Discovery Inc. (Formerly Discovery Communications)

Case Study

At Discovery, through the leadership and vision of our CEO, David Zaslav, we are a consumer-focused, content-first corporation. To continue to build and nurture our base of superfans, we must guide the reinvention and transformation of technology at Discovery. After an 18-month journey, we are now cloud-first and our mission as a technology organization is:

  1. To facilitate the rapid development of new content and;
  2. To amplify content to consumers when, where and how they want to consume it

With a short planning horizon in an ever-changing media landscape, we must react quickly, innovate freely, fail early and inexpensively, and rapidly scale successes to thrive. AWS is a key component of our technology strategy that supports our ability to do so.

To capitalize on the disruption facing our industry, our CTO, John Honeycutt, envisioned transitioning our global supply chain and business systems to cloud infrastructure like AWS.

  • Content should be where the consumers are. 5 years ago, Discovery produced top tier and lower tier channels and sold it in a B2B marketplace – life was beautiful, and it was an amazing business for a lot of media companies at the time. As we advance into the digital age, this long tail of content will shift to be part of our digital offerings, and our business will increasingly involve direct to consumer and social offerings. The linear to digital transition is driving our content to the cloud where it is accessible for our superfans, where they can access our content on any screen. If our consumers and partners are in the cloud – we need to meet (and beat) them there.
  • Fail fast, fail cheap. Our technology organization must enable the highly efficient, innovative business Discovery is known for. We are a disruptive innovator in a transformative media landscape; we must continue to move forward quickly and readjust our strategy as we go. Working in the cloud offers a strong advantage as it is less painful to fail and much simpler to scale our successes.

One of the most important elements of becoming a digital leader was adapting the technology organization to this new way of doing business. We understood that purposeful, structured change management was integral to the transition process. A core element to this was the ability to do policy enforcement on day one of our cloud journey and we selected DivvyCloud as our solution for cloud infrastructure.

We use a variety of AWS services to power our digital supply chain including Amazon EC2, Amazon EBS, Amazon Machine Images (AMI), Amazon ELB, Amazon Route 53, Amazon VPC, and Amazon CloudFront.

With DivvyCloud we were able to trust but verify. This means that our developers must be disciplined, build to have good uptime, and support compliance and auditing. With DivvyCloud we are able to have well-defined standards creates accurate system placement to find any exceptions and allow for quick remediation. This allowed us to tap into the agility, speed, and self-service nature of the public cloud but also know that our policies for security, compliance, and governance were being followed.

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