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Advantages and Disadvantages of Automation

In this article we dissect the advantages and disadvantages of automation in an agile and continuous development localization context.


  • With automation we can optimize the resources we have and free up humans to do more creative work or the work that is needed to deal with edge cases and improving processes.
  • Automation allows for faster processing of repetitive tasks and shorter turnaround times. It also makes the process less reliant on individuals being available to execute tasks or remembering to do so.
  • Automated tasks are less error-prone than manual tasks especially when huge volumes of data are involved. Manual processing can also be less consistent and steps can be missed.
  • Automated tasks can continue to run even when members of the team change or are tasked with other jobs.
  • Automation helps us avoid monotonous work for team members. Monotonous work can be boring and lower motivation or make the execution error-prone.


  • There are initial implementation costs of automation which can make it daunting to actually get started with. We need to consider whether the implementation cost will be balanced out by the future cost savings. This can be a difficult balance to strike. You might want to consider whether a task needs to be done in a repetitive way daily or several times a week, in which case automation is likely going to save time and money. On the other hand, a task that only needs to be executed once every few months might be a better candidate for manual handling.
  • Automated processes are also less flexible than humans. Automation doesn’t handle change very well because tools are generally built for a very specific purpose and only a previously specified set of data and formats can be utilized. This means that humans are generally more flexible and able to respond to change.
  • Automation still requires human interaction. Humans need to monitor the processes and ensure that they are working correctly. Humans also need to design the processes in the first place and ensure that they are covering all the scenarios necessary. This can require a lot of foresight and a good understanding of what is needed in any particular situation.
  • Automation can represent an additional learning need for your organization, in particular for those team members that are directly involved with designing automated processes.

Article by Tabea De Wille, University of Limerick, Dept. of Computer Science & Information Systems

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