By Amol Chobe, Red Hat
The media industry has evolved over the past century, from inventions to disruptions in communication and new-age technologies. In the early 1900s, radio was the crucial link to information, followed by television which by the mid-1900s became the most potent medium for news and entertainment. The late 20th century introduced the internet, and service & media providers entered a new evolution of connectivity. Websites and social media platforms flood the market, providing more choices than ever before. In the 21st century, smartphones are standard, and content consumption requires anytime, to any device, and anywhere access. The traditional television model is disrupted with streaming services like Netflix and Hulu and social media becomes a primary source of news and entertainment with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
New technology like AR/VR requires change, and market disruptors are looking at new ways to interact and communicate with audiences. The media evolution of the last 30 years has left its impact with new platforms to support as technologies still emerge. For example, web3 enables decentralized applications and systems that operate on a distributed network; content creators can use this decentralized platform to connect directly with their audience and use blockchain technology for secure, transparent payment mechanisms. When an organization adopts and monetizes, there are unlimited potential use cases, seeing they get to market before competitors. Service and media providers need adaptability, flexibility, and agility to retain and captivate a capricious audience. Being agile and flexible to changes requires these organizations to embrace a strategy allowing them to pivot as needed.
Digital transformation is not just about implementing new technology, it involves a comprehensive transformation of an organization’s culture, processes, and operations to leverage the full potential of digital technologies.
Since every organization varies, there is no standard template for this journey. The Red Hat Digital Transformation site summarizes this:
“Digital transformation is not a product or a solution. It’s a continuous process involving new technologies and ways of working to compete successfully through continued innovation. It must encompass technology, culture, and processes—in concert with one another.”
This article focuses on two areas: cultural change and technology & innovation.
The media industry consumer is changing; demographics are shifting towards Gen Z/Millennials who rely on technology for daily activities and need information access at any time, from their smartphone. Baby Boomers are technology adopters creating the need for specific health, wellness, and entertainment services.
AI technology like ChatGPT allows consumers to have human-like conversations and is massive in creating personalized content, improving user experience.
The process of digital transformation involves identifying areas where technology can significantly impact and then strategically integrating tools and processes into existing workflows. It requires a clear understanding of the organization’s goals and objectives and the most effective ways technology can help achieve those goals.
Digital transformation involves a shift in the mindset of the organization’s leaders and employees, a willingness to embrace change, and new ways of working. It requires a commitment to ongoing learning and development, the ability to adapt to rapidly changing technological advancements and trends, and removing silos between role functions and departments, by creating agile, cross-functional teams focused on the entire end-to-end customer journey. To help innovate and acclimate, employees will need to be inspired to experiment, bring new ideas, and challenge the status quo. Triumphant digital transformation allows for errors, encourages transparency, and supports open communication.
Technology has a direct impact on the value proposition of product and service offerings. Businesses such as film, music, and publishing have been forced to adapt to the changing digital landscape and slower to adapt due to the high infrastructure cost and the need to maintain reliable and high-quality broadcasting capabilities. Broadcast media has traditionally relied on expensive, complex equipment, making it challenging to adopt new technologies quickly.
When choosing technologies, don’t lose focus on productivity or the employee and end-user/ customer experience. Automation accelerates time to market and efficiency. Technology adoption requires an evaluation of infrastructure and processes and determining how new technology fits into the existing ecosystem. Successful digital transformation relies on open-source technology for innovation by providing a collaborative, community-driven approach to software development. Startups can leverage existing technology to create new, innovative solutions so they remain competitive in the media space.
Embracing digital transformation is a long-term strategy, and media organizations must adopt it to stay relevant, or risk being left behind in this ever-changing market. Organizations can increase consumer engagement, generate new revenue opportunities, create new products and services, and remain competitive. Leveraging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data to gain insights into customer preferences helps create personalized content that engages customers, and keeps them coming back.