Software companies use test automation to reduce the cost of the testing. At the same time, it lowers the testing cycle and improves the effectiveness of testing. IT firms use automated testing as a crucial point for their QA program. But, the need for manual testing can never be ruled out completely.
Automated test is associated with higher upfront cost. It may take for you 2-3 years down the road to get the pay-offs. If you think about return on investment (ROI) for your planned automation , you have to understand right at the beginning the actual returns that you will get from your investments and you have to weigh those factors against the benefits down the road that you will get from automation.