Cloud computing has dominated the IT conversation for many years now, but the media and entertainment industry has lagged behind. While the past few years have seen a handful of innovators migrating certain workflows to the cloud, it took a disaster on the scale of the global coronavirus pandemic for the broader industry to seriously consider what cloud solutions could do for media production.
While the impetus to move to the cloud may be a scary one, there’s never been a better time for media enterprises to investigate cloud-based workflows. Even after the current crisis passes, cloud-enabled media enterprises will benefit from increased agility and efficiency.
Cloud Enables Media Enterprises to Work Efficiently
To succeed in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, media enterprises need to focus more of their resources on creating and monetizing content, and less of their resources on managing infrastructure. For media enterprises, cloud architectures offer the promise of infrastructure that is more flexible, agile, and self-managing.
Although workflows have become increasingly streamlined, demands for even greater efficiency have presented new challenges for content creators. In a case of the tail wagging the dog, the demand by consumers for content on any device, distributed across any network, puts pressure on content producers and distributors to deliver more finished products to these consumers. In response, they are ramping up workflows, investing in applications and relevant infrastructure simply to meet demand. However, this may not be the most pragmatic approach, nor the most cost-efficient.
How the Cloud Works for Media Enterprises
Migrating from a traditional on-premises solution to a cloud-based platform can help address the need for agility and economy. At its most basic level, the cloud provides a more cost-effective platform for fulfilling unpredictable spikes in demand. At a more strategic level, the cloud provides a platform for aligning the needs of both creative and business teams.
In the cloud, virtualized applications and servers become resource pools that can be dynamically reconfigured and provisioned as needs change. Imagine allocating resources to address ingest of source material during the day, then re-allocating those same resources to do transcoding or rendering in the evening.
Using the Cloud to Address Globalization
A global consumer base with a ravenous appetite for snackable and bingeable content is pushing media enterprises to ensure content is not only available in a wide variety of formats, but also customized for diverse audiences in disparate geographies. The globalization of the media marketplace has forced media companies to embrace global workforces to translate and tailor content to specific audiences.
Cloud-based workflows address the needs of a global workforce in multiple ways—in addition to streamlining access to media from any location, the cloud enables media enterprises to work with talent based anywhere, opening up a literal world of possibilities away from established production hubs.
Cloud-Based Media Production Provides Risk Mitigation
Beyond enabling distributed teams, the ability to work remotely also provides insurance against the inability to access physical infrastructure. While the COVID-19 pandemic is a particularly dramatic illustration of these challenges, smaller-scale disruptions happen all the time. Forward-thinking media enterprises need to proactively manage these risks to protect business continuity.
Assessing Media Operations Infrastructure
Accelerating industry-wide pressures mean that media organizations require an operations infrastructure that the cloud is uniquely well-positioned to support:
- Dynamic allocation of resources to address high-intensity workloads
- Remote access to media to enable a globally distributed workforce
- Content security by eliminating single points of failure
- Integration with existing business systems
- Safeguards to protect business continuity