the business edge
I walk along a thin line darling
Dark shadows follow me
Here’s where life’s dream lies disillusioned
The edge of reality
Over the past decade or so, ever since the cost of streaming from a video server became just as, or more affordable than, playing content from tape, asset management has come to the fore.
I’ve covered asset management before in a few posts, most notably in digital asset management, but I sense two new paradigms emerging.
Paradigm shift #1 – archive everything – and worry about it later… this is problematic, simply delaying the inevitable. A problem awaiting solution.
One of the first directives in moving to a digital world, is the management of ingest – the digitization of content and capturing its metadata. The emphasis is on transformation. Very quickly follows the stewardship and protection of the content and metadata, followed by utilization and transformation to other formats.
Unsurprisingly, this leads to a proliferation of content. And correspondingly, the need to develop efficient usage strategies employing the disciplines of IT economics as encompassed by the time, space, bandwidth tradeoff. Just like analog magnetic signals need rusty ribbon, bits require spinning rust, or rusty ribbon. But bits can be compressed…
Now comes the paradox. What do you keep, what do you toss? What has value today, what could have value tomorrow? How do you know?
Because the answers are not clear – the future never is – most is archived, just in case.
Paradigm shift #2 – manufacture and scaling – because content is digital I can provide my customers with whatever format they want… the computer does the work anyway.
Not quite. There comes a time when the cost of the infrastructure to create and maintain the content needs to be considered as a manufacturing process – creativity not withstanding. You see, once the creative process has developed the ‘master’, just as in a good design, the process hands over to the replication for monetization.
Correspondingly, one needs to start looking at the manufacturing plant, the place where the masters are stored, where the grid is located, its capabilities and how it is utilized, where the distribution points are located and the size of the transports leaving the factory etc. This starts to look very much like a process optimization and inventory management exercise, further complicated by consumer demand cycles and on-demand manufacturing and distribution.
Here’s the contention. Asset management used to be the nexus between business systems and the technical/operations infrastructure, because the currency was ‘digital content’. We’ve moved beyond asset management into a world where the currency is on-demand manufacture and delivery of content, and so the new tool is process orchestration and flexible infrastructure integration. What is that tool? Middleware. Media-enabled of course.
The edge of business influence in media operations has shifted closer to operations.
Tell me it isn’t so… I’m listening.