This chapter discusses the importance and use of automation in cloud computing systems. It explains that human response times are too slow to make it feasible to configure and operate cloud systems manually, and considers automated support mechanisms. The chapter examines multiple aspects of automation, including manual procedures that have been automated as well as more advanced forms of automation. It presents a model that classifies automation into a series of conceptual levels. Most important, the chapter explains why a plethora of automation tools have arisen. The chapter covers the use of AI (AIops), Zero-Touch provisioning, and the concept of Infrastructure as Code (IaC). It defines the concepts of declarative, imperative, and intent-based specification, topics that arise in the next chapter on orchestration as well as throughout later chapters. The chapter also discusses the evolution of automation tools.