To be fair, most ops people i know worth their salt have been automating since forever. Doing operations at scale and still staying sane is impossible without automation.
The largests issue in ops is that reality in production is usually far more messy then development. Some minor issue which can be easily fixed in dev by something simple (take a reboot of a service for example) can be a major pain in production because of several factors. Usually related to interdependencies or customer impact.
Also, production (especially on the networking/hardware side) is usually hard because of things like hardware failure, physics itself or simply human error. These gems for instance.