Looking back at London Technology Week, it is clear that most businesses across the UK economy have been profoundly impacted by technology which presents significant opportunities as well as challenges.
The entertainment and media industries have seen a tremendous amount of change as technology disrupts the way shows are delivered and decades of fixed way of functioning. Technology has placed Smart TVs at the heart of this content boom and has led to changes in consumer behavior where viewers can choose when to watch. It also leads to the ability to serve ads in a highly targeted manner.
Consumers have benefited greatly from the wide selection of programs they currently have.
But this change means that a business model, which has been around for a long time, has to change and adapt as well as embrace new models to bring the show to viewers and engage them as the competition sets in. for an increasingly fierce audience.
In response to this tech-driven tsunami of change, ITV launched its More Than TV strategy in 2018 with digital transformation at its core. With a solid digital foundation now and new capabilities built into ITV, we recently announced another step change to this strategy – the launch of a new free streaming service, ITVX.
Coinciding with Tech Week, we’ve announced more details about ITVX, which will launch later this year with over 9,000 hours of brand new series, classics, documentaries and movies. It will have a new content drop every week and will be exclusive to the service.
Supercharged streaming is just one element of our involvement in the world of tech ecology – data and analytics now underpin all aspects of ITV’s strategy.
The second area of real conversion lies in our offering to advertisers and commercial partners.
Over the past 18 months, we’ve rolled out Planet V – our proprietary programmatic platform for premium video ads. The company is now operating on a large scale and has become the UK’s second largest operator in the sector after Google.
That helps explain why ITV attracted nearly a hundred new advertisers to TV for the first time last year – the majority of them digital brands.
A third area that leverages technology to become more efficient and productive is our global production business – ITV Studios.
It has doubled sales to rapidly growing streamers and is now looking at moving the entire lifecycle of content management to the cloud from editing and distribution to accessing and saving. store
And of course, the way we work is also changing – with data informing more of our decisions in our business, especially about how we understand our viewers, products and programs we offer them and how we reach and engage them.
We have established an excellent data and analytics center and have invested in our cloud-based capabilities across ITV.
As many organizations know, the demand for people with technology, data, and insights skills is heating up in the market.
In fact, the pressure on companies to improve recruitment in this area is because some of ITV’s successful in-house tech recruiting teams have been hounded by rival businesses.
Against this backdrop, we welcome the publication of the UK Government’s new Digital Strategy at London Technology Week.
The Government’s strategy is a good start but we need UK education at all levels to work towards these skills.
The creation of the Digital Skills Council to bring business together with Government and education to ensure that those skills are readily available feels like a valuable place to start and ITV is happy to contribute. and get involved in this because without these skills the skill transition of British businesses would slow down significantly and the UK’s very hard goal of increasing productivity would be further behind.
I’d like to see the Council also really focus on how to increase diversity in the tech industry – there are so few women and the range of backgrounds within it is so narrow.
Research also shows that even relatively young people mistakenly believe that they are too old to pursue a career in technology.
We need more role models that more people can relate to and the government needs to continue funding reskilling and upskilling to encourage companies to do this at scale. and provides new entrants with a pathway into the roles that businesses like ITV are already creating .
How else can UK businesses compete in the talent market?
In ITV’s experience, it’s clear that employer branding and its purpose and values help drive hiring.
We find it essential that we live our purpose.
People expect the organization they work for to have a purpose beyond profit and to share their values.
They want the company they join to be relevant and relevant to employees, open to their questions and suggestions. We’ve also noticed that many people are looking for flexible ways to work – and this is especially true when it comes to hiring millennials.
They are more likely to ask about the gender pay gap or a company’s climate action strategy such as its benefits plan.
ITV participants talk about our work in mental health, such as Britain Get Talking – the nation’s most recognized mental health campaign – and our work on diversity and inclusion both on screen and behind it.
They told us they also care about us because we continue to reflect and shape culture and society with entertainment shows like Love Island, I’m A Celebrity and The Masked Singer, series TV series like Trigger Point and The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe and of course our award-winning News and Currents programs.
And it’s not just recruitment.
We know that it’s equally important to develop and retain talent and train everyone’s skills.
We also have a range of different coaching and mentoring programs for our employees at different levels as we know these will improve performance and retain talent.
80% of all jobs currently advertised in the UK require digital skills.
And even more strikingly, it is projected that more than 80% of the UK workforce by 2030 will be employed today.
So we all need to upskill our existing workforce. ITV is actively working with technology partners to expand our tech skills training.
There’s no doubt that the lack of key digital skills is a challenge but despite this, I’m optimistic.
We’re doing innovative and exciting tech work and transforming our business at speed, and that’s hugely exciting for the tech community.
British businesses can be smart, agile and fast-moving.
The fact that the UK produces one Unicorn every 11 days shows that we have enough talent and innovation to be the leaders of this digital revolution.