As 2020 marches on, the world anxiously looks ahead to the days where life gets back to normal. However, the greater question becomes: what is normal anymore?
As I’m sure you are very likely sitting at home reading this post, your workspace—like millions of others—has shifted to the now-common non-office environment. And although the first several months were tough enough to get through—setting new work habits, along with the daily choice of pants or no pants—I’m sure you eventually adjusted as we all did.
But what happens going forward? Do we know? Does anyone even dare fathom a guess?
From news reports to business analysis, the word on the proverbial street is that the office will no longer be the same. Gone are the days of Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, powering through days in the office cubical to make it to the weekend. Instead, the future seems to be leading to a highly flexible hybrid environment that will see people come and go based on schedules, meetings, and the actual need to be in the office. In short, the days of living only for in-office face time is gone.
And though that may seem fantastic for most, there are industries that question the validity of such predictions, along with the actual ability and sustainability of a remote workforce.
In our particular case, a company that lives in the Media and Entertainment space, the idea that production companies can live in this new hybrid environment is questionable. .. or is it?
Over the last 8+ months, we have watched first-hand as production companies have seamlessly migrated to a hybrid work scenario: many post-production professionals working in remote locations (e.g., home offices) while their counterparts, though smaller in number, continue to work from the traditional on-premises office environment.
Not to sound too sales-pitchy here, but that ability has been due to our Remote Access Portal (RAP) solution—which enables a seamless way to edit remotely as if on-prem. More so, RAP supports companies’ existing storage platforms—meaning that those not comfortable with shared storage in the public cloud market can turn their on-prem infrastructure into their own secure private cloud. A huge win for many.
Sales pitches aside, what does technology like this mean for the greater Media and Entertainment world at large?
To be clear, no one is arguing the fact that remote post-production has never been available until now—of course not. For many large organizations, remote editing and all of its associated capabilities is not that new. Big budgets paired with big infrastructure has been around for a dog’s age.
However, the key here is the big budgets / big infrastructure paradigm. As the old saying goes, no challenge is insurmountable as long as you are prepared to throw enough money at it. Luckily, the big budget part of all of this is starting to shrink by the day. As digital transformation initiatives continue to dominate the R&D space, all the wonders of technology are becoming far more available.
For us, our own RAP solution has made hybrid work environments possible for companies that otherwise would have never been able to afford it—and all at the right time, as the pandemic forced everyone into lockdown. But as stated before, this pandemic won’t be around forever. The technology, on the other hand, is here to stay and is presenting the industry with opportunities never seen before.
Now, smaller production companies—or even large ones that never had the means to implement remote editing and remote workflows—can suddenly catch up to those aforementioned organizations with the big budgets and big infrastructure. We are now looking at an immediate levelling of the proverbial playground—and easier access to bigger contracts for those that previously couldn’t compete. More so, it evens out the playing field as it pertains to talent, how to attract it, and how to keep it.
As production companies are no longer confined to geography alone, smaller organizations can find remote talent and substantially grow their workforce, all while downsizing office space and reallocating budgets for bigger better things. And as mentioned, when paired with the ability to take on the bigger competition, these companies are poised to thrive, whereas in the past they were shackled to a desk and on-prem technology.
The world in 2020 has definitely changed. But for so many, the technology and new ways of thinking about business will propel us all into exciting new territory—no matter where that may be.