George Crabb takes a look at how a publisher has successfully embraced digital transformation, amongst other happenings at telecoms, media and technology (TMT) conference.
A fascinating day spent at the Ovum Digital Futures 2017 conference yesterday and some thought-provoking presentations from a range of speakers looking at the future of telecomms, media and technology. It’s always good to get out of the studio and spend time hearing from others about their work and get some new perspectives on how digital is affecting all aspects of life both personally and professionally.
Keynote speaker Marcus Weldon, CTO of Nokia and President of Bell Labs’, key idea was that the ‘Automation of Everything’ was possible with reduced network latency and increasing bandwidth. New technologies such as AR/VR and autonomous vehicles are now possible, which in-turn has the potential to increase our leisure time. ‘Keep calm, the revolution is coming’ we were assured. Very timely given Radio 4’s focus on Silicon Valley this morning and interview with Greg Brockman co-founder of OpenAI about the impact of new technology on jobs such as delivery drivers and taxi drivers. Like any new technology, there will be winners and losers and I’m sure taxi drivers would be happy to wait longer for the revolution and the arrival of autonomous vehicles.
Tracy Yaverbaun, Global Vice President of Digital at Hearst Magazines International, had some great advice and insights from the digital transformation that’s been going on at Hearst. Late to the digital game, like most publishers, Hearst have embraced digital with the formation of a dedicated digital team and have seen incredible results as a consequence. Audiences are larger and, new, younger demographics are now being engaged through social platforms such as Snapchat. Sounds like it has been quite a journey so far and ‘not everyone made it’ and a great example that if you are last to the party then you’d better be the best dressed!
Richard Mahony, Research Director at Ovum has some great insights and I liked his take on the idea that technology allows us to personalise the world in ways that we didn’t even think we needed. His initial use of the Philips Smart Hue system, automatically turning the lights blue when it rained outside, proved to be a one hit wonder, but has lead to a much more subtle need for particular lighting for different times, uses and locations that he now values even though it wasn’t something that he could have anticipated. Amazon’s recent custom clothing patent seems to point to the same trend – I’ve never bought bespoke clothes due to the time and money that it costs, but I suspect I might be buying some soon from Amazon.