Integration and Implementation: Asking the Right Questions

Ask the right questions blog website

This is the second blog in our integration and implementation series. In the first blog, we explored the challenges around integration and looked at how to achieve system fluency across the media workflow. Now, we’ll go on to consider why it’s important to ask the right questions at the start of the process.


While a certain degree of tailoring is required because no two media organisations or workflows are the same, there is a tendency to over-customise solutions unnecessarily. This inclination towards customisation where it isn’t strictly needed creates an added layer of complexity.

Customise only where it counts


It’s always better to carry out customisation only where necessary and where it will make a difference. Failure to do this can make workflows more complex and difficult to manage. This can lead to errors, delays, and reduced efficiency. It’s also expensive, both in terms of development costs and ongoing maintenance and support. This can increase the overall cost of media infrastructure and reduce its ROI. Overly customised solutions can limit the flexibility of media workflows, making it more difficult to adapt to changing needs or new technologies in the future. Which can also introduce new risks into the media workflow, such as compatibility issues and security vulnerabilities. 


So why is there a propensity to develop something so bespoke? There are a number of reasons why media companies may end up invertedly overthinking a project. Often there may be a lack of in-house technical expertise in a specific area. This can lead to a misplaced belief that the technology needs to be tailored extensively to fit in with existing infrastructure. Solutions may be overworked unnecessarily to align with legacy systems, or specific workflows that a company is accustomed to. While sometimes there may be good reason to integrate old and new, all too often, a fear of change can create a reluctance to embrace solutions that would ultimately be a better fit.

Avoiding over complication


It’s not unusual for media companies to feel that their needs are unique, and this can lead to a belief that extensive customisation is required to meet those needs. But in fact, there may well be an off-the-shelf option that could meet their requirements with minimal customization. Not only does this save time and money, it also makes the integration process more straightforward. So how can a media company avoid the trap of over customising and over complicating? 


Understanding existing workflows in terms of what’s successful and where pain points are, helps to identify areas where customization may be needed versus areas where off-the-shelf solutions could be used. Working with a trusted partner that can advise on non-proprietary solutions is crucial. Of course, it’s necessary to determine exactly what the user requirements are. But you also need a technology partner that is confident in challenging your assumptions and suggesting alternatives. New solutions could be completely different to what has been set-up in the past. Being crystal clear on your user requirements but flexible on the technology that gets you there will yield the best results. It helps to avoid unnecessary customization that does not align with your overarching goals.

Paving the way for smooth integration


In order to ensure the success of any project, it’s crucial to ask the right questions at the start of the process. Doing this is an important part of ensuring that project scopes are managed effectively. Think about the end-goal you want to achieve rather than getting bogged down with the journey. If you communicate this to a systems integrator that has the right expertise in broadcast architecture, they can respond with suggestions you might not have even considered. Media companies need to make sure they have the right technical guidance in place at the start of the project. This takes not just experience and expertise, but also the ability to communicate effectively and build collaborative relationships.


7fivefive provide cloud engineering consultancy for the media and broadcast industry. Built on a foundation of years of experience and a deep technical knowledge, we understand our client’s goals and develop the relationships that help to realise them. We can make sure you get the comprehensive service-led system integration that you truly need. Get in touch to find out more.