Laborless IT: Implausible Dream Or New Reality?

Estelle Lagorce

This is the fourth and final blog in a series about disruption in the digital age. Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

IT that intelligently looks after itself, eliminating workflow-driven, repetitive tasks and reducing manual effort and cost, has been a dream of CIOs for many years. And according to a recent Deloitte article in CIO Journal, the realization of it may be closer than you think. For CIOs running a large and complex IT environment, and for CFOs looking at new ways of reducing costs across the organization, that’s good news.

The development that is driving the dream of laborless IT is autonomic platforms, which combine two underlying initiatives: software-defined everything (SDE) and DevOps.

Software-defined everything

Virtualization has been with us for years, helping IT departments improve the management of expensive servers and storage, and improving the utilization of hardware assets. Its power is the creation of software-based abstractions of underlying physical environments. By defining these physical environments as software across the entire technology stack – including servers, storage, networks, data centers, and workplace technology – IT organizations can automate the optimization, management, and maintenance tasks associated with them.


DevOps brings together development, quality assurance (QA), and operations to get away from the “over the wall” mentality that has long gripped IT organizations. It prizes collaboration and communication between software developers, QA, and other IT professionals while putting in place tools and techniques to automate the processes associated with software delivery and infrastructure changes. As a result, it increases the velocity with which new developments can be released into production while minimizing the risk of problems occurring.

Self-managing IT

Software-defined everything and DevOps are aimed at significantly increasing the automation of IT delivery, maintenance, and management. Autonomic platforms add robotics and cognitive technologies to these, allowing virtual assistants to perform increasingly complex tasks faster and more consistently than humans.

Combining all these technologies together holds the promise of delivering IT environments that are self-configuring, self-optimizing, and self-healing. Laborless IT is no longer a dream. It is becoming a reality, and leading IT organizations are already taking their first tactical steps towards creating the platforms to achieve it.

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About Estelle Lagorce

Estelle Lagorce is Senior Director, Global Partner Marketing, at SAP. She leads the global planning, successful implementation and business impact of integrated marketing programs with top global Strategic Partner across priority regions and countries (demand generation, thought leadership).