The cloud makes it easy to collaborate from anywhere there is a connection.
Content creators in government face the same pressure that their counterparts in broadcast and post-production do: to remain efficient embracing higher resolutions (such as 4K/UHD), new camera formats and a growing range of delivery options. Combine this with distributed teams and tight budgets, and these factors are pushing the limits of traditional media workflow strategies, as well as the underlying infrastructure that powers these systems.
Enter the cloud. The cloud can release this pressure by expanding the workflow beyond the four walls of your facility. Cloud-based workflows can enable dispersed teams to collaborate in real-time for quicker turn-around, can help facilities scale up or down to meet changing demand levels, and can simplify off-site archiving. And with the cloud, you can purchase only the capacity you need, only as you need it.
When integrated properly, cloud solutions can provide greater security and integrity in content management by centralizing assets, and can make the most of prior infrastructure investments while preserving future flexibility. Cloud workflows can provide a true end-to-end workflow that allows team members to work seamlessly on projects without changing their day-to-day activities.
One example of the benefits of cloud workflow is improved collaboration. When teams are dispersed in multiple locations, sharing content often requires multiple copies to be created, distributed and managed, an inefficient and error-prone process. With cloud workflows, team members can collaborate across remote sites using incoming content from multiple locations, and deliver that content to still more locations, and in more formats.
Another example is archiving. As your organization’s digital assets and number of active projects grow, efficiently managing online storage while securing content long-term becomes increasingly difficult. With cloud integration, your workflow’s online storage can be ready for new projects, while keeping your assets archived long-term for re-use or for compliance reasons.
A final example is security or “vaulting.” Because cloud-based content is stored off-site, cloud workflows make it easy to secure content off-site without the hassles of writing to tape and trucking it away, or setting up complicated and expensive mirror sites.
Unfortunately, not all cloud solutions are designed for to meet the needs of media workflows in government. Most public cloud offerings were engineered as development platforms for software vendors to build applications and services on, so they have little or no provision for the complex multistage workflow common in media production.
When investigating cloud solutions, look for these important criteria:
- Seamless setup: Choose a cloud solution that’s compatible with your existing workflow, allowing you to seamlessly integrate cloud storage without additional hardware or software. You shouldn’t need to buy and install third-party gateways or unfamiliar cloud software.
- Seamless integration: Make sure the cloud solution is also fully compatible with workflow applications like editing suites and media asset management. You shouldn’t have to hire consultants to integrate the cloud into your workflow. You should define your workflow, not the cloud provider.
- Seamless operations: The cloud-based workflow should offer the same experience for your users as working natively, with the added benefits and capabilities that come with centralized, off-site content repository. After integrating your workflow with the cloud, your users shouldn’t have to change their daily operations and learn new processes. Whether the content is stored in the cloud or on shared storage it should be transparent.
Finally, remember that if key steps or stages are not connected in an integrated workflow, assets and content move across the public cloud in ways that can compromise security.
For most content creators and owners, that’s risky. For agencies and government entities creating and managing sensitive content, that’s unacceptable. Choose a solution that lets you reach for the clouds, while keeping your workflow planted firmly on secure ground.