What Is Server Automation?

As the age of the Internet of Things (IoT), Machine to Machine (M2M) and IoT gateways dawns, automation offers businesses the chance to conserve resources by letting machines communicate and complete tasks without human intervention. Server automation hasn't been the focus of any AT&T commercials and probably isn't quite as well-understood as other automation applications, such as those for security, lighting or HVAC. It does, however, hold great value for businesses willing to invest in the technology.

Essentially, server automation is an application that exposes other applications' internal functions, allowing the server to manipulate those "client" applications. For instance, an automation server could be used to establish a rule that pulls specific information from a large database, enters it into a spreadsheet, charts it and prints it out—all without any human intervention.

The rule frees employees from simple, unspecialized tasks like data entry and lets them move to more mission-critical projects that demand human attention. For example, a recent study from the American Journal of Emergency Medicine revealed that physicians spend 43 percent of their time on data entry and charting for electronic health records, far more time than they spend interacting directly with patients. Using server automation, medical facilities can begin to reverse that trend.

Server automation could also be used for tools as well-known and useful as spell check for outgoing documents. Every time an employee sends an email outside the organization or prints a word document, the server tells the word processing application to spell check, eliminating typos simply due to employee forgetfulness. Public relations, human resources and marketing departments can all rest easier knowing that every document leaving the office has been checked for spelling errors.

Although the inner workings of server automation can be difficult to comprehend, its value is crystal clear. With the technology, organizations can boost productivity and increase efficiency—a winning combination for any business.