Britain has the talent and innovation to be a digital leader, says the head of ITV


Looking back at London Technology Week, it is clear that almost all businesses in the UK economy have been hit hard by technology which opens up significant opportunities as well as challenges.

The media and entertainment industry has undergone tremendous changes: technology is disrupting the distribution of programs, and decades of business practices have taken root. Technology has put Smart TV at the center of this explosion of content and has led to changes in consumer behavior when viewers can choose when to watch them. This has also led to the ability to serve advertising very purposefully.

Consumers have benefited immensely from the wide selection of programs they now have.

But this change meant that one business model, so long established, had to change and adapt and adopt new models in order to convey programs to viewers and engage them as competition for audiences intensified.

In response to this tsunami of technological change, ITV launched its “More Than TV” strategy in 2018 digital transformation at its core. With the digital foundation now firmly in place and the new capabilities built into ITV, we recently announced a further change in this strategy – the launch of a new free streaming service, ITVX.

Coinciding with Tech Week, we have announced more details about ITVX, which is due to launch later this year with a selection of over 9,000 hours of brand new series, cult classics, documentaries and films. Each week it will provide new content that will be exclusive to the service.

Overcharging streaming is just one element of our involvement in the technology ecospace – data and analytics are now at the heart of all aspects of ITV’s strategy.

The second area of ​​real transformation is our offer to advertisers and commercial partners.

Over the past 18 months, we have launched Planet V, our patented premium video advertising software platform. It now operates on a scale and has become the second largest operator in the UK in this space after Google.

This helps explain why ITV first attracted nearly a hundred new advertisers to television last year – most of them – digital brands.

The third area that uses technology to become more efficient and productive is our global enterprise – ITV Studios.

It has doubled sales with a fast-growing streamer and is currently considering moving the entire content management lifecycle to the cloud from editing and distribution to access and storage

And, of course, the way we work also changes – with data that informs more about our solutions in our business, especially in how we understand viewers, what products and programs we offer them and how we achieve and attract them.

We have set up an advanced data center and analytics and invested in our cloud capabilities across ITV.

As many organizations know, the demand for those with technology, data, and understanding skills is overheating the market.

In fact, the pressure on companies to improve recruitment in this area is such that several of ITV’s successful in-house technology recruitment teams themselves have been lured by competing companies.

Against this background, we welcome the publication of the UK Government’s new digital strategy at London Tech Week.

The government’s strategy is a good start, but we need the UK education sector at all levels to address these skills.

Launching the Digital Skills Council to combine business with government and education to make sure these skills are available seems like a valuable place to start, and ITV is happy to contribute and be involved, because without these skills the transformation of British business is slowing and the UK’s very challenging goal of boosting its productivity is thrown back even further.

I would like the Council to really focus on how to increase diversity in the technology industry as well – there are too few women and too few professions.

Research also shows that even relatively young people mistakenly believe they are too old to make a career in technology.

We need more role models that a wider range of people can communicate with, and the government needs to continue to fund training and development to encourage companies to do it on a scale and give new entrants a way to the role that companies like ITV , already creating.

How else can British business compete in the talent market?

From ITV’s experience it is clear that the employer’s brand, its purpose and values ​​are conducive to hiring.

We felt it necessary for us to see that we were living our purpose.

People expect that the organization in which they work will have a non-profit goal and share their values.

They want the company they join to be relevant and friendly to employees, open to their questions and contributions. We also found that many are looking for flexible jobs – and this is especially true when recruiting millennials.

They are just as likely to ask about the company’s gender pay gap or climate action strategy as they are about the benefits scheme.

Those who join ITV talk about our work on mental health, such as Britain Get Talking, the country’s best-known mental health company, and our work on diversity and inclusion both on and off screen. .

They tell us that they are also interested in us because we continue to reflect and shape culture and society through entertainment shows such as “Love Island,” “I’m a Celebrity,” and “Singer in a Mask,” dramas such as Trigger point ”and“ The Thief, His Wife and Canoe ”. and, of course, our award-winning news and current affairs programs.

And it’s not just about the set.

We know that it is equally important to develop and maintain talent, as well as provide skills training for all.

We also have a number of different mentoring and coaching schemes for our people at different levels because we know they improve performance and retain talent

80% of all vacancies currently advertised in the UK require digital skills.

And what is even more noteworthy is projected that more than 80% of the UK workforce in 2030 is already working today.

So we all need to upgrade the existing workforce. ITV is actively working with technology partners to expand technology skills training.

There is no doubt that a lack of key digital skills is a problem, but despite this, I remain optimistic.

We are doing exciting and innovative technology work and are rapidly transforming our business, and it is very attractive to the technical community.

British businesses can be smart, agile and fast.

The fact that Britain produces Unicorn every 11 days shows that we have the talent and innovation to become the leaders of this digital revolution.

Britain has the talent and innovation to be a digital leader, says the head of ITV

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