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Automation Amusement: A Lighthearted Look at the Trials and Tribulations

Written By Brinda Sreedhar
Mar 12, 2024

Automation adoption can sometimes feel like trying to teach a goldfish to tap dance – a bit daunting and a whole lot of “wait, what?!”  

Read on about some of those trials in the world of process automation. 

Brace Yourself: Here comes automation 

Automation has emerged as a beacon of efficiency and productivity in the fast-paced world of business, promising to revolutionize operations and streamline workflows. Yet, despite its potential to drive innovation, many organizations find themselves grappling with barriers that hinder the adoption of automation.  

From resource constraints to skepticism stemming from past experiences, these obstacles can thwart even the most well-intentioned efforts to embrace automation. 

One common challenge is the misalignment of priorities when it comes to automation initiatives. Often, automation projects are either not prioritized at all or are pushed forward with the wrong tools for the wrong reasons, driven by directives from the executive team rather than a genuine understanding of the organization’s needs. This lack of strategic alignment can lead to inefficiencies and missed opportunities for improvement. 

Quips and Quotes: Poll Responses 

The results of our recent LinkedIn poll shed light on the diverse array of barriers that organizations face when it comes to adopting automation.  

Let’s dive into each category to explore the nuances of these challenges and uncover potential solutions. 


The sentiment echoed by many respondents is the reluctance to allocate resources to automation projects, particularly skilled personnel. With IT teams already stretched thin fighting daily fires, the prospect of diverting valuable manpower to ‘pet projects’ seems untenable.  

However, failing to invest in automation can perpetuate the cycle of firefighting, as manual tasks continue to consume valuable time and resources. 

This ‘skilled people’ deficiency is further exacerbated by the proliferation of low-code and no-code tools marketed as silver bullets for automation. These platforms, while ostensibly user-friendly, often fall short in delivering on their promises, leaving users grappling with a steep learning curve and a myriad of unforeseen challenges. 

One of the primary issues with these tools is their tendency to require users to learn new languages or use programming to render their automations production ready. While the initial appeal lies in their purported simplicity, the need to add code to ensure security, build libraries of reusable tasks, and integrate with existing tools can quickly complicate matters. For instance, users may find themselves navigating unfamiliar coding languages or grappling with intricate security protocols, all of which demand a level of expertise beyond the tool’s advertised capabilities. 


Another significant barrier identified by respondents is the scarcity of time to develop and implement an automation strategy. With pressing deadlines and competing priorities, carving out the time to build automation solutions can seem like an insurmountable challenge.  

In the rush to deliver immediate results and meet pressing business demands, dedicating the necessary time and resources to crafting a comprehensive automation strategy may seem like a luxury that organizations cannot afford. However, while investing time upfront may appear to slow down progress in the short term, it is crucial for achieving long-term success and sustainability in automation efforts. 

One of the primary reasons time is essential for automation strategy lies in the need to thoroughly understand organizational processes. By investing time in conducting process audits, engaging with stakeholders across departments, and documenting detailed service blueprints, organizations can ensure that their automation efforts are aligned with strategic objectives and tailored to meet specific business needs. 

Time is also critical for navigating the complexities of integration between different tools, systems, and teams within an organization. Automation initiatives often involve orchestrating workflows across disparate technologies and departments, necessitating careful planning and coordination. Without sufficient time dedicated to understanding the handshakes between these various elements, automation efforts risk running into roadblocks, encountering compatibility issues, or even causing disruptions to essential business operations. 

No need for it

Some respondents expressed skepticism regarding the need for automation, citing their reliance on existing scripts as a form of automation. However, this mindset overlooks the transformative potential of modern automation technologies, which extend far beyond the capabilities of traditional scripting methods. 

The ‘oopsies’ often arise from a limited understanding of automation’s capabilities and benefits. While scripts can automate specific tasks, they lack the scalability, intelligence, and adaptability of modern automation solutions. 

Relying solely on scripts or a specific kind of technology can result in fragmented and inefficient automation efforts, as organizations miss out on opportunities to optimize processes and drive innovation. 

Burnt before  

A subset of respondents cited past negative experiences with automation projects as a barrier to adoption. Whether due to failed implementations, unmet expectations, or lackluster results, it’s only natural for organizations to have reservations about diving into automation again. 

When teams have experienced the frustration and disappointment of automation initiatives that failed to deliver on their promises, it’s typical to develop a sense of mistrust towards automation tools and the lofty promises made by vendors or a particular technology. This skepticism can be particularly challenging to overcome, as it erodes confidence in the potential benefits of automation and can lead to reluctance to invest time and resources into new initiatives. 

However, overcoming this mental barrier is essential for organizations to realize the transformative potential of automation.  

One approach is to adopt a cautious and incremental approach to automation, focusing on making small but significant strides towards automation goals. By starting with manageable projects and demonstrating tangible wins, teams can rebuild confidence in the benefits of automation and gradually expand their efforts over time. 

Additionally, organizations can mitigate the risk of failure by prioritizing thorough planning and strategy development before diving into automation projects. Taking the time to understand organizational processes, identify pain points, and define clear objectives can help teams avoid the pitfalls that led to previous failures. Moreover, involving key stakeholders from across the organization in the planning process can foster buy-in and alignment, ensuring that automation initiatives are closely aligned with strategic priorities. 

While setbacks are an inevitable part of any transformative journey, allowing past failures to dictate future actions can impede progress.  

The results are in (drumroll please) 

In summary, our poll results reveal a stark divide in the perceived barriers to automation adoption, with the top two categories – People and Time – capturing the lion’s share of responses. Meanwhile, the remaining categories – No need for it and Burnt before – lagged behind at 6% each. These findings underscore the critical importance of addressing resource constraints and time limitations when embarking on automation initiatives, while also acknowledging and overcoming skepticism and past setbacks.  

By addressing these barriers head on and adopting a strategic approach to automation adoption, organizations can unlock the full potential of automation and pave the way for a more efficient and productive future.

About the author, Brinda Sreedhar:

About the author, Brinda Sreedhar:

Director of Product Marketing, Resolve

Brinda Sreedhar, Director of Product Marketing at Resolve, has years of experience crafting powerful and compelling stories on cloud-based products. She enjoys being a part of companies that lead the space with innovative, category-creating products.