The Cloud of Christmas Future

Firstly, happy new year! I hope that Santa was good to you? He was to me, bringing me tickets to see Jim Broadbent play Ebenezer Scrooge in Dicken’s ‘A Christmas Carol’. You will probably know the story. Scrooge goes through a transformation like no other. Mending his selfish ways in favour of using his wealth and influence for the greater good. All it took was one-night of being scared senseless by being shown the visions of what the future would look like if he changed his ways. The coming, and sad going, of Christmas and the New Year provides the perfect time for reflection. I’m sure that, like me, you’re also thinking about the year ahead - what you plan to stop doing, do differently, and do better. Your business/organisation is probably asking itself the same question… I was lucky enough to attend the Sports Video Group summit in New York in mid-December. Imagen sponsored the inaugural Cloud Workshop session - 'MAM & Next Gen Workflows'. Going into the event it struck me that obviously the cloud is nothing new. It’s been around for years and years. So why are the smart people at SVG only getting round to dedicating a forum to its discussion now? What was holding them back? Three things really:

  1. The strength of the cloud infrastructure for moving video around
  2. The ability of video software applications to work well in a virtual environment
  3. …and above all, the customers emotional (and physical) attachment to their media
Permit me to further explore my Scrooge analogy -

The Cloud of Christmas past

Great if you were just sharing email and spreadsheets but not so good if you wanted to distribute chunky video files globally. Salespeople in customer meetings spent half the time waxing lyrical about ‘why’ choosing the cloud is best (with little success). Management were immovable, they couldn’t risk an asset leaving the building. They needed to be able to see their possessions on the shelf or hear them purring inside the server room. The production team can manually update metadata on excel and label the hard drives, it’s what they’d always done any way. IT can manage all the infrastructure. RFPs to software vendors still focused almost exclusively on the desire for on-premises infrastructure. Software developers thought hard and planned how to best implement design changes to leverage a future in the cloud.

The Cloud of Christmas present

Cloud infrastructure providers, Microsoft for example, make the shift from ‘disk’ to ‘BLOB’ storage on Azure. This allows easier expansion of the storage area and faster access to content for streaming and download. The consumer has a better experience. Salespeople in customer meetings quickly check that all present are comfortable to use a cloud-based technology. Typically everyone agrees and the conversation quickly moves onto the ‘how’. IT managers and commercial directors are now aware of the need to continually and easily expand their server and storage requirements, and do it elastically. RFPs start to trickle through with “system should ideally be cloud-based”. Software developers set a focus on designing their solutions to deliver better results in a ‘virtual’ cloud environment.

The Cloud of Christmas yet to come

Salespeople will never need discuss the option of the cloud. It’s now the status quo for all your business's media assets to be stored and accessed via the cloud. Buyers will continue to research, listen to the anecdotes of industry colleagues, and surely become comfortable with the idea of using the cloud IT infrastructure as a utility. That’s what it is at the end of the day, a utility – an outsourced service. Just like your phone or your electricity. RFPs will come through with ‘the system MUST be cloud-based’. Software developers will commit sole focus on optimising their applications for the cloud.

New Year’s resolution

Maybe this will be your business's New Year’s resolution… ‘Must get our video on the cloud… well at least consider the possibility.’ What about our plans as a business at Imagen? – Well we have resolved ourselves to becoming the video platform of choice across multiple market sectors. The cloud will be crucial in getting us there. I wish you all a successful 2016 and may the cloud bless us, everyone! Hamish Muiry[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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