The most important aspect of any project/initiative is to RETURN of INVESTMENT (ROI) over a period of time.
However, automation is being proposed carelessly (in many cases just to impress customer with capabilities or offerings and in some cases due to pressure from competitor) to customers as value addition without looking into the key aspect of ROI.
Therefore, it is important to calculate ROI before such proposal.
ROI = Return / Investment or = Benefit / Cost
Time Saved (due to automation) = Time Taken Manually – Time Taken for Automation
Automation Cost = Cost of Infrastructure (Tools, Hardware etc) + Cost of Development + Cost of Maintenance + Cost of Training
And key parameters to be considered, for ROI study,
- Focus of automation – reducing the cycle time, time to market, coverage, cost benefits
- Repeatable Actions
- What to automate and what not to automate
- Technology Roadmap and Future Scope, Framework Modularity
Lastly, is ROI is only consideration to decide on Automation? No. However, one of the important aspect and needs to be highlight in each such proposal.