Point of View

Digital transformation in media and entertainment: Two perspectives

Insights on empowering a virtual workforce and on maximizing returns on IT investments

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COVID-19 disrupted virtually every aspect of the media and entertainment industry. And yet so many challenges remain the same: workforce engagement, fragmented technology, data overload, and new monetization models.

Genpact joined industry leaders to discuss these issues and more at Media & Entertainment Services Alliance's Hollywood Innovation and Transformation Summit Spring 2021 conference. Genpact's experts offered insights on two aspects of digital transformation — Brajesh Jha, media and entertainment leader, offered his point of view on building the digital workforce of the future, while content leader Aniruddha Sarkar and transformation expert Rachel Thomas discussed how media firm can avoid common pitfalls related to data and IT systems.

The future of work is fluid

Brajesh Jha used to travel 180,000 miles every year on average as the global head of media and entertainment for Genpact. Of course, that was before COVID-19.

Like many leaders who suddenly found themselves working from home, Jha adapted. And a thought struck him – could the future of work be fully remote?

"The pandemic demonstrated that it's possible for people to work from anywhere," said Brajesh in his presentation, Driving Operational Agility with a Virtual Workforce. "Rapid progress on the automation front is changing the way work is done, while augmented intelligence (human expertise supported by advanced analytics and technology) is empowering the workforce in new ways."

Does that mean physical offices are a thing of the past? Not necessarily.

Brajesh cautions leaders to avoid the all-or-none remote work policies that have recently emerged. Rather, he suggests a hybrid approach, such as using microhubs — dispersed workplaces — to allow employees to work from office occasionally. These locations also establish aspects of the business – such as culture, comradery, and mentorship – that are not easily captured by a digital experience.

That said, the future of work is more than just where people work – it's how people work. Brajesh listed some components of a more fluid workforce:

  • Reskilling at scale: Employees have access to robust e-learning and offline learning opportunities
  • AI-powered data ecosystem: A data ecosystem that enables smart processes
  • Robust technology infrastructure: Leveraging the cloud and automation to drive process maturity
  • Operating model: Unlocking the advantages of a distributed workforce

"Together, these elements enable a learning enterprise where operational efficiency comes naturally," Brajesh said.

The secret to maximizing IT investments (Hint: It's not more tech)

Leaders in the media and entertainment industry frequently leverage acquisitions and partnerships for survival and growth, adding new capabilities to long-established foundations to meet rapidly changing customer needs. Unfortunately, these structural changes also bring inevitable complexity as companies struggle to manage multiple legacy ERP systems, as well as disconnected data sources and usage.

"Many companies use technology to solve business issues," Ani Sarkar, media and entertainment executive at Genpact, said in his presentation More for the Money: How to Maximize IT Investments and Avoid Expensive Makeovers. "But these problems require fixing the underlying processes, not adding more tech."

Ani recommends organizations create a system of engagement (SoE) to connect and integrate the front, middle, and back offices. The SoE acts as a single pane of glass, offering a unified view by allowing all systems to talk to each other and produce cross-functional insights.

"Though many organizations possess a huge amount of high-quality data, they will always have to manage disparate data sources and fragmentation on the back end when it comes to ERP systems," agreed Rachel Thomas, co-presenter and transformation partner at Genpact. "An agile SoE and data integration layer is one way to standardize processes and accelerate insights without committing to large, time-consuming system investments."

So how can organizations get their data foundation right? Rachel and Ani shared the following best practices:

  1. Start with data integration.
  2. Connect data quality to decisions and business success.
  3. Use bilingual talent who understand industry nuances and technology.
  4. Make data traceable throughout the organization.
  5. Establish an enterprise-wide architecture.
  6. Take a holistic approach to enable data-driven decisioning.

Both sessions underlined the imperative for media and entertainment companies to bring together human expertise, data, analytics, and technology to manage organizational complexity and succeed in a rapidly changing business landscape.

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