By Arnaud Bacros, Benelux Managing Director Enterprise at Dell EMC.

The media and entertainment (M&E) industry is big business and today’s consumers have high expectations for digital services and content delivery. High-definition outputs, with increasingly complex special and post-production effects are driving significant increases in demand for data storage, processing and analytics capabilities, and everyone from the designers rendering individual frames, through to the broadcasters that distribute the finished content, is feeling the pressure.

In addition, with data rapidly becoming the most valuable asset, M&E businesses are looking at more effective strategies and solutions that will allow them to access and exploit their current data assets, as well as those they will acquire in the future.

The good news is that whilst technology has transformed viewers’ expectations, it has also enabled content developers and service providers to bring their creative visions to big and small screens around the world in more effective and innovative ways.


Bringing digital transformation to the world of M&E

Digital transformation is a core concept for today’s organisations, as the advantages on offer from emerging technologies continue to demonstrate value in attracting and growing business. For the M&E industry, the adoption of innovative IT infrastructure and digital strategies is fast becoming a differentiator, allowing them to leverage data assets whilst winning more contracts to deliver high-quality media content.

However, this is a complex journey and as part of the evolution of the modern M&E business, senior directors and IT decision makers should be considering the following aspects of a successful transformation:

- Workforce transformation is becoming increasingly important for businesses operating in the M&E industry. Taking for example a visual effects company which wins a contract to develop production ready shots for an upcoming blockbuster; not only does it have to source the talent to work on the footage (possibly bringing in additional people), it needs to configure enough workstations with the latest hardware and software capabilities to manage the task and then deploy them either centrally or remotely depending upon the workforce – which is increasingly dispersed around the globe.

- Virtualization provides numerous benefits for M&E businesses, not least in terms of the technology itself, but other aspects too. For example, the industry has recently seen significant changes in licensing architecture and plug-in ecosystems and with the shift towards globally collaborative production, the virtualization of artists’ workstations is now a key business enabler.

In addition, virtualization allows organisations to roll out new applications independent of hardware, meaning developers can be more flexible whilst retaining compatibility with the latest applications. With more subscription and licence-based payment plans on leading media software solutions reaching the market, design studios can rely upon virtualized infrastructure to easily and cost-effectively deploy the necessary tools across a global workforce.

Critically, virtualization will help creative businesses to move more exclusively to OpEx models, adding cost efficiency and facilitating easier management of assets and investments as the business continues to grow in this dynamic sector.

- For M&E businesses, data capital – referring to the monetisation value of what lies in the asset library – represents a critical value proposition, not only in terms of regular workflows but also additional revenue streams that can enable investment in growth and the development of new offerings. Though many businesses are experiencing issues with data silos – where the true value of data cannot be extracted – data lakes are allowing businesses to bring the applications to their existing data, thereby realising an effective route to monetisation. The M&E industry has actually recognised this for a while now, however, there are several challenges which have prevented them from truly unlocking the value of their data.

With demanding single-stream, high-throughput, low latency workloads arising from editing, visual effects and gaming, there’s an ongoing need for high performance on-premise storage for content creation. This is because many of the required applications aren’t yet object-native and due to the production requirements of modern blockbusters – often sustained workloads of over 1 GB/s – it’s difficult to support production from the cloud.

The public cloud, however, is great for rapid workflow growth, and when experimenting with new business models – where there is uncertainty around when data demands will spike and how this could be managed on-premise. Once the business has had time to test the new models and collect enough data to predict further demand, workloads can be selectively brought back to on-premise storage for cost efficiency.

To achieve the best performance, cost and efficiency balance therefore, it’s necessary to leverage the benefits of a hybrid model; adopting both on-premise and cloud storage solutions.

- In a globally connected and often decentralised world, with increasing reliance upon the cloud, security is a key business enabler and market differentiator. Unauthorised duplication and leaks are a constant threat, as much as physical attacks against broadcast networks to disrupt the user experience. To implement the necessary safeguards, the global M&E industry should be looking to adopt layered, comprehensive approaches to securing data and infrastructure. As the industry slowly graduates from on-premise storage to hybrid solutions, there will be an increasing emphasis on modern security strategies and solutions that ensure creative content is kept safe and the user experience is protected.


Embrace the future

By implementing a seamless end-to-end data storage, processing and analytics platform, M&E organisations can leverage multiple benefits to their ongoing and future projects. Though hardware technology plays a significant role, there is also scope for workforce transformation and experimentation with new IT strategies to achieve more efficient operations that can realise considerable cost savings and greater organisational agility.

Only through leveraging modern IT strategies together with innovative infrastructure solutions can M&E organisations future proof their operations, secure their digital assets and transform their data capital to leverage the full value of the extensive data lakes they have built up to drive future growth and profitability.

Publié le 06 décembre 2018