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Media and Entertainment CIO Challenges in 2018


Kurt Smith P’18, P’20
Kurt Smith P’18, P’20

2017 saw the continuing of the new media disruptors (Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Netflix) applying pressure on the traditional/legacy M&E ecosystem. In addition, the combination of market changes, like cord cutting, OTT adoption and Millennial content consumption patterns, have accelerated the disruption of the markets for the traditional M&E companies and allowed Google and Facebook to take the lead on insights around consumer and advertising data.

We believe, ultimately, that customer data (i.e. viewing preferences by device, buying patterns, ‘click streams’ etc.) and thus deeper customer understanding will drive the basis of competition between the traditional M&E companies and the market disruptors.

As result, traditional competitors in the legacy media industry will need to form collaboration ecosystems to combat the competitive pressures of the new media disruptors. ‘Proprietary Information,’ a once much prized asset will be shared between partners in these ecosystems to compete with the data that the disruptors possess.

Traditional media CIOs will be under increasing pressure to be nimble/ready for new market conditions, new ecosystems and the associated opportunities contained within. Here is a look at the top four areas CIOs should focus on in 2018 as an integral part of their strategy.

  1. Customer and Product Understanding: Many organizations have too many versions of who their customers are, and what products they have purchased. The ability to surface and rationalize their customer/product masters will provide the foundational understanding necessary to drive appropriate merchandising and advertising recommendations.
  2. Leveraging Cloud Platforms: Old siloed legacy systems do not give the flexibility/nimbleness to cater to the increasing enterprise and ecosystem demands. Scalability, agility and longer term cost savings are important reasons to continue to develop cloud strategies and to migrate to cloud based platforms.
  3. Blockchain R&D: Blockchain has huge potential to disrupt existing ways of doing work and managing customer/partner relationships. Chain of ownership, consumption, transaction(s) and security are just a few of the ways Blockchain will be used in the M&E space. Being ready to leverage Blockchain is an important investment CIOs need to make in 2018.
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    New Data Sources: Companies will need to not only make sense of the internal data accumulated over many years of doing business, but they will need to add new and diverse data sources to lock deeper insights into customer behaviors. New ecosystems will ask for data that many organizations will struggle to provide. Organizations will also need to be ready to make better decisions with new data they do have today.

In summary, the role of CIO in a media and entertainment firm has never been passing through such exciting times. 2018 is going to see further evolving of use cases in artificial intelligence and adoption of successful ones.


Kurt Smith is the parent of ’18 and ’20 Hamilton grads. He is a consultant at Virtusa specializing in cloud, media and digital technology implementation.

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