Why Managing Content in the Cloud Matters

by Ian Hamilton, CTO

Last week at NAB I participated in a panel discussion titled “why managing content in the cloud matters.” I joined Moderator Tom Ohanian from Cisco and panelists from Civolution and Gorilla Technology Group to discuss the impact cloud technology is having on the media and entertainment industry, and the factors that organizations should consider when selecting cloud solutions.

This topic is very important to us at Signiant. Our CEO, Margaret Craig, recently wrote about our “Cloud Credo.” She explained that designing for the cloud is worth the effort and that we have built our cloud platform from the ground up to take advantage of advanced cloud services and capabilities which results in scalable, highly available, cost effective solutions that are easy to deploy and use with consistent global performance.

Media and entertainment companies have a unique set of challenges to consider when processing high-value content in the cloud. Many issues and examples were discussed during our hour-long discussion, but the three main needs that media and entertainment organizations typically focus on when working in the cloud kept surfacing as: Speed, Security and Simplicity.

The ability to deliver content in the right format quickly is extremely important to organizations’ bottom line. Content producers routinely sign syndication deals mandating strict delivery timelines. Any delay in the production, processing or delivery of media is a significant issue. Organizations can build out large infrastructure to accommodate maximum processing requirements but taking advantage of cloud elasticity is an increasingly popular alternative to help more cost effectively handle peaks and valleys in their content processing cycles.

Cloud security is a critical issue for media and entertainment because the data being processed in the cloud is the product, not a derivative business artifact like in other industries. Media and entertainment companies need flexible storage options for content including utilizing private storage and/or their private cloud storage tenancies. Horizontal cloud solutions don’t provide this level of storage flexibility.

If a product isn’t easy enough for average users to operate, they’ll look for other solutions. A secure design principle known as “psychological acceptability” states that a system should be as easy to use in a secure state as in an insecure state or users will default to the insecure state.  This principle can be extended to alternate solutions and if a secure solution isn’t as easy to use as alternatives, a business user may send an important file via a consumer file sharing service like Dropbox or HighTail.

It’s important for the business to provide a solution with a simple user interface both for end users and administrators. That’s why we’ve designed our products, such as Media Shuttle, to be intuitive and easy to use with no training required.
There has been a big shift in thinking even in the past two years, with media and entertainment companies growing more accepting of cloud technologies. A new “cloud first” paradigm has even emerged where companies have to consider cloud solutions first before looking at traditional on premise deployments. The industry has come a long way in a year and it will be interesting to see what the next NAB brings.

You can learn more about our Media Shuttle solution here.

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