What Causes A Disparate Job Scheduling Environment?

24 06 2010

While I have touched on the causes of a complex and disparate job scheduling environment in past posts, let’s take a more in-depth look at some of leading causes:

  1. Acquisitions  РFor many companies that integrate acquisitions, consolidating IT tools such as scheduling is not their highest priority. Although, it will save money in the long run, it is a big project that poses risks. Consequently, scheduling staff members are burdened with managing multiple schedulers.
  2. Departmental Purchasing – The lack of centralized purchasing or company-wide standards often results in the independent departmental acquisition of different job scheduling solutions that are unable to interoperate with each other and existing tools.
  3. Access to Tools – Application departments circumvent standard tools and use easier scheduling tools such as Cron. It is simple and easy to set up a Cron tab or schedule a process in Windows, but it is only a quick fix. Moreover, these one-off fixes decrease overall business visibility.
  4. Built-in application capabilities: This is one of the biggest culprits. Companies deploy applications and tools, such as backup products, due to the perceived benefits of a self-contained system that can be managed by its own tools. This thinking ignores the fact that most applications are not self-contained. In fact, they “touch” other applications by exchanging data and have dependencies based on the overall business workflow. Implementing these “point” solutions prevents the ability to control business workflows from end-to-end.
  5. Lack of management mandate – Without clear mandates from senior management, there is no ability to enforce centralized control. Thus, departments and application developers will take the path of least resistance.

In many cases, sooner or later, IT operations inherit these different applications and tools and are stuck with managing them. With vendor-independent technology, IT organizations can avoid these pitfalls, while saving money, time and resources.

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Platform-Specific Vs. Technology Independent: A Scheduler or a Agent?

1 06 2010

The key to solving both IT and business issues is to simplify and complement your existing job schedulers by deploying vendor-independent technology across the enterprise. This technology enables you to integrate with your existing schedulers and provides a more comprehensive view of your IT infrastructure.  Vendor-independent technology enables people to work across platforms without specialization, standardizing processes and consolidating tools, improving IT maturity while significantly reducing hard and soft costs.

A simplified job scheduling environment using vendor-independent technology.

For example, suppose Scheduler A needs to communicate with three different backend applications. The cost of purchasing agents for those backend applications from Vendor A is cost prohibitive. Consequently, IT decides to use vendor-independent technology to complement the existing scheduler, enabling Scheduler A to communicate with all three backend applications at a much lower cost.

A key benefit to this approach is that you can leverage your existing investment in Scheduler A at reduced risk, cost and effort. Additionally, vendor-independent technology increases your business’s ability to support emerging technologies such as service-oriented architecture and other Web-based technologies.