Q: Dear Tom: A few years ago we automated a major process in our system administration team. Now the system is impossible to debug. Nobody remembers the old manual process and the automation is beyond what any of us can understand. We feel like we’ve painted ourselves into a corner. Is all operations automation doomed to be this way?
A: The problem seems to be that this automation was written to be like Ultron, not Iron Man.
In the long run this creates a very serious problem. The work left over for people to do becomes, by definition, more difficult. At the start of the process, people were doing a mixture of simple and complex tasks. After a while the mix shifts more and more towards the complex. … Taken to its logical conclusion, this paradigm results in a need to employ impossibly smart people to do impossibly difficult work.