had been relegated to an occasional hobby. I was hooked and could see more and more opportunities to help. Being told by people that “they loved what we’d done” to help them, or that their “day was so much easier now”, was such a change from before, and the sense of pride and satisfaction was a new, unexpected, and hugely rewarding bonus.

So the short answer to what’s the idea and motivation behind this, is that I believe that we all face problems and challenges in running a business, and I have seen how even simple automation services can make a huge difference, and I’ve learnt that I love to solve problems and help to ease people’s days. So combining the two just makes perfect sense to me.