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Digital Rapids: Executive Palmistry 2014

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As far as the movements towards multiscreen distribution and software have already come, it’s time for them to go even further in 2014.

When Digital Rapids was founded over a dozen years ago, we focused on two key movements – the migration of traditional, hardware-based media processing workflows to software and the move of the consumer entertainment experience to IP-based viewing platforms. As pervasive as these paradigms have now become and as proud as we are of our contributions to helping our customers embrace them, we still see these shifts as works in progress.
In our industry, most attention tends to revolve around new technologies – e.g. HEVC and 4K Ultra HD – and of course on improving the consumer viewing experience. Rightfully so, but often lost in the discussion is the operational experience of the media enterprises themselves. How do they evolve their businesses to take on new challenges? How do they assimilate new technologies without throwing away existing investment – financial, integration effort, training and more – while minimizing costly effort and disruption?

The move to software-based media processing has already been a significant step forward, of course. Software is clearly more flexible and adaptable than purpose-built hardware, while adoption of such solutions for even the most demanding media applications has grown as their reliability has been proven. But today’s typical software solutions too often act like the ‘black boxes’ they’re designed to replace, whether on-premises or in the cloud. Workflows are often orchestrated across discrete applications with fragile interoperability, making updates and scaling difficult. Adding new functionality generally requires a full upgrade of the application – a disruptive undertaking for deployments of even moderate scale.

A new approach to software is needed to make it easier for media organizations to manage technology and costs. We’ve shown a glimpse of our answer to this challenge with our Kayak software platform, and you’ll see much more in 2014. As far as software has come, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

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