What is a Cloud Scheduler? How to Better Schedule Cloud-Based Jobs

Organizations are increasingly turning to the cloud as they build out their IT infrastructure. Cloud adoption has become commonplace as companies look to reduce IT costs from purchasing, managing, and maintaining on-premises infrastructure and hardware. Plus, cloud services can provide greater scalability and increased flexibility for accessing content across the business. By 2026, Gartner predicts that 75% of organizations will use the cloud as their underlying platform for digital transformation.  

But with this new adoption, other IT services—like job scheduling—need to be able to flex and adjust with the changing times. Whether all or just some services are run in the cloud, a job scheduling tool should be ready to automate the critical processes your organization relies on, no matter where they’re run. 

What is a cloud scheduler?  

A cloud scheduler is simply a job scheduler with the capabilities to schedule IT processes that are run with cloud services, platforms, and other cloud infrastructure. Whether it’s scripts, batch processes, or other IT workflows, a cloud scheduler enables unattended job execution to optimize resources and run cloud jobs in a sequence, at a specified time, or based on a trigger. 

By automating your cloud infrastructure tasks—like starting and stopping instances, running scripts, data pipeline processing, sending notifications, and triggering workflows—cloud schedulers improve efficiency and ensure consistency across your cloud environment. Additionally, cloud schedulers can bring guaranteed execution, retries on failure, and detailed logs for more reliable operations of cloud services.  

The advantages and disadvantages of implementing a cloud job scheduler

Many organizations are solely cloud-based, and even more implement a hybrid infrastructure. A cloud scheduler ensures your cloud-based tools, like Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure, among others, can be automated to increase efficiencies and reduce the burden on your IT team. While cloud-based services can come with their own cloud-based scheduler, like AWS Batch, AWS Lambda, and Google Cloud Scheduler, these native tools are often hard to manage and difficult to scale. Plus, they don’t interact with your other platforms and applications—and even other cloud services—leaving operations in a silo. 


See Centralized Cloud Job Scheduling in Action 



Go beyond native cloud scheduling 

When looking for a cloud scheduling tool, to really maximize efficiency throughout your IT infrastructure—as well as the ROI of your tool—turn to a service orchestration and automation platform (SOAP) instead. SOAPS go a step beyond simple cloud scheduling and give you the ability to orchestrate and automate services, applications, systems, and other platforms no matter if they’re cloud-based or on-premises. A SOAP is an essential tool for orchestrating automated cloud jobs into your wider IT processes. No matter if all or many services are being run in the cloud, companies need greater levels of organization, management, connectedness, and automation for cloud resources, and this is where SOAPs excel.  

With cross-platform capabilities to power and trigger multi-step workflows, a SOAP acts as a cornerstone that allows your organization to better manage automation in a complex IT environment. By bringing disparate systems and workflows together, a SOAP optimizes how your business runs IT jobs and processes to reach new levels of performance and delivery.  

Fortra’s JAMS is an example of a service orchestration and automation platform that enables job scheduling across all platforms from multi-cloud to hybrid to on-prem to ensure your entire IT infrastructure is appropriately scheduled. JAMS gives you the benefits of cloud scheduling as well as the ability to automate and orchestrate jobs and workflows from other platforms.  

Here are a few real-world examples: 

  • Prologis, a global leader in logistics real estate, implemented cloud job scheduling and service orchestration to transform its infrastructure into a more modern platform that optimized their data management approach, and supported a new data warehouse and data lake for self-service business intelligence and reporting.  Read the Case Study > 
  • Gold Eagle, an automotive chemicals company, uses cloud orchestration to minimize system downtime and streamline task timelines–including JD Edwards processing–to provide efficiency through the whole organization. They were able to group 160+ jobs into just 10 setups to improve efficiency. Read the Case Study > 
  • Household appliance manufacturer SharkNinja relies on cloud orchestration to provide a single pane of glass that orchestrates and monitors data refreshes, and ETL process, import, and export across their entire IT infrastructure. By using a SOAP, they were able to replace numerous legacy processes that required manually moving files and kicking off refreshes. Read the Case Study> 
  • Seminole Electric has eliminated scheduling conflicts caused by batch processes running long and orchestrated a chain of dependencies—with over 2,000 jobs—across their environment with cloud scheduling so cross-platform tasks and jobs easily flow through their organization. Read the Case Study>  

6 key features to consider when choosing cloud scheduling software 

When searching for the right scheduler for your cloud-based jobs, look for a solution that has the following features and capabilities to best streamline jobs and get the maximum ROI. 

  1. Cross-Platform Job Scheduling
    A cloud scheduler should go beyond your cloud jobs to increase efficiency in multi-cloud and hybrid environments. Centralize your environment with a single pane of glass to orchestrate jobs and workflows across applications, platforms, and other systems to reduce IT bloat. 
  2. Event-Driven Cloud Scheduling
    Look for a tool that can provide event-based scheduling to gives you more control over your job scheduling by automatically triggering the next step when an event occurs to increase reliability. These events can include a file being created, modified, or deleted, a status change, a specific date and time, if a job fails or succeeds, and other variables.  
  3. Self-Service Automation
    Organizations choose cloud-based infrastructure to make collaboration throughout departments easier. A cloud scheduler should be able to enable users outside of IT to manage their own cloud jobs through self-service automation. This also frees up your IT team to focus on more strategic tasks. 
  4. Monitoring
    Look for a tool with an all-encompassing command center. With a dynamic, graphical view of the jobs running across your environment—both cloud and on-prem—you’ll have insights into your entire ecosystem including their relationships, triggers, dependencies, and more. And real-time, customizable dashboards increase the visibility you have over your schedule.  
  5. Alerting and Logging
    Choose a scheduler with logging and alerting capabilities that ensure your cloud services are running smoothly, and if an issue arises, you can know exactly where to look to troubleshoot faster and maintain uptime. Plus, logging also helps with compliance and auditing. 
  6. Enterprise Security
    Don’t let a cloud scheduling tool put your environment at risk. Look for enterprise security features that give you full control over who can access, create, modify, and schedule cloud jobs.


See How to Automate Cloud-Based Jobs—and Beyond 

Fortra’s JAMS delivers centralized cloud scheduling and service orchestration that runs, monitors, and manages jobs and workflows across your entire IT infrastructure. See for yourself in a personalized, 1:1 demo.