In an earlier part of my career I learned the extreme importance of Workload Automation, aka Job Scheduling. Workload automation is the oldest IT technology on the planet coming from the need to schedule jobs on an IBM Mainframe. Job Scheduling has evolved from driving JCL (Job Control Language) to Workload Automation where the Scheduler stitches together batch and real time activities across mainframes, proprietary OS systems, x86 systems, applications (both packages and commercial off the shelf such as SAP or Oracle or Informatica) and now web service enabled applications whether they be onsite or in the cloud. Walk into the operations center of any data driven company and you will see multiple screens where operations are monitoring the state of these jobs. Why are they so critical? Over 50% of all transactions that occur on this planet are batch in nature. They are scheduled based upon specific times or based upon dependencies being met. These workloads can be a complex and interrelated set of activities. Effectively these job streams are the business processes that drive modern enterprises.
Without these jobs companies don’t get information (and large amounts of it) in the right place at the right time. Most companies today could not close out their financial quarters without enterprise schedulers to move data from their disparate systems into a consolidate place for either the general ledger to close out or for a critical Business Intelligence report to run to drive placement of the correct product into the specific physical location to serve the global economy. Workload automation tools open and close stock exchanges and process all the transaction data from trades. They also drive compliance checks. This is important stuff for the global economy! This was my realization in touring key operations centers and realizing that half of the big monitors were covering the movement of batch data in the enterprise.