Media Execs Embrace Technology, But Many Are Resistant to Change


Only a Third of Decision-Makers in the Media Sector Have a Clear Strategy for Adopting New Technology

UNITED KINGDOM —  Media businesses are optimistic about the opportunities offered by disruptive technologies but admit they are ill-prepared to introduce them, according to new research from KPMG. The report, which surveyed 560 media executives across 16 countries, found that 60 percent of companies across the sector are enthusiastic about the opportunities offered by disruptive technology, such as cloud computing, social media and the Internet of Things, but many remain resistant to change. Only a third of respondents say their business has a clear strategy for adopting new technology, with just 31 percent stating they have the full backing at board-level.

The research, compiled by Forrester Consulting for KPMG, found that the rapid pace of change is making it difficult for media companies to catch up with new innovations once competitors have made their move. More than a third of respondents said they saw a new trend too late, while 44 percent said they couldn’t invest quickly enough to keep up.

Media leaders are concerned that failing to adopt new technology is opening the door to new competition. Respondents who said disruptive technologies have had a negative impact on their organizations (61 percent), highlighted that new competitors have emerged from outside the sector as a result.

“Disruptive technologies can act as a driver of change, breaking down old processes and ways of doing things. Their effects, however, are pervasive, requiring businesses to invest differently, plan differently, let go of old assumptions and habits, act boldly and adapt,” said David Elms, Head of Media, KPMG UK. “In order to create sustainable new revenue opportunities for their companies, media leaders need to be early movers or fast followers and must benchmark progress against their peers, start-ups and competitors from other industries as they plan, adapt and evolve.”

Businesses across the sector remain optimistic about the potential impact of emerging technology and are making a commitment to investment. More than two thirds of media companies (69 percent) are allocating ‘significant’ budget for new technologies, such as, cloud computing (68 percent), social media (61 percent) and mobile devices and applications (69 percent).

But the findings also show that success depends on moving quickly. Over half (51 percent) of those businesses that have benefited from disruptive technologies attribute success to being quick to adopt. In addition, 39 percent said they invested in new innovations at an early stage.

“Disruptive technologies are a business imperative, but many are finding it difficult to pinpoint exactly which of these technologies represent the key prospects or threats to their companies. There are some real opportunities for media companies to use disruptive technologies to become more efficient businesses, whether that means changing the front or back office, or both. While the research points to the importance of experimentation and adopting a fail-fast mentality, decision makers need to understand the technologies and invest strategically,” added Elms. “The harsh reality is that, over time, the threats will outnumber the opportunities for those that fail to take action.”

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