Not that long ago, inside most companies including Turner, all things technology were centrally commanded and controlled by the IT organization. This monolithic approach to delivering IT services increasingly became a friction that depressed innovation and made companies less competitive. Frustrated, developers started to go around IT to directly purchase and access IT services. This gave rise to the world of shadow IT, and while this improved agility and speed, it weakened our ability to holistically adhere to security and compliance standards. Three years ago, we at Turner IT began the journey to reinvent ourselves by using cloud technologies.
We understood the huge opportunity presented by embracing the emerging world of cloud technologies such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). We understood that AWS would constantly deliver cool and innovative services. We have over 650 developers across multiple brands including Adult Swim, Bleacher Report, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, ELEAGUE, FilmStruck, Great Big Story, HLN, iStreamPlanet, Super Deluxe, TBS, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), TNT, truTV and Turner Sports. All of these developers and brands have their own timelines and priorities that impact the overall IT infrastructure. In order to become a digital leader, our developers would need self-service access to the latest, best-of-class technologies, including AWS. Access to this set of cloud services would create an opportunity to innovate at speeds that would have previously been impossible and ultimately build great products.
We understood that the role of central IT at Turner needed to change from dictating what technology developers used and when/how they had access to it. The new role of IT would be to provide friction-free, but well-governed, self-service access to best-of-class technologies and services available from every and any cloud technology. We needed to centralize these activities and make the cloud available across all teams so they could be productive and operate independently, while at the same time ensuring that they didn’t unnecessarily overspend or do something to put the company at risk. Finding this balance was not easy.
One of the important steps was to find and implement new tools that were built for the cloud world and enabled developer productivity. Importantly, we picked tools that provided automation that would allow our people to scale (without adding more headcount) and would ensure our new processes were consistently executed. DivvyCloud is one of the key elements of our cloud adoption strategy.
The self-service and dynamic nature of cloud infrastructure creates new ways of working for risk and compliance professionals who protect their organization with security and governance controls. Tools and controls that worked well in the traditional datacenter do not translate to the public cloud. We selected DivvyCloud to enable our strategy of embracing self-service developer access to AWS. First, their software performs real-time, continuous discovery of infrastructure resources allowing customers to identify risks and threats. Second, it enables us to implement out-of-the-box or custom cloud-native policy guardrails that identify and alert on violations. Third, we are able to automate the enforcement and remediation of these policies.
With AWS and DivvyCloud Turner has reengineered its end-to-end media supply chain for a more secure, cost-effective, and elastic way to distribute digital content to its customers. As part of this effort, Turner is moving decades of content to the cloud—including a 15-petabyte-sized library of archived CNN videos—and is using AWS for a wide variety of services spanning compute, storage, networking, databases, developer tools, analytics, and machine learning. AWS’s machine learning capabilities, for example, will allow Turner to analyze and extract video metadata to make decisions about how to best optimize content delivery systems for more personalized viewer experiences, and better inform advertisers, content creators, and media research analysts on viewing trends.
With DivvyCloud we achieved automated, continuous security governance in cloud and container environments, and actually improved our security and compliance posture over our traditional infrastructure.
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