The ITV boss says becoming a digital leader in the UK is a skill and an innovation.


Thinking back to London Tech Week, it is clear that almost all businesses in the UK economy are deeply affected by technology, which presents important opportunities as well as challenges.

The media and entertainment industry have seen dramatic changes in technology, disrupting decades-old ways of distributing and operating programs. Technology has put smart TVs at the center of this content explosion and has changed consumer behavior where viewers can choose when to watch. It also creates the ability to present ads in a highly targeted manner.

Consumers have now benefited greatly from the wide selection of programs.

But the change means that a business model that has existed for so long has had to change and adapt to new models to reach and engage programs as the audience competition intensifies.

In response to this tsunami of technology-driven change, ITV launched its more than TV strategy in 2018, focusing on digital transformation. With the Digital Foundation now firmly established, and new capabilities embedded in ITV, we recently announced another change in strategy – the launch of a new, free streaming service, ITVX.

Compatible with TechWeek, we announced more details of ITVX starting later this year with a selection of more than 9,000 hours of new series, cult classics, documentaries and movies. It will drop fresh content every week for service only.

Supercharging is just one element of our involvement in the streaming technology environment – data and analytics now shed light on all aspects of ITV’s strategy.

The second area of ​​real change is in our offerings to advertisers and business partners.

Over the past 18 months, we’ve introduced Planet V – our proprietary programming platform for premium video advertising. It is now operating on a large scale and has become the second largest UK operator in the area after Google.

It helps explain why ITV last year attracted about 100 new advertisers to TV for the first time – most of them digital brands.

The third area that is taking advantage of technology to become more efficient and effective is our global manufacturing business – ITV Studios.

It has doubled the sales of its fast-growing streamers and is currently considering moving the entire content management lifecycle from editing and distribution to access and storage to the cloud.

And of course, the way we work is changing – with data our entire business is informed of our further decisions, especially how we perceive the audience, what products and programs we offer them. And how we reach and engage them.

We’ve established a Data and Analytics Center of Excellence and invested in our cloud-based capabilities across ITV.

As many organizations know, the demand for technology, data and insights is heating up the market.

In fact, the pressure on companies to improve their recruitment in this sector is such that many of ITV’s successful in-house technology recruitment teams have fallen prey to rival businesses.

Against this backdrop, we welcome the publication of the government’s new UK Digital Strategy at London Tech Week.

The government’s strategy is a good start, but we need the UK education sector at every level to advance these skills.

Launching a Digital Skills Council to bring business together with government and education feels like a valuable place to start to ensure that those skills are available, and ITV contributes to this and Pleased to participate as without these skills the transformation of British business slows dramatically and the UK’s extremely difficult goal of increasing its productivity is even further behind.

I would like to see the council really focus on how to increase diversity within the tech industry as well – the number of women is very small and there is very little background.

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 can reach a wide range of people and the government needs to continue funding re-scaling and up-scaling so that companies can be encouraged to do so on a large scale and new entrants. Give way to the roles that businesses like ITV are already creating. .

How can British businesses compete in the market for talent?

It is clear from ITV’s experience that the employer’s brand and its purpose and values ​​help in hiring recruitment.

We feel it is important that we look to achieve our goal.

People expect the organization they work for to be more profitable and share their values.

They want the company they join to be relevant and relevant to employees, open to their questions and input. We’ve also found that a lot of people are looking for flexible jobs – and this is especially true when recruiting millennials.

They can ask about a company’s gender pay gap or its meteorological action strategy as a benefit scheme.

Joining ITV 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 and off screen. in regards to.

They tell us that they are also interested in us because we reflect culture and society through entertainment shows like Love Island, I’m A Celebrity and The Masked Singer, Trigger Point and the Thief, His Wife and the Canoe. And keep forming. And of course our award winning news and current affairs programs.

And it’s not just recruitment.

We know it’s important to at least develop and retain talent and provide skills training for everyone.

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

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

And even more remarkably, it is predicted that by 2030, more than 80% of the UK’s workforce is already at work today.

So we all need to improve our existing workforce. ITV is actively working with technology partners to enhance our tech skills training.

There is no doubt that lack of key digital skills is a challenge but I am still optimistic.

We’re doing exciting and innovative tech work and rapidly changing our business, and it’s very attractive to the tech community.

British businesses can be smart, agile and fast moving.

The fact that the UK produces a unicorn every 11 days shows that we have the skills and invention to lead this digital revolution.