According to Statista, just over 30% of all corporate data was stored in the cloud in 2015. Today, that number has doubled. The advantages are becoming more obvious, highlighted by a global pandemic and a growing understanding of the technology and its benefits.
Cloud computing offers more than simple data storage - it allows companies to make the most of opportunities for remote collaboration. As businesses continue to develop their own approaches to cloud-based working, and seek to better align them with post-pandemic worker’s expectations, here’s what the media and entertainment (M&E) industry stands to gain.
1. Improved collaboration
Cloud computing is all about accessibility. Workers can access whatever they need, wherever they are, whenever they want.
One core development on offer is real-time access to files, meaning that remote collaboration feels both less remote and more collaborative. As you work on a project, you can see the changes your colleagues are making as they happen, adapt to them, build upon them and make informed suggestions. This means that less time is wasted waiting for the most recent version to be shared with you before you can make your own changes, and allows others to offer their own input in an ongoing dialogue of actions.
This might well be part of the reason that companies adopting widespread remote working during the pandemic were surprised by just how productive their teams were despite being at home. Hoxby’s remote working survey found that 52% of managers said their team was actually more productive than when they were all in an office. It’s true that remote working creates challenges to existing processes - but supporting your colleagues with cloud-based storage solutions actually unlocks collaborative potential. And these new workflows are just as useful back in the office.
2. Increased flexibility
An adaptable approach to working has been a key feature of any successful workplace over the past three years, and that includes the M&E industry. For many, cloud-based remote collaboration was vital to finishing the job. Animation studio Pixar looked to the cloud to support their crews as they worked on a number of high-profile film releases during the pandemic. The Academy Award-winning Soul, which premiered on Disney+ in the middle of a period of international lockdowns, was still almost two months from completion when the studio’s staff were themselves sent home for a prolonged period. Without quick expansion of existing cloud-based working structures, the film would have seen extensive delays.
Remote collaboration offers flexibility to workers as well as businesses. Individuals are able to carry out their work from almost anywhere with an internet connection, meaning that an industry famous for long hours can move towards a more adaptable way of working. It’s rare that developments that so clearly improve productivity for businesses also stand to considerably improve the work/life balance of employees.
3. Attract the brightest talent
The best cloud services enable businesses to be location agnostic, meaning that their staff can, in theory, log in from anywhere in the world to carry out their work. This doesn’t necessarily work for every industry, but in M&E it can be a real boost to projects.
Companies adopting robust remote collaboration practices are able to draw on a significantly bigger talent pool than rivals who do not. Not only can they select the best candidate regardless of location, they are able to offer better working conditions: technology that really aids their work, more pain-free processes and the ability to enjoy their own private lives a little more.
4. Maximise global creativity
Cloud-based working is on the rise across the world, but there are few industries that stand to gain as much from it as M&E. A director shooting scenes at the studio can work with a talented 2nd unit on location and offer quick feedback on rushes. Ambitious productions in smaller nations without established local post-production special effects teams can more easily outsource these elements to companies in other countries. Production designers in Hollywood who are influenced by an artist working in Tokyo are more able to realise potential collaborations.
Where others see only the possibilities for optimised productivity, those in media will also find a chance to expand their creative horizons and bring about more efficient and imaginative ways of sharing their visions with the world.
By examining the way we work today, we can find those areas that would be better supported by the flexibility, productivity and creativity that will inspire the future.