There are many tasks that are performed repetitively. Some of those tasks often get outsourced. However, in the end someone is responsible for performing those tasks.
Automation is the process of setting up some kind of process to perform repetitive tasks with minimal effort from the person responsible.
Any time there is a task that is necessary to perform repetitively you must (in today's ever shrinking and increasingly competitive world) consider if that task is worth automating in whole or in part.
This comes back to "An Hour Saved is an Hour Earned." If you save an hour per week, per month, or even per year then you now have more time that you had before. Automation not only allows us to be more productive and efficient, but it allows us to actually increase the amount of time we have to perform tasks and get things done.
Integrate a payment processor into your sales website instead of running each credit card manually.
Get a computer program setup to monitor and automatically notify you of Twitter mentions of your brand instead of manually searching everyday.
Purchase a conveyer for your manufacturing assembly line instead of requiring workers to pull/push things along.
In today's ever increasingly competitive world, automation could mean the competitive advantage necessary to make the difference between success and failure.