I recently sat down with Levels Beyond, to talk about hybrid workflows for digital & asset management, and understand how companies are adopting cloud workflows in media & entertainment.
If you’re not familiar with the company, Levels Beyond provides a platform technology in the digital content space of inventory management, content distribution, ingest and automation and orchestration. Their platform Reach Engine™ is a hybrid solution that can exist on premises and in the cloud and can give a global view of assets from multiple, distributed locations.
Cloud Workflows in Media & Entertainment
The media and entertainment industry has been a little slow in moving to the cloud. For that reason, there is a great deficit in understanding how to integrate workflows with the cloud and a lack of best practices.
I want to share some of the insight and takeaways from the webinar about how studios and media companies should approach the cloud.
- Start With a New Project, Not Your Legacy Systems
Every change can be daunting. Find a new project or initiative that will be a greenfield and a success. If you work in a big organization, find a campaign, show or event that will serve as a test bed. Lower your risk by doing this as a single silo before forklifting your legacy systems.
- Find Early Adopters
Find the human element and project that people can get excited about. You need to get a success that you can point to, and you need enthusiastic internal partners to do it.
- Define Success
Define the goals of your undertaking. Remember that these should not only be technology goals; focus on what value you can bring to the business.
- Get Your Team Trained
The cloud is not the day-to-day tasks your team is familiar with. See how you can get them trained on new tools and workflows and consider establishing an office that will be responsible to oversee this and define cloud policies.
- Don’t Just Lift and Shift
A lot of people like to take what they have and replicate it in the cloud. Sure, ‘lift and shift’ is easy; you can simply move your repository to the cloud and access it from there. But that’s just a change in who you are paying to for storing your data (the cloud vs. your own OpEx) It’s not a successful approach. You must rethink how things work otherwise you will lose all the benefits the cloud offers. This a common mistake of people new to the cloud, and why many return to legacy storage architectures.
- See Where You Can Burst
Agility is critical in today’s market. Whether your production needs more technology or people resources, understand how you can burst to the cloud. Think of tasks like localization (translation, dubbing, voice actors etc.) branching to new markets, countries, or languages, the cloud is a natural way to quickly collaborate on content remotely.
- Define Hybrid Workflows
You will still want content on premise for various reasons. For one, it is more cost effective for massive media libraries, particularly when using object storage. You may also have investments that still produce value. Evaluate your workflows carefully. Moving data in the cloud is a costly operation. Consider what content needs to be sent physically, where proxies suffice, and what’s the best path as far as costs, access and long tail reuse.
- Improve Security
This may surprise you, but security is likely better in the cloud than on-premises. Why? Because the cloud had to prove that it’s safe. Big service providers have hundreds of engineers constantly working on improving security. How many do you have for your on-premises infrastructure? The cloud offers a lot of ways to secure content even better than on premises. For example, sharing of files. The cloud has mature tools and services help to automate the management of rights, transactions, access and duplicate files. The cloud is purpose built for monitoring and logging access.
It’s clear that cloud workflows in media & entertainment are no longer a question of ‘if’, but rather ‘how’. To make sure your transition is a success start by defining your hybrid cloud workflows and media lifecycle. Our solution brief below can help you understand how to manage your assets in a hybrid architecture:
- Simplify collaboration across geo locations
- Achieve extreme data durability and integrity
- Integrate existing environments
- Build for cloud-scale
Erik Weaver is the Global Director of Media and Entertainment Market Development at Western Digital specializing in cloud technologies.