CIO Straight Talk - Issue 11 - 19

Amazon, and other tech giants who are spending
millions to produce and distribute their own TV
shows and movies. This is causing quite a lot of
upheaval in an already turbulent market. So in
that respect, it's becoming a lot harder in general
for those of us in the world of content production
and distribution.
On top of that, the BBC faces a challenge in
reaching younger audiences, specifically the
under-30 demographic. Obviously, that is a big
emphasis for us now because those upcoming
generations provide future sustainability and
growth, not to mention the changing of tastes
and formats of consuming content.
Digital transformation across back office
systems is crucial for us in meeting these
challenges. But it's important not to forget a
famous aphorism: You can lead a horse to water
but you can't make it drink. We had formulated
a nice, new, shiny strategy and a clear vision,
followed by 20 pages telling us what we needed
to do to transform. But simply put, if the
business isn't ready for that transformation and
if the sponsorship isn't there, it's just not going
to work. So we sort of stepped back and rather
than trying to boil the ocean we've successfully
focused on targeted initiatives across processes
and systems where they have the most business
benefit. Almost by stealth, we have transformed
the systems map across Studios.
To be clear Digital Transformation isn't just about
big digital websites and fancy apps. It's more
about how you transform the underlying work
and processes to change how your business and
people operate in the future.

TEAM BUILDERS
FIND SUCCESS
I learned a lot from a former boss of mine on
how being a CIO is less about technology and
more about understanding the business and its
strategy and building strong relationships with
the executive team.
The most important thing I probably learned
from her is understanding that you can't be
successful with an average team. You need

to spend a good slug of your time searching
for and developing top talent. I've been quite
fortunate that one of my strengths is identifying
and bringing in the right talent. That, probably
more than anything else, has resulted in a lot of
success over the years.
Senior technology people are faced with a lot
of complex situations and projects. But all
of that complexity yields a lot of important
lessons that improve the results of the next
implementation, deployment, or program.
Hence, one of my key roles is to build the right
teams and, while creating an environment
where they feel supported and can deliver at
pace, also providing them with the air cover that
allows us to experiment, fail fast, flourish, and
continue to learn.

IT'S IMPORTANT NOT TO FORGET
A FAMOUS APHORISM: YOU CAN
LEAD A HORSE TO WATER BUT YOU
CAN'T MAKE IT DRINK.

To do that, however, you must have enough
depth and breadth of knowledge to engage and
participate in conversations with those same
teams. Not too much detail, but certainly enough
to be able to call out BS in a conversation!
This can be challenging and take quite a few
different turns in a single day-in my case this
could involve discussing a production issue, a
new SVOD product, or the latest update to our
SAP platform. But it's really important to have
a working knowledge of each issue to better
communicate with capable team members.

TAPPING YOUTHFUL
DIVERSITY IS GOOD
INSURANCE
Within my organization, we have a good mix of
both age and ethnicity. We've got lots of people
from all over the world. That cultural diversity
brings a different approach to the way we
operate. And that's one of the most important
19



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CIO Straight Talk - Issue 11

http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue11
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/womenintech2
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue11
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue10
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue9
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue8
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue7
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue6
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue5
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue4
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue3
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue2
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue1
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