The explosion in video use today – on the web, in corporate marketing and training and of course in professional content creation – presents a conundrum for CIOs charged with managing it all. Videos are high-value assets that the organization paid dearly to create – assets that can affect the organization’s brand reputation and revenue. Videos usually impose significant storage and bandwidth demands from the IT infrastructure as organization insiders and advertising or production agencies and freelancers move the content back and forth through the production’s workflow.
But do you even know what video you have? Let alone, how much of the IT budget they consume?
The response from IT executives when asked this question is frankly astounding. Often they’ll state that they really don’t make a lot of video, until asked about marketing presentations, CEO speeches, training sessions and video blogs and all iterations made in the process of creating the final deliverable. Next there’s often an anecdote about some urgent need that forced IT into spending unplanned budget to support video and about what a nightmare it is to support all this video. Finally there’s an “Aha!” moment where, like most IT departments, the executive realizes they don’t know what organizational video assets they have, can’t find video they’ve paid huge sums to create, across all global operations can’t quantify the IT resources they consume to create video and don’t know whether the IT resources used on videos are being used efficiently or squandered.
Some enterprises have on-premise media asset management (MAM) solutions to address the issue, so they are more ahead of their peers (they’ve at least considered video as part of their company’s assets). However, legacy MAMs often cannot support easy access from outside the network. Most, realizing they were becoming outdated, have implemented some degree of “Web-ification” for browser access from outside of the company’s walled garden. While this seemingly bridges a gap in their requirements, it doesn’t maximize the full potential of the cloud infrastructure they’re trying to replicate. For this, the resource, its maintenance and its management is moved fully off-premise.
Cloud computing provides a ready answer to the enormous issue of controlling video access and archiving. Placing an entire MAM in the cloud, in a secure, managed and controllable way is basically a riff on a “website” architecture, with pleasing UIs and the ability to support “bring your own device” (BYOD) access and viewing on tablets and mobile phones.
Increasingly, corporate video departments, as well as major production companies, are cloud-enabling their video archives and finding new ways to offload the onerous storage and bandwidth requirements necessary to deal with modern video production techniques. This helps to empower users to be as creative as their talent allows – unfettered by the restrictions of the IT infrastructure.
Imagine the possibilities from a CIO’s perspective. Below are just a few examples of cloud-enabled video archive initiatives that are allowing more flexibility, leading to lower costs, faster networks, and scalable storage.
An upscale beverage company has its agencies and teams shoot video of extreme sports events, then upload and store the video in a cloud-enabled MAM. By using the cloud as a central repository, the entire extended team can pull down broadcast-resolution content for Webcast video series and event promos no matter where in the world they live and work.
One of the U.K.’s largest media agencies is using a cloud-enabled MAM to store video and photographs for anywhere, anytime access by reporters as they file stories from around the globe.
Veria Living, a global broadcaster with operations in New York, London, Singapore and Mumbai, placed its entire MAM in the cloud, instead of allowing video assets to exist on various individual hard drives, loose tapes and SANs throughout its diverse operations. It also enables its ad sales and marketing teams to make use of the MAM as an asset library when they need to create sizzle reels or establish licensing rights for showcasing content to prospective buyers.
A Northeastern University film professor used a cloud-based video production platform so students could share projects, comment and collaborate on each other’s work without requiring the school’s IT department to buy hardware or install software.
Cloud-enabled video archives make a whole lot of sense for end users as well as IT executives. Expect to see more of them in the coming months.
David Peto is CEO and co-founder of Aframe, which owns cloud infrastructure in the U.K. and across the U.S.
Edited by Alisen Downey