In the mainframe computing environment, the variety of software needed to perform essential functions has always posed a challenging operations management problem. Operations became a monster that had to be fed constantly. Whole administrative structures were created to support it. This bureaucracy, and the nature of people, led to a system that was prone to errors—resulting in more expense and complexity.

Given the right tools, automating background IT processes can be surprisingly easy and reap major benefits. Understanding the benefits—and obstacles—will help you get approval for and start a successful automation project.