By Andre Mendes, CIO, Department of Commerce - International Trade Administration
Evolution of Workflow
In the not too distant past, there was a dependence on physical media like videotapes and DVDs, but today, content acquisition, content manipulation, content packaging and delivery are executed in a seamless manner where the process is in digital form throughout the entire process and is never “burned” into a physical format. So rather than automating previous workflows, it is essential that the entire business process is completely reengineered to ensure maximum efficiency and business agility in the new realm. This requires the understanding that metadata, rather than just a nice option that enables proper archiving and search, has become as important as the content in determining the ability to leverage content across all platforms currently in existence of delineated in the future. In addition, exacting metadata becomes an absolute necessity when it comes to complete content supply chain automation and optimization.
Optimization of Workflow
Optimization of the workflow requires the understanding that upstream quality control and metadata accuracy enable companies with one or multiple content management systems to leverage content across platforms. Through established metadata dictionaries, content packaging discipline and standard Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) it is possible to have multiple systems leverage a shared content repository across multiple automated environments including editing, packaging and publishing platforms.
The Associated Risks and Challenges
But automation does not come without risks. Highly optimized and automated environments must be properly secured and content insertion must be properly vetted so as to avoid accidental or purposeful insertion of damaged or false information. Many experienced and trusted global media organizations working in today’s 24 by 7 news cycles have been embroiled in controversy over the insertion of false information, “fake news”, in their product lines. As a trusted source, these “fake news” were then rapidly disseminated through content automated aggregator portals, Social Media networks and eventually reputable broadcast environments across the world in just a few minutes.
Having a highly automated workflow places a massive requirement on upstream quality control and overall process security.
A Retake on Cloud Strategy
All of these demands place an enormous burden on the technology underpinnings of these organizations and in turn on the proper strategy deployment by media CIOs and CTOs.
Effectively, it becomes unmanageable to run a legacy organization and also service the burgeoning requirement of the new media environments.
As such it is an imperative that these professionals rapidly but thoughtfully deploy a cloud first strategy that removes from their daily priorities the running and administration of commodity services that offer no discernible differentiation from their competition.
These CIOs will be more successful in keeping a perfectly secure environment if they embrace an outsourcing cloud-based strategy that allows them to leverage the processing power of a large provider for infrastructure, reliance, availability, and cost. By starting to leverage the cloud-based systems and software as a service (SaaS), the organization can buy the specific system functionality and also administer security and operation. This is a dual scenario where they not only leverage their performance ratio in terms of functionality but also their price-performance ratio on capability for upgrades, migration, and cybersecurity.
Going forward, the only method for a CIO to succeed is to eliminate that complexity out of their internal systems internally by adopting a standardization strategy that is akin to a biological evolution. By creating abstraction layers for all commodity tasks, they allow the proper targeting of resources to the areas where there is true value in marketplace competitive advantage.