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Futureproofing media companies against technological change

With change occurring at such a rapid pace in digital media, adaptability can increasingly be one of the keys to publisher success. We caught up with Tushar Marwaha, partner relations associate for eZ Systems, on the sidelines of the recent FIPP World Congress in London about the steps that their publisher and industry clients are taking to futureproof themselves against further technological change.

Founded in Norway in 1999, eZ Systems has more than 16 years’ experience as a commercial open source technology provider. Within this time the company has witnessed a number of technological waves: as print has migrated to digital, online content has in-turn become more social, and now – in 2017 – we see the beginnings of a new digital evolution beginning to take root, as advancements such as artificial intelligence, voice, and augmented and virtual reality are finding their way into mainstream media.

For eZ Systems futureproofing against technological change has always been part of the plan, as well as helping publishers to simplify and streamline the various technological processes they employ into a single platform. New technologies may come and go, but in an age of on-going change the real trick can be to maintain production consistency throughout. We began by asking Tushar to introduce us to the eZ Systems technology and its current role within the industry.

As a content company we really work with publishers, banks, whoever it may be, to understand what their needs are at the end of the process,” said Tushar. “We want to help them simplify the way they interact with the content, and of course the users. So the aim behind everything we do is to get the content right, get the structure right, and to help our clients adapt to future digital transformation. Therefore, it’s about futureproofing content and dealing with change. In many ways, it’s not about current change, because the technology was invented in 1999, and even then the thinking behind that was to design a technology that was built for the future.”

 

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In addition to technology, it’s clear that a coherent strategy can be beneficial in a time of change. The software provider works in partnership with organisations, drawing upon their extensive experience, to help ensure that new software, and new practices, are implemented in the most efficient way. 

“Right now we find that many companies, large organisations, and also publishers, are rethinking their strategy. This can include rethinking their architectural structure on the technical side. And they may have different systems integrated into one main system. So as a software provider, eZ Systems helps and advises in these areas, seeing ourselves as a business advisor also.”

“Many publishers go directly into production mode and don’t think about the technology. Or maybe they miss out this topic, or they use the technology they already have, or maybe there’s no proper plan in place for end usage. So we work together with partners, we don’t do projects on our own. The partners are really the drivers for us in terms of the projects and what we are required to deliver. Hence in the media sector we work with high profile international brands for example such as The Economist and Vogue, and we see ourselves as being there to provide the right technology at the end of the day and help them to succeed.”

The key to this strategy is to put in place something for publishers that will allow them to continually adapt to upcoming change. With a myriad of industry changes now going on at macro level, media owners need to ensure that they are prepared for whatever may come their way, rather than simply reacting to the winds of change.

“I think we are at a point in media evolution where smart technology will be one of the driving forces of future growth. You want to attract users, or communicate with users, through every channel you can be in. And that’s where the technology comes into play. So it’s not just about the mobile screen, or Alexa, or smartwatches – you just can’t imagine what’s coming next. It could be that in the middle of 2018 a device comes up that makes all publishers sit up and say ‘OK we have to be there, our target group will be looking at that medium and so we have to adapt to it’.”

“The adaptation part is a big thing that we will see not only in 2018 or 2019, but over the coming years. The people, and the technology, and the strategy should all be adaptable to the needs and the consumption habits of the user. The publisher has so much to think about and already so many main areas of focus. They want to do their paid content of course, they want to have subscribers, traffic, they have to deliver interesting content to attract people. So this is where I personally see that the trend is going that you need to be active and present everywhere that you can.” 

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