Embracing the cloud-native media supply chain

By Alex Thompson

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In the rapidly evolving media and entertainment landscape, the ability to adapt and innovate is more crucial than ever. Traditional media asset management systems, while once the backbone of our industry, are struggling to keep pace with the demands of today’s digital world.

Enter the cloud-native media supply chain—a model that promises to revolutionize how we process and deliver media content.

What is the cloud-native media supply chain?

Unlike legacy systems, a cloud-native media supply chain aligns supply with demand as efficiently as possible, adapting to the needs of the moment.

It’s the difference between having a delivery show up at your door versus keeping a truck in a garage for your next delivery. This model offers unprecedented flexibility, allowing media operations to be processed into final products for consumption most efficiently.

Power of Flexibility: Cloud-native vs. traditional systems

Flexibility is paramount in the ever-evolving world of media production. The ability to adapt to changing demands, new technologies, and evolving market trends can be the difference between success and stagnation. This is where the cloud-native media supply chain truly shines.

Traditional systems, while robust, often lack the flexibility needed in today’s fast-paced digital environment. They are typically built around fixed infrastructures, with costs tied to hardware, storage, networking, licensing, support, and upkeep of assets. These systems can be costly to maintain and difficult to adapt to changing needs, making them less than ideal for the rapidly evolving media landscape.

On the other hand, a cloud-native media supply chain offers unprecedented flexibility.


Built from within the cloud, these systems leverage the power of microservices—small, independent processes that can be scaled up or down based on demand. This allows for a level of adaptability that traditional systems can’t match.

Moreover, cloud-native systems provide full visibility into each step of the supply chain. This transparency allows for more accurate budgeting and resource allocation, as costs can be tracked on a process-specific basis rather than being tied to infrastructure. This shift in perspective can lead to significant cost savings and improved operational efficiency.

Additionally, the cloud-native approach enables seamless integration with other cloud-based tools and technologies. This interoperability allows media companies to easily adopt new technologies, experiment with innovative processes, and adapt to changing market trends.

In conclusion, the flexibility offered by cloud-native media supply chains represents a significant advantage over traditional systems. By embracing this approach, media companies can better adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape, driving innovation and ensuring their continued success in the industry.

Microservices: The building blocks of cloud-native workflows

At the heart of the cloud-native perspective are microservices—small, independent processes that work together to form a larger system. These microservices can be developed, deployed, and scaled independently, providing a level of flexibility and scalability that traditional monolithic architectures can’t match.

In a cloud-native media supply chain, each step in the workflow—from content ingestion to processing to distribution—can be handled by a separate microservice. This approach has several key benefits:

  • Scalability: Microservices can be scaled up or down independently based on demand, allowing for efficient resource utilization.
  • Flexibility: New features or processes can be added as separate microservices without disrupting the existing system.
  • Resilience: If one microservice fails, it doesn’t affect the rest of the system, leading to higher overall system reliability.

Pricing based on usage

One of the most significant advantages of the cloud-native perspective is the ability to price services based on usage. In traditional systems, costs are often tied to infrastructure—hardware, storage, networking, licensing, support, and upkeep of assets.

In contrast, a cloud-native media supply chain allows for commoditized processing, where you only pay for a given process when it occurs. This usage-based pricing model can lead to significant cost savings, especially for operations with fluctuating demand.

Continuous innovation

The cloud-native perspective also enables continuous innovation. In traditional systems, updating software often involves bringing down the entire system, which can lead to disruptions and downtime.

However, microservices can be updated or replaced independently in a cloud-native environment, allowing for continuous improvement without disrupting the overall system. This approach also makes experimenting with new technologies or processes easier, fostering a culture of innovation.

Operating system agnostic


Cloud-native systems are independent of the operating system framework, eliminating many of the roadblocks and barriers associated with traditional systems. This OS-agnostic approach allows for greater flexibility and interoperability, making integrating with other systems and technologies easier.

In conclusion, the cloud-native perspective offers a new way of thinking about media supply chains. By building workflows from within the cloud, we can leverage the power of microservices, usage-based pricing, continuous innovation, and OS-agnostic design to create more efficient, flexible, and cost-effective media operations. As the media landscape continues to evolve, adopting a cloud-native perspective will be key to staying competitive and driving the industry forward.

Why now is the time for cloud-native

The migration case becomes stronger as the industry becomes more comfortable with the cloud’s reliability and security. The accessibility of cloud-centric tools is blossoming, and the cost of cloud storage is now cheaper than the total cost of owning a selection of on-premise storage tiers.

The only type of media supply chain infrastructure that can adapt to a perpetually unprecedented future is a cloud-native one. The future of media and entertainment is here, and it’s cloud-native. It’s time for us to embrace this change and harness the power of the cloud-native media supply chain to drive our industry forward.

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Alex ThompsonAlex Thompson is a broadcast technology consultant with over 20 years of experience in the media and broadcasting industry. Having worked with some of the leading broadcasting networks and technology vendors, Alex brings deep industry knowledge and technical expertise to his role.

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