As the media sector continues to be disrupted and evolve with unprecedented speed, the bar has been raised for the leadersof media companies to evaluate, pilot and, where appropriate, deploy new technologies in order to adapt. We have identified five key ideas that media organizations should consider as they navigate an increasingly disrupted environment.
1. Indecision around business models can be fatal
Taking a ‘wait-and-see’ approach to where the market and technology are headed can be a risky, perhaps disastrous, course of action. Even the short-term future is uncertain and numerous factors, not the least of which are traditional and upstart competitors, are wreaking havoc with companies’ forecasts and models. While there are no silver bullets, media companies need to be wary of resting on their laurels, waiting too long to act and/or deliberating endlessly about their strategic options. Instead, they must become more agile, engage in robust scenario planning and adopt a fall-fast approach to innovation.
2. Embracing a digital future will mean different things to different companies
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to successfully navigating the changes brought about by disruptive technologies. The best course of action will be different for each media company and will be dependent on a long list of factors. Further complicating matters is the fact that in the age of disruptive technologies, these factors are in a continuous state of flux and will be challenging to nail down. Media companies need to invest more time and capital in strategic planning and the issue of disruptive technology needs to be a high priority agenda item for C-suite executives and boards of directors.
3. Investing needs to be more strategic
Not unlike the gambler who places a chip on every number at the roulette table, our survey reveals a significant percentage of media companies are spreading their investments too broadly in an effort to hedge their bets in anticipation of an uncertain future. While versatility, agility and a willingness to fail-fast will be key attributes of successful media companies, this needs to be done as part of a more strategic game plan. While experimenting with a range of options is a smart approach, decision-makers need to determine the best course(s) of action and deploy their investments accordingly.
4. Embrace disruptive technology’s potential for operational efficiencies
While it’s easy to focus on how technology is disrupting media companies’ business models and customer relationships, our insights reveal that there are sizable opportunities for media companies to use emerging technologies (e.g., data and analytics, IoT, cloud, robotics) to transform their front and back offices to become more efficient. In addition to generating cost savings, these operational efficiencies have the potential to accelerate innovation, enhance competitive position and strengthen relationships with customers.
5. The status quo is not a viable, long-term business alternative
Our survey shows that while media leaders are optimistic about the opportunities associated with disruptive technologies, too few of their companies are adequately prepared or positioned to take advantage of those opportunities. The corporate graveyard is filled with former billion dollar companies that missed (or chose to ignore) the winds of change at their peril. While there are undoubtedly incredible opportunities being created as a result of this period of disruptive technology, the threats will outnumber the opportunities for those companies that cling to the status quo.