The internet is now the primary way people access the media. Rather than reading newspapers, watching real-time TV or buying records, consumers turn to news websites and stream movies, TV series, games and music. For media companies, migrating to the cloud can offer many benefits. It can help them cut costs, streamline processes, increase productivity and ensure that their services remain available online. Here we look at the benefits of the cloud for media companies.
Running an online media company using in-house technology can be exceptionally expensive. Doing so requires servers with enough storage not just to house all the content you want to make available; but also, to manage customer accounts, operate a website and run all the other applications that the company needs. Besides the capital expenditure required to buy all this hi-tech equipment, there is also the considerable cost of running it. Electricity for a single server can cost up to £6,000 a year, while there is an essential outlay for insurance, premises, maintenance and physical security.
Migrating to the cloud can help media companies to make substantial cost savings. By using the infrastructure of the cloud provider, businesses no longer need to purchase hardware or pay for the running costs mentioned above. Instead, these are all included in the price of the plan which is charged for as a more manageable monthly fee, making it easier on the company’s cash flow. What’s more, with a managed cloud solution, even essential tasks like server management are handled by the provider, freeing up your employees to work on projects that benefit the business.
Media content often requires the input of large teams, whether that’s journalists producing news content or developers creating new games. Another advantage of the cloud is that it helps production workflows to be more collaborative. There is a wide range of cutting-edge, cloud-based applications now available as Software as a Service (SaaS) that enable teams to work together, share files and communicate online to produce a wide range of media. These often require only minimal training and come with top-drawer support.
Enabling remote working is key for media companies, many of whom rely on teams composed of freelancers who work away from the office. Using the collaboration tools mentioned above helps businesses create teams of experts from around the world, improving the quality of their output. Individuals can connect with the company’s system to access tools and resources from wherever they are located and can do so securely using VPNs, two-factor authentication and access control to protect data, apps and projects in development.
Speed to market
Cloud adoption helps media companies accelerate their supply chain. With content in the cloud, it can be easily and directly accessed by consumers without it needing to go through a distributor. As a result, companies that have cloud technology can get breaking news items or new content to their audience quicker, beating off the competition.
Demand for media content can fluctuate radically. Breaking stories can go viral, or a much-awaited new series, movie, album or game can be released which attracts unexpected traffic. If a media company hosts its own servers, then the amount of traffic it can handle at any one time is limited to the IT resources it has available. In the worst-case scenario, this means the system can crash during peak demand, leaving audiences unable to access the content and causing serious damage to the brand’s reputation. To cope with this in-house, the only solution is to purchase backup servers that can be brought online to increase capacity. However, this means investing a great deal of money on IT that will spend much of its time laying around redundant.
In the cloud, there is a simple and immediate fix to unexpected demand. Quite simply, cloud users can scale up resources at the click of a mouse, ensuring that they have all the storage, CPU, RAM and bandwidth they need to cater for all their traffic. As a result, media companies can avoid the embarrassing issue of their system crashing or resorting to other measures (streaming in SD instead of HD, for example) in order to stay online.
The other benefit is that companies can scale down again once demand reduces and they only pay for any additional resources used on a pay-per-use basis – there is no requirement to permanently upgrade to a bigger and more expensive solution.
As a media business, your content is your product, and this makes it critical that it is available all the time. Downtime, therefore, can be disastrous. With in-house systems that rely on dedicated servers, there is always the potential for server failure. If this happens, not only will parts of your operations come to a halt; but getting them back online again can be a slow and expensive process. Either the server will need fixing, or a replacement brought online. The resulting financial losses and damage to the brand can be significant.
With the cloud, there is no need to worry about server failure causing downtime as you are guaranteed 100% uptime and consistent performance. This is because cloud servers are virtual and independent of the physical machines on which they run. If there is an issue with the physical machine, the virtual server is instantly migrated to another machine without disruption to the service. As a result, your content will always be available.
Cloud migration brings many benefits to media companies. It helps cut costs, improves collaboration, remote working and speed to market, enables immediate scalability to cope with demand and ensures your content is always available.
For more information, take a look at our cloud solutions.