The Hidden Costs of Windows Task Scheduler

Screenshot of Windows Task Scheduler troubleshooting postIn our last webinar, we took a closer look at the hidden costs of Windows Task Scheduler, the classic starting point for IT pros charged with automation. Looking at Task Scheduler with a critical eye can be a challenge. Task Scheduler has the advantages of both being free and being native to the Windows Server operating system. For many organizations these two attributes can mask a great deal of lost productivity.

As an organization’s IT processes grow in complexity, security and scalability become very real issues. And while budgets stay relatively flat, managers need to monitor the time spent applying human resources to automation. Repeat that phrase: “Applying human resources to automation.” Is that why organizations invest in technology? No. Organizations automate to free up human resources to take on more important challenges.

We’ve found four main business costs creeping up on Windows Task Scheduler users:

#1 Lack of Features

Without features like resource-based scheduling, cross-platform scheduling and consolidated reporting, organizations are diverting time and money to building and maintaining custom workarounds for Task Scheduler.

#2 Skilled Labor

From hours spent scouring documentation to dollars invested in outsourced workers, organizations are wasting valuable resources that could otherwise be deployed to mission-critical projects.

#3 Security

Security breaches cause significant losses to business and alienate customers. When job definitions and login credentials related to automation are housed on multiple servers and systems, a business shoulders its IT team with password management schemas that are better handled by a centralized system. And, if roles change or security processes need to be audited, even more IT resources are consumed with the transition.

#4 Unpredictability

Being unaware that an issue has occurred on a server is yet another liability for your business. When a failed IT process goes unnoticed for more than a day, or in some cases, more than a few minutes, the damage to the business may already be done.

Participants brought up several more time wasters they had experienced with Windows Task Scheduler – too many to list here. Taken individually, no one cost tends to arouse suspicion or warrants looking for a “better way.” But, when we start adding up automation issues and repeating them over time, there is a noticeable impact on IT costs. Critical evaluation of your automation environment is a worthwhile exercise to go through, even when you use systems that are free and native.