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May 31, 2023
Arianna Ruvalcaba

Convincing Your CFO: The Business Case for Cloud-Native Media Supply Chains

Have you ever thought that your media supply chain could be far more efficient, saving you time and money? Are you spending unnecessary hours maintaining obsolete technology that hinders collaboration and slows business down? Is it easy for your company to monetize its existing content library?

If you are a technical or operations leader suffering the operational inefficiencies of a broken media supply chain, you’ve probably concluded that moving workflows to the cloud is the solution. Migrating from an on-premise configuration will no doubt future-proof your technology platforms, but it will also require a change in financial model. It's a big shift technically and strategically for your company, and you know too well that convincing your Chief Financial Officer (or whoever is in charge of the purse strings) will not be an easy feat.

You need a clear and concise story that resonates with your CFO and addresses their specific concerns. A story that clearly explains why moving from CapEx to OpEx is the right choice. 

In this blog, we’ll help you build your cloud story for your financial stakeholders, and you’ll be setting up a meeting with your CFO in no time!

What matters to your CFO, aside from money?

Increasing revenue while cutting costs is obviously crucial. For any company in the media and entertainment (M&E) business, accelerating monetization is big right now. Any means that unlock the value of your company’s content faster will get the CFO’s thumbs up. This includes enabling easier content licensing and sales - something that, in our experience, gets limited attention but is a strong selling point when negotiating budget with your CFO.

One of the best approaches to enabling sales is to centralize content libraries and provide a simplified view of versions within titles. Also, working with existing systems to ensure that sales contracts automatically create distribution orders, for example, will improve time-to-profit on licensing deals.

While money is important, today’s CFOs are also concerned about other business areas, as they have a direct effect on business efficiency. As Oracle reports, “CFOs are heavily involved in planning and strategy, helping other C-suite executives make the best decisions for the company’s workforce, sales plans, inventory, supply chains, and other lines of business.” 

Particularly, M&E CFOs need to factor in the following aspects when planning their budgets:

  • Technology and automation to connect operations across the enterprise and bring visibility. Understanding media supply chain bottlenecks can bring significant savings.
  • Securing post-pandemic growth, including data analytics for planning and potential risks and forecasting. 
  • Compliance, risk management, and cybersecurity. Consider that in 2022 the average cost of a ransomware attack was $4.54 million, with high profile cases happening in M&E in recent years (see Netflix and HBO).
  • Talent recruitment and retention, including a hybrid workforce, avoiding costly reorganizations and layoffs.

Getting buy-in from your finance team

Moving your media supply chain to the cloud will bring in the operational efficiencies needed to enable new business opportunities and future technology integrations. More importantly, it will introduce benefits that respond to most CFO’s concerns:

  • Transparency across media supply chain operations thanks to the strategic use of data.
  • Enhanced collaboration and media management: the cloud breaks operational silos, automates manual processes and brings the friction-free collaboration required to scale your business.
  • Leverage existing investments: being able to monetize content libraries is key and a media supply chain in the cloud is the absolute best approach.
  • A bonus addition: leveraging cloud infrastructure can put you on the path to sustainability. However, as the DPP’s 2023 predictions indicated, your CFO will be particularly interested in sustainability measures that make financial sense.

So, with all that, surely you’ll convince your CFO? Well, not quite!

Is cloud migration expensive?

“All that sounds reasonable… but I understand managing cloud costs is a nightmare!” says your CFO. 

And it can be! According to Forrester Research, “following a rapid shift to the cloud to support remote work during the Covid-19 pandemic, many companies “didn’t necessarily think about things like cost management, security, resilience, operational efficiency.”

Running a media supply chain in the cloud blindly, without the right configuration and controls, can be very expensive. This is especially true in media and entertainment, where video files are large, and tasks like transcoding or QC'ing in the cloud can blow the budget. 

Luckily, you can help your CFO understand the reasons cloud costs spiral out of control: usually it comes down to overprovisioning, idle resources, and inefficient usage. In M&E, one of the main costs is around egress: moving large files around from one storage location to another. It is important to monitor cloud storage, computing power and costs daily, as they can increase or decrease with usage.

Managing cloud costs - it is possible!

A critical mistake that drives companies to massive cloud overruns is taking a lift-and-shift, cloud-hosted approach, rather than investing in a cloud-native platform specifically designed for operational efficiencies. Those who choose a solution that requires a dedicated team with the right expertise to customize it end up relying on expensive coding just to implement simple workflows.

At Ateliere we realized that was not the right approach when we started out as a direct-to-consumer video provider business. With no suitable solutions in the market, we developed a new paradigm for the industry in our Ateliere Connect platform, making sure it was cloud native and CFO-approved!

We can now bring our years of expertise implementing our own supply chain to provide your company with best practices on how to keep cloud expenditure in check. Partnering with Ateliere, you will get:

  • A mature, cloud-native platform that takes full advantage of cloud services for ultimate performance. Today Ateliere Connect manages some of the largest M&E supply chains on the planet.
  • A microservices-driven architecture, with a no code / low code approach for fast workflow deployment.
  • A multi-tenant, and highly secure, environment that meets some of the most stringent industry standards for video production and distribution, such as TPN+
  • Automated machine learning to reduce your cloud storage footprint by 70% or more. You can simulate this for your operations by using our deduplication calculator.

We can help you architect the solution so that it reduces unnecessary costs, like egress or redundant transcode jobs. The Ateliere platform can automatically move content across multiple, cheaper storage tiers based on criteria such as business rules or usage. It also helps lower total cost of ownership (TCO) by consolidating multiple systems and sites into a centralized environment that serves distributed workforces. 

CFOs will also be glad to see detailed reports on how your media supply chain in the cloud is performing, thanks to the platform’s predictive analytics capabilities. This provides deeper insights into usage and allows you to optimize cloud costs.

Now go pitch your story!

While the technical advantages of a media supply chain in the cloud are essential for you and your teams, CFOs, CMOs, and CIOs have different perspectives and priorities on how to run the business. At Ateliere, we know you need to build a story that speaks to their needs. 

Everyday we lean on our past experiences to help our customers manage their cloud costs and optimize their operations. We trust that, armed with all this information, you can have a fruitful conversation with your CFO, to help them understand that moving your media supply chain to the cloud is key for organizational success.

To learn more about Ateliere Creative Technologies' cloud management platform and the benefits of cloud cost optimization and predictive analytics, contact us.

About Ateliere

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.

Find out more at www.ateliere.com, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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