Automation in IS Depts
These days it's all too common to walk into a 'modern' day IT department, even one within a high technology company and find that many of the things they are doing are still very much paper based or based on technologies in the 1990's. It's now 2007 and many vendors still claim they have software which will automate most of the IT Administrator's job - They have been promising this since computers first found a home in the workplace though.
So, whats gone wrong?
There are many people who feel comfortable in manual processes, For example, How many people do you know who print out every email they receive?
Automation actually requires a lot of up front work for very little initial benefit - Take something like SMS or MOM, The amount of effort required to install it and learn it is quite high plus there needs to be an investment in effort which is ongoing in order to maintain the systems. For some companies this is too high a price.
Finally, Many managers and even the IT Admins prefer the older methods. They would rather use excel to record disk space usage instead of purchasing a piece of software with unfathomable reports which could do it for them.
However, All of these are no real excuses for NOT automating where possible. If you don't automate and don't use these sorts of systems then you will be forever firefighting and that's not a pleasant place to be.