By Joe Peters
Many of the changes in the publishing industry have been evident over the years.
We’ve seen a significant shift from print to digital, where people are just as likely to read from a smartphone or computer screen as they are to buy a book from their local store.
Digital Transformation Makes Publishing Easier
The digital transformation of the industry has even made self-publishing easier for authors keen to get their ideas into the marketplace, as most no longer need the approval of a big corporate firm to move forward.
Instead, there are digital platforms where anyone can upload their work and apply to be published in minutes.
Perhaps the most significant impact that digital transformation has had on the publishing industry applies to the workflows and systems that publishing professionals use every day.
In the pre-digital age, big companies were reliant on old-fashioned systems that they often ran in-house, with printing presses manned by dozens of dedicated workers.
Now, it’s possible to produce thousands of titles every year, with very little human input.
The digital world has changed publishing forever.
Publishing in The Digital Age
Until recently, the majority of significant publishers relied on high-level publishing systems that were designed, maintained, and customized by their own IT departments.
This gave bigger corporations a lot of freedom to publish as much as they needed to in shorter spaces of time.
However, it also meant that smaller and more bespoke publishers had to make do with very limited, less customized, and generally less capable systems.
Now, however, these processes have changed.
The new systems available for publishing have moved into the cloud, driven by demands for greater flexibility, agility, and support.
Businesses of all shapes and sizes have discovered that the cloud offers one of the most reliable and scalable avenues to growth.
Through this technology, companies can access as much technology and bandwidth as they need on-demand, without having to rely on inexpensive in-house systems.
The result is that countless new publishing companies can emerge in the market, unrestricted by the budgetary constraints of pre-cloud systems.
The Benefits of Publishing through The Cloud
Cloud-based publishing systems are often available through “SaaS” environments—otherwise known as software as a service. These solutions don’t exist on the computers that belong to the company but are located by a specific service provider.
The SaaS model means that there’s no need for an internal IT department to keep systems up-to-date, and there’s no demand for expensive or complicated in-house hardware either.
With cloud computing, today’s publishing companies can turn what used to be a huge upfront capital expenditure for technology and devices, into smaller, ongoing operational costs.
There’s no requirement for substantial investment into new infrastructure, and organizations can pick the services that they need on an on-demand basis.
Also, in the fast-paced publishing sector, the cloud also offers business continuity benefits that organizations wouldn’t have been able to access with older or traditional systems.
Many of the leading cloud and software providers in the industry can monitor system activity, encrypt data in real-time, and make sure that networks are constantly supported and backed up.
In fact, it’s even possible for publishers to make sure that they always have a separate version of the projects they’re working on available to them in a cloud environment so they never have to worry about losing valuable information that could cost thousands in business dollars.
The improved risk management, reliability, and security features delivered on the cloud are far superior to what used to be available from conventional hardware applications.
This means that organizations are better equipped to meet with rising customer demands for fast and efficient publishing.
Discovering The Opportunities of The Cloud
Cloud-based technologies are giving publishing companies the opportunity to uncover new opportunities for growth.
Depending on the SaaS vendors that you work with, it’s possible to streamline and automate publishing processes, so that more work can go out into the market quicker than ever before – even from smaller publishing brands.
The cloud environment also makes it easier for businesses of any size to adapt and evolve to suit the changing demands of the marketplace.
As new file formats are requested to support eBooks and documents for today’s smartphones and upgraded tech, publishers will embrace new software solutions available from leading vendors, all without having to invest in new on-premise hardware.
The agility and flexibility of the cloud brings enormous opportunities to the publishing world, but it’s not without its challenges to consider too.
Switching to Cloud-based Services
Organizations eager to take advantage of the cloud will need to think carefully about how they can adapt their business model to suit this new environment and integrate the right platforms into their environment to ensure that they’re prepared for the future.
For instance, companies will need to ensure that they have the proper mechanisms in place to support copyright protection in digital publishing and comply with unified compliance standards in the industry.
The publishing teams that overcome the challenges of migrating to the cloud will find that the opportunities for growth are endless.
The cloud opens the door to innovation and development that has never been accessed before by the publishing community.
Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate techie. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie devours the news on the latest gadgets and binge-watches his favorite TV shows. Follow him on @bmorepeters.