Close this search box.

2022 Outlook by Laura Ubelhor: Automation

Community » Blog » 2022 Outlook by Laura Ubelhor: Automation
Continuation of “2022 Outlook” by Laura Ubelhor as published in Eye on the i, December 2021.


Automation is booming. Automation as it applies to IT is no different. We have all seen forms of automation through out the years and there seems to be much more happening in recent years. Whether it be replacing a voice on the other end of the phone on retail or other sites with automated solutions to answer questions and assist visitors or automating check out lines at in person retail and service sites this has turned into a large growth area. During COVID and in recent months, I often here customers require a solution to replace IT automation to replace the manual tasks traditionally complete by staff. A great example is coding a simple scanning solution to eliminate the need for resource to manually enter inventory transactions. One customer example is a solution that we used scanning to replace manual entry that required many man hours to complete and replaced the need to spend many hours and instead a few minutes to enter transactions. In this case it eliminated the need for a full-time person to perform the task and instead only took a few minutes daily. With a couple of days programming the new application solution was implemented. Automation can take many forms and has in many instances replaced the need for resource to complete tasks. We have all seen what has happened in grocery stores and other similar stores. Instead of a person manning a cash register to check out customers the task can be completed automatically with self-scanning. It is a change and an adjustment for the customer. We grumble but do adapt. It will be interesting to see how many stores stick with the solution and how many decide to go back to having checkout clerks. It solves a need. This is only a few examples of many. It seems daily that we see and are impacted by new automation solutions. It has changed from a fear that someone will lose their job to a necessary requirement to maintain business operations. If a solution can be conceived, it can be coded. This applies also to IBM i. Many may turn to automated solutions to address labor shortages but also many may adopt automation to reduce costs or to improve operations. Robotics and 3D printing are both forms of automation. We have seen both proven to provide robust solutions for many industries. My thoughts are that we will continue to see automation grow into 2022 and beyond. Once embraced technology changes often boom.