Virtualisation of media industry Virtualisation through the cloud, apart from cutting costs, facilitates a collaborative approach to content creation

The proliferation of new media channels and a drifting consumer base is driving major shifts in the industry's overall functioning. Within firms, specific functions through past IT investments have become digitised. However, this has also resulted in the creation of data silos and segmented workflows between departments. Furthermore, relying on existing infrastructure while trying to woo digital customers has increased the cost burden in an industry already saddled with low operating margins.

A centralised, digitised location of content alongside operations tracking on a virtual environment is a revolutionary step. Virtualisation through the cloud facilitates a collaborative approach to content creation with simultaneous access to all stakeholders.

However, hosting content on the cloud can bring up security threats while traditional on-premises storage results in huge cost implications. This conundrum can be addressed though a hybrid cloud deployment. Here, the content remains with the owner yet the applications are run on the cloud. Thus, the cost of ownership is reduced. In fact, companies can achieve 30 per cent cost savings and 40 per cent time savings, with no upfront Room for monetisation

Virtualisation frees up process and location dependencies while enabling collaboration across departments. The potential number of new business avenues and monetisation opportunities are illustrated below.

* If the content is digitised, it can be scheduled to upload automatically after airing on television, hence cutting costs.

* With virtualisation, firms can monetise the consumer excitement on fulcrum events like World Cup by creating video-on-demand packages, which can be made chargeable on across platforms.

* Digital content allows for smart-tagging, which lets advertisers know what each piece of content contains thereby enabling contextual advertising. Media firms can charge a premium for such a service.

What's next? The focus for the media industry continues to remain on creating compelling content. However, the always-on customer demands instant gratification. The cloud will play an important role in catering to these needs as media houses continue to evolve. Soon, broadcasters will be able to see what kind of viewers they attract through the cloud suite. They will be able to analyse data such as the age profile and gender of their viewers and place ads that specifically cater to these audiences. Cross-platform user engagement can also be implemented through the use of second screens.

To sum up, the way forward for the media industry lies in embracing these promising avenues. Monetisation and agility can be achieved through a marriage of media and virtualisation. 

By Ramki Sankaranarayanan, founder and CEO, Prime Focus Technologies Originally published on Business Standard’s – The Strategist