You might ask what does IT automation and the dishwasher have in common?  Both are/were designed to make our lives easier and give us more free time to do things we deem more important than “washing the dishes”.  A very short history lesson on the dishwasher reveals that the first patent was awarded to Joel Houghton in about 1850 only problem was it didn’t really work. Then Josephine Cochran created one that did work in 1886.  It was said that she invented her version because she was tired of the help chipping the dishes as they washed them.  To round out our history lesson in 1940 William Howard Livens invented the front loading washer that is most commonly found in homes today.  It took until 1960 for appliance manufacturer Miele to release a fully automated appliance and it wasn’t until the 1970’s that dishwasher were commonly found in homes.

Why the history lesson?  Well to me the history of the dishwasher resembles the story of automation in IT.  There have been many attempts to automate our technology stack but only in starts and fits.  I did a short bit of research (not exhaustive by any means) but the first true API I could find released by Cisco Systems was on the IOS XR train of software somewhere around 2004/2005.  A good start back then but still hasn’t caught on in most of the software they sell today.  Wireless and SD-WAN platforms seem to be the first true uses of API’s but even these work only in the silo of that specific technology.

So the question is, is now the age of Automation in IT?  Are we ready to adopt a technology that allows us to move on to more important aspects of our business and automate the “washing” of configurations?  Pliant is a vendor-neutral automation platform that allows IT organizations to bring in automation (we install the dishwasher) and give IT teams back valuable time to get to more important aspects of the business.  Pliant crosses domains – automating wireless, SD-WAN, Windows Server configuration, and just about anything else with an API or programmatic interface.  Automation also prevents you from “chipping the dishes” by delivering consistent results every time a workflow is run, no more “fat fingered” configurations.

In the evolution of the dishwasher there came a time when space was made in the kitchen, under the cabinet, so that this time-saving device could be installed.  I’m wondering if 2019 is the year that companies will make the time to install a platform that gives them back hundreds of man hours in their year and allow them to spend that time on more important tasks?