Custom scripts, unique pieces of code written to suit a specific purpose, are often at the core media supply chain solutions - with python scripts being amongst the most popular. They offer the promise of customization to fit specific business needs and increase workflow efficiency by automating tasks that would otherwise need to be executed step-by-step by your IT administrator or outsourced professional services. On the surface, custom scripts serve as a powerful tool to improve productivity, automating monotonous and repetitive tasks, and freeing up your employees to focus on more strategic work.
But, there's danger lurking in the depths.
Though custom scripts may initially appear as a straightforward approach to address your media operations needs, the subtle shift towards becoming a full-time script management entity can go unnoticed. Over time, this transformation can evolve into an albatross around your media supply chain, hindering progress and innovation and posing a significant business risk. Here are five ways they can sink your media operation:
- They Delay Deployment of Your New Supply Chain
One of the risks that come with using customized scripts is the lengthy process of designing and developing each workflow. Unlike off-the-shelf solutions, custom scripts require a significant amount of time and resources to design, code, test, and implement. This could potentially result in months or even years of waiting before your new supply chain is ready for use.
- You Are Developing a Custom Solution That Is Not Future-proof
By using custom scripts, you are developing a platform that suits today's needs instead of tomorrow's. By the time you're actually up and running, you probably need to upgrade, which is not easy to do when everything is customized. At the pace technology evolves in today's media landscape, what may have been the best solution at the time of development will quickly become outdated. This leads to costly updates or even a complete overhaul in the near future. With scripts, everything is custom developed, and the more you customize, the more complex and rigid the system becomes. In most cases you will not possess the agility to adapt to emerging technologies, creating a serious drag on your operation’s efficiency that will limit business growth potential.
- Custom Script Management Relies too Heavily on Developer Documentation
Creating and managing scripts is a fundamental challenge, and it can result in a nightmare if you don't have a team of professional service developers on retainer. Each script is a smaller piece of code in a sea of code, and when something goes wrong, which is not unusual, the developer has to fix it. Relying on the strength of individual documentation practices is a huge risk. When developers leave the company, they take the knowledge related to the script with them and then you’re at the mercy of their documentation - making it difficult or almost impossible for any subsequent updates or maintenance. And that’s if you can even isolate the problem and find the script in the first place.
- It’s Expensive to Develop and Maintain Custom Scripts
The cost of developing and maintaining custom scripts can be quite steep. With each script requiring skilled developers' time, the costs will add up quickly. Additionally, as your business grows and evolves, so will your media supply chain needs, which means more money is spent on creating new scripts or updating old ones, and hopefully documenting it all, to keep up with changing demands.
And that's assuming you retain all of your developers in perpetuity, or you’ll lose all that business-crucial knowledge when they abandon ship. To avoid this, you'll need to bring in a crew of costly professional services to manage your scripts. This means that you'll always need a significant portion of your budget set aside to maintain, document and improve your custom scripts.
- You Don’t Get a Platform - You Get Productized Professional Services
Developing a custom-scripted media supply chain can be an expensive and time-consuming endeavor that is unlikely to withstand the needs of tomorrow - it's not a future-proof solution. In fact, there aren't any true scripted platforms; they're really just productized professional services where you offload management of your scripts to a third-party who will do it for you. This means that any updates or maintenance needed will have to go through them, and not directly to your own team. It might sound tempting but in reality you don't have much control over your media supply chain in addition to all the reasons above.
In a world where job security is measured in time-to-ROI, it can be a career-ending decision to take this approach. This is why modern media businesses need a cloud-native SaaS media supply chain platform. The benefits to using a media supply chain platform are significant: deployment in days, immediate ROI, future-proof tools, agile development, and out-of-the box turnkey functionality, just scratch the surface of what a platform can offer.
Now you understand why taking the custom scripting voyage can easily end in a shipwreck. Choosing a platform that offers a no-code / low-code approach to configure and customize your media supply chain to your business needs is a much wiser bet. If you’re looking for smooth sailing, choose a solution that delivers out-of-the-box packaged templates without the need for custom scripting or additional professional services that are required in perpetuity.
To learn how Ateliere can help you navigate the complexities of moving your media supply chain into the cloud, without custom scripting, contact us today.
Ateliere Creative Technologies is a leading cloud-native media supply chain company that empowers media companies and content creators to reach consumers on a global scale. The Ateliere suite of SaaS solutions incorporates cutting-edge workflows and formats to make the vision for a studio in the cloud a reality. The nucleus of the Ateliere platform, Ateliere Connect™, delivers core competencies in IMF, parallel scaling, and geographically distributed workflows. Ateliere is built by a team of experts with decades of combined experience at companies such as Amazon, HBO, Netflix, and Microsoft.