The IBM iSeries platform is a pervasive force powering the operations of corporate IT departments all around the world. These teams have more than just an operating system in common, however. Each and everyone is on a quest for greater efficiency, out to prove that they can do more with less by working smarter. And as they investigate potential sources of assistance, there are few more intelligent, cost-effective options than job scheduling software.
One of the fundamental frustrations in day-to-day IT administration is the reality that staffers can only ever be in one place at once. Trouble is, the issues which demand their attention often arise simultaneously and across different systems. Job scheduling software immediately multiplies each administrator’s powers to tilt the scales back in their favor. By employing a time-based scheduling model, staff can ensure core jobs are processed as planned regardless of what separate concerns may distract their attention on the day.
Recurring tasks can be triggered on daily, weekly or monthly intervals, or one-time jobs can be set ahead of schedule. For instance, maybe the IT team could stop moonlighting twice a week if only its database backup processes were ready to run after a single script was created midday.
IT administration is a relatively regimented line of work, but performance is often defined by how teams cope with contingencies. Automated calendars are an invaluable asset, no doubt, but sometimes business realities simply don’t abide by the books. That’s what makes event-driven scheduling such a boon to iSeries management.
Advanced job scheduling tools can be leveraged to create a framework of triggers that intelligently respond along predetermined guidelines. Instead of building in large gaps of time between unpredictable events, you can simply instruct Job B to start whenever Job A is complete. This paradigm is an excellent promoter of production efficiency, but it also helps mitigate the impact of unforeseen errors. Reactive jobs can be embedded in special circumstances to help get everything back on track if something goes off the rails when administrators aren’t watching.
Service-level agreements have garnered a lot of attention recently as cloud computing, and IT outsourcing more generally, gain prominence. However, SLAs have always existed internally. Business professionals tacitly expect a certain level of performance from their company’s IT infrastructure – whether they understand the inner dynamics or not. And it’s up to the CIO and his or her staff to meet and exceed those thresholds.
Job scheduling software is a natural ally to effective SLA delivery considering it runs on predetermined performance indicators. What’s more, advance reporting features gives managers confirmation that things are going according to plan – and helpful clues if and when they aren’t.
Automated audit prep
Auditing is one of the great equalizers in IT administration. Staff can say they’re doing everything by the book and engineering performance that is up to expectation, but those claims must be objectively verified by a third party. Whether the assessment is being conducted internally as a security precaution, or carried out by QSA enforcing industry regulation, detailed and organized data is an absolute must.
Automated reporting features make iSeries management a much more manageable task, helping companies adhere to a model of continuous compliance assessment that roots out any inconsistencies before they snowball into bigger problems.
In the end, any one of these four capabilities can propel an IT department forward. But when combined together within a single system, job scheduling software vendors may extend an offer that’s simply too good to refuse.