Groundhog Day is a memorable movie. Bill Murray plays Phil Connors, a TV weatherman trapped in a time loop, forced to relive February 2nd repeatedly.

IT operations can sometimes feel like that. Scroll back 15 years, and scheduling managers were juggling between different screens, running jobs on multiple machines – each with its own scheduler.

Today, as cloud dominates the horizon, IT operations are back where they started. Each cloud service has its own scheduler, and these islands of automation are IT operations’ Groundhog Day: teams switching between screens to manage the different cloud schedulers, from AWS Batch, Azure Scheduler, and Google Workflow, to Composer, Azure Logic Apps, Apache Airflow.

As cloud demand surges, we run the risk of setting IT operations back a decade or two.

There are several reasons why cloud schedulers are not fit for the modern enterprise:

  • Basic cloud scheduling features: IT operations has visibility into how a job runs and is processed, but not much more.
  • Difficult to maintain dependencies: IT operations struggle to define the interdependencies between processing, especially when that processing spans on-premises to cloud or across cloud providers.
  • Struggle to keep pace with change: Changes to scheduling rules are complex. Any change, however small, can have a detrimental impact downstream, potentially disrupting operations.
  • Lack of operational controls: The simple act of putting tasks on hold or stopping processing for a short period is fraught with danger and drives up cost of operations.

This is echoed by the respected research company EMA. Writing in the “IT Infrastructure Tools’ Disruption in the Wake of Digital Transformation and Application Modernization” White Paper in 2020, EMA comments, “Platform-specific schedulers are just that: specific to one platform. There is no coordination between jobs or schedulers on other platforms.”

These pockets of scheduling have dramatic consequences for the enterprise. For example, the lack of visibility and control over scheduling results in lower operational efficiency. SLAs are breached more frequently and breaches are often detected later in the business process, potentially impacting production. And costs rise as it becomes more resource-intensive to maintain schedules.

Think differently

It’s time to reimagine cloud scheduling.

A modern enterprise automation platform enhances visibility and control of complex workloads across platforms, ERP systems, and the cloud. It helps to reduce the cost and complexity of managing mission critical business processes, ensuring consistent and reliable service delivery. The API is already published, so each cloud provider’s automation API runs the process but control is centralized by enterprise automation.

Think of it as acting as the ‘manager of managers’.

This centralized control also means current SLAs can immediately be applied to cloud-based processing. Moreover, enterprise automation supports an audit and compliance strategy: IT operations has one unified source of workload insights, providing immediate analysis of who ran what, where, when, and why.

According to the EMA study, “The Great Scheduler Migration”, 85% ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ that workload automation tools should be expanded to orchestrate automation tools across the enterprise.

It’s a logical step for the enterprise. The benefits of an enterprise automation platform include:

  • One place to monitor and control all workloads
  • Secure role-based access with centralized audit, compliance, and reporting
  • Predictive analytics for all workload to improve SLA delivery
  • Intelligent alerting and dynamic critical path to reduce MTTR
  • Increased IT operations efficiency reducing cost of operation
  • Reduced time to market to absorb new technologies

EMA has some further sage advice. Their “IT Infrastructure Tools’ Disruption in the Wake of Digital Transformation and Application Modernization” White Paper comments, “Organizations that pay attention to the management tools used to support modern applications and operations will be more successful in their efforts to digitally transform their business.”

Now is the time for action. Groundhog’s Day is done. For enterprises using multiple cloud automation tools, your existing enterprise automation platform delivers visualization and intelligence to successfully manage complex workloads and provides a ‘manager of managers’ view across multiple cloud products and vendors.

For further reading on the reasons why this is so important read the ebook “Empower Your Cloud Strategy with Enterprise Automation.”