Industrial revolution of the media

Posted on: September 11, 2017 by Mauro Starinieri

The next big step for the media industry is to industrialise the way they work.

Continued globalisation of audiences and content has meant that a new way of working is necessary to meet the growing demands of production and distribution across various platforms in various geographies. Add to this the constant pressure to improve market share and operating profits and the need to do things differently becomes paramount.

To succeed, many industry heads are now looking towards the manufacturing industry for best practice. After all, media is a commodity and production and distribution on a grand scale is most efficient when streamlined and automatized.

Media and the fourth industrial revolution

The media industry must join all other industries in finding a coherent way to manage better the fourth industrial revolution – that of emerging technologies. This has been easy for the newer media organisations that have grown and developed in the age of digital but the challenge remains for the more traditional media companies.

The media industry has worked, for a long time, in a completely different way to most other industries. Traditional media companies develop and use their own bespoke technology and systems and their experts develop skills very specific to their roles and ways of working. A broadcast specialist is not necessarily an expert in IT.

Because of this it has traditionally been a difficult industry for others to navigate. Internally it has relied on a very small pool of appropriately trained individuals.

Increasingly, however, it is becoming difficult for the industry itself to navigate and manage. The boom in content and different platforms for publishing has created a mish mash of different supply chains working on different formats split across different platforms.

All too often, especially in longer-established media companies, these content supply chains are still pretty much siloed. Specific products often rely on dedicated yet inefficient supply chains that are often very poorly automated.

And not only is this inefficient and costly but it also leaves organisations open to error, such as, for instance, rights violations, as it’s difficult to track centrally how and where content is being used. They also result in duplication and inhibit potential synergy. This has got to change. Fluid collaboration across these many media processes now becomes key to success in the market. It’s time to consolidate, industrialize and modernize the media supply chain from end-to-end, maximizing process automation and integrating the numerous systems that make up media workflows.

Microservices approach

The IT service industry has already got advanced capacity in defining and implementing reference architectures and platforms for service and process integration that the media industry can leverage. The IT pros can support media specialists in the world of ITIL, Enterprise Service Bus, Service Oriented Architecture, Micro-Services, and Business Process and Performance Management.

The evolution of a micro services approach, for instance, has been the exemplar of how the media industry should manage its content supply chain platfoms.

Put simply, microservices are a design and development process whereby component parts built specifically for one purpose are joined together. A platform built on this approach is quick and flexible and allows for the entire chain – processing, managing, distributing and selling of content to happen in one place. It can be easily scaled up and down to suit needs and any issues within the system are able to be quickly fixed without breaking the entire system.

Standardised supply chains are cheaper and more efficient to manage.

How to make this change

The first and most important step is to realise that IT and IP are essential for moving forward.

The skills needed to design and build a process like this are not media skills but those of IT professionals working alongside those with deep knowledge of the industry.

A totally new architecture standard is needed.

Engage people with IT and IT service backgrounds in your media-process discussions, and it will soon become clear that their experience adds real value.

The IT service industry has already got advanced capacity in defining and implementing reference architectures and platforms for service and process integration. The IT pros may talk a different language but find a way to establish a common dialogue between your media process specialists, and those used to managing IT service, and you have a formula for success.


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About Mauro Starinieri
Head of Global Media Portfolio
Mauro leads globally the strategy, definition, implementation and promotion of the Atos offerings portfolio for the Media and Entertainment industry. He works closely with the teams who support the media clients around the world, ensuring that solutions are closely aligned with genuine customers’ needs. He monitors the constantly changing market’s trends and ensures that Atos builds and sustains the specialist partnerships to complement the Atos solutions. He has an interest in the digital transformation of the media supply chain and in the application of virtualization and cloud. He has 30 years of experience in IT, holding senior and management roles in different professional areas. His specialties include media processes and solutions, portfolio management, business development, sales management, consulting, project and program management, team management, telecommunications, OSS/BSS, ITIL/ITSM, software development. He focused 10 years of his career on Telecommunication industry and the last 14 years on the Media & Entertainment industry.

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