An early version of this article originally appeared in Broadcom Software Academy, titled “This is Why Your Digital Survival Plan Needs Modern Workload Automation.”
This is Why Your Digital Survival Plan Should Scratch Traditional Job Scheduling
7 Signs You’re Using a Legacy Workload Automation Solution
By Bob Schwartz, RMT President & CEO
I’ve worked with a lot of C-Level executives. Fifteen years ago, they saw IT as a necessary evil: an expense line with no returns.
That world is gone. So are many of the businesses who didn’t digitalize — who didn’t use their apps and sites to increase top line revenue and, obviously, decrease bottom-line margins.
Automating the SDLC is Pointless without Workload Automation
Now you can automate as much as you want from a code perspective, whether you have an application or a programmer writing your code, but the SDLC is dead in the water without integration with job scheduling.
Organizations tend to neglect their job schedulers, so they’re surprised by this, but jobs are sexy.
Does that seem strong? How about this…
Job schedulers are the quiet breath of life running and automating every mission critical application that keeps your environment thriving.
Did you roll your eyes? Me too.
But think about five of your mission critical applications. If you lost one, the entire business would be impacted, right? Imagine taking those five apps and placing them in one job scheduler. That scheduler just became exponentially more critical than each individual application.
It’s your ride or die partner — hopefully it’s your wunderkind, but that depends on its functionality and how much you leverage it.
7 Ways Digital Transformation is Blocked by Traditional Job Scheduling
One of our current clients didn’t have job scheduling on their radar. They came to us halfway through their digital transformation project. Their previous year did not yield the financial results the organization was after. Upon review of their IT organization, they realized they needed to transform digitally to stay relevant against the competition and further top line revenue growth by leveraging modernized software solutions.
So, they were looking at their entire infrastructure, and they didn’t notice their quiet partner was an antique with weak lungs.
The scheduler should have oxygenated the system, but it choked every application.
If you’re headed up Mt Everest and want the world’s attention, you need oxygen. That means dumping fossilized legacy solutions, what we refer to affectionately as traditional job schedulers — which is to say, schedulers without multi-cloud orchestration, data pipeline orchestration, and observability across job streams.
To complicate matters, people paste the word “modern” on schedulers as a sales tactic. It’s confusing when you’re trying to evaluate a solution, and due diligence takes time.
So, for starters, here are some shortcuts to figuring out if you’re using a legacy scheduling solution.
Traditional Job Schedulers Suffocate Modern Environments
I’ll use the client I mentioned earlier to point out seven symptoms of suffocation–by–scheduler.
Symptom #1: Lengthy Lead Time for Code Migrations, Due to Operations
Our client wanted fast releases. They needed new code, and they needed to put that code into production — which is to say, in front of their buyers. They worked at their development stack and optimized the SDLC, which was great.
Like a lot of folks, they developed new code well, but they forgot to automate it. Their developers churned out bells and whistles, asked operators to make them jingle, and then the foot tapping started. Symptom #1.
Lots of back and forth. Everything was manual: the way they made their changes, the way they requested jobs, everything. Operations wasn’t integrated with the SDLC. When the developers were ready to promote everything to production, glaciers melted faster.
Sometimes they’d even migrate code into production that wasn’t ready to be run because the jobs weren’t set up and ready to go. Worse, their traditional scheduler couldn’t orchestrate the migration of jobs and code together.
And that means, it took 20 manual steps and an entire week to get one completed release live in production. Over and over.
They wasted 5,000 hours a year in this symptom.
We gave them those 5,000 hours back.
Symptom #2: Developers Lack the Capacity for Self-Service
Developers aren’t cheap, and we want developers developing new enhancements. The faster buyers get new enhancements, the more they’ll buy. Revenue goes up and costs go down when you automate code releases quickly.
But our client’s job scheduler was old school, so their developers were cut out of the deploy and release process. They waited on operators and stood around playing cornhole in the break room. That’s Symptom #2. The developers were cornstars, without an avenue to automate their own code in a language they understood.
Self-service is a capability of modern Workload Automation. You probably noticed I shifted from using the term job scheduler there.
When developers have access and the software to “speak their language,” they treat jobs as code and package jobs within their deployments.
Now they save cornaments for the company party.
Symptom #3: The Job Scheduler Can’t Deploy Fully in the Cloud
Unfortunately, our client’s scheduler wasn’t built for the cloud. They were halfway through their transformation when they discovered this little secret, and it drove them over a cliff. Kidding. It drove them to call us.
Their scheduler wasn’t built for the cloud. Didn’t have hooks in the cloud. Couldn’t be deployed in the cloud. Wasn’t cloud aware. Couldn’t be put in containers. There were zero hooks and integrations with cloud applications like SAP, Oracle, and Informatica. It had no cloud support.
They’d have to resort to rudimentary tactics and cart around an oxygen tank to survive. They said, no.
Not that road.
They paused everything and took a step back.
Let’s take these next four together.
Symptom #4: It’s Hard to Integrate the Scheduler with Other/Newer Applications
Symptom #5: The Scheduler is in Maintenance Mode
Symptom #6: The Scheduler is Not Leveraged Regularly
Symptom #7: The Scheduler Only Runs On Premises
Our client called up their vendor and said, “Hi, Vendor. We can’t use this thing. It doesn’t connect with thingamajigs. Can you make some changes?”
And the vendor said, “No. We’re in maintenance mode. All we do is bug fixes. And BTW, this solution is getting sold to a new vendor (again) who is also gonna cut the staff (again), lower the reinvestment strategies (again), and might be forced to increase your renewal costs (again). But thank you for your call. We value your business.”
Avoid Vintage Job Schedulers
Let’s wrap this up.
How do you know you’re using a legacy job scheduler?
It can’t do Workload Automation.
In the next 3-4 years, Gartner predicts 80% of companies using Workload Automation will leverage Service Orchestration and Automation Platforms (SOAPs), to streamline operations and drive cost optimization.
If you need some help picking or implementing a Workload Automation SOAP that meets your requirements, give RMT a call. Say Bob sent you.
With 1300+ Engagements and 130+ Conversions, Robert Mark Technologies is the Tier 1 Partner Dedicated to Modernizing Digital Transformation with Lifecycle Management, Strategic Self-Service, and High-Performance Workload Automation that Gives You a Competitive Edge.
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