COVID-19: Digital transformation needs to be top priority, says Tech Mahindra report  

M&E firms that take advantage of emerging or already built digital capabilities will be in the best position to emerge as leaders in the post-COVID-19 era, says the report

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: May 4, 2020 11:49 AM  | 3 min read

The Media and Entertainment (M&E) industry has felt the impact of COVID-19 as businesses have been disrupted at a scale and speed that is unprecedented. Many of the services offered by the industry have sharply diminished or even halted, while other services are booming in ways never expected, says a Tech Mahindra report.

The report focuses on six examples of disruption in the M&E industry, and give a perspective on how businesses are likely going to respond to these disruptions.

One of the key findings of the report is that digital transformation, often considered to be a secondary strategic business goal, has now been given sharp relevance, and needs to become a top priority with the onset of the COVID-19 crisis.

The fundamental purpose of Digital Transformation is to enable a company to react quickly to changing business and market conditions – rapidly and at scale. M&E firms that take advantage of emerging or already built digital capabilities will be in the best position to emerge as leaders in the post-COVID-19 era, says the report.

Immediate Response

M&E companies are responding in real-time to the rapidly changing situation, government regulations impacting businesses and consumers, and the dramatic changes in consumer behaviour concerning M&E products and services. On this front, companies are responding with reactive planning and execution in less than 24 hours.

The report further says: “Access to workforces that are now required to be remote, or already equipped for off-premises working, are a critical factor for success. Past investments in agile digital environments should be showing a pay-off as companies meet unprecedented demands and respond to the immediate need for changes to service and business models. In all cases, the demand for new analytics will be driven by the need to assess the success of these immediate response programs rapidly.”

Emerging Disruptors

Unexpected innovation will be ignited by radically changed market conditions and consumer demands. New capabilities and business models that might have been sitting in the wings, waiting for investment and business priority, will now be propelled into reality by broad and robust demand, or the necessity to deliver to now-unreachable audiences.

The report says these disruptors will be the platforms for the newest business models that will exist in the wake of COVID-19. Cutting edge Digital Transformation capabilities such as Consumer Digital Experience (DX/CX) design and development and adoption of emerging digital technologies like AR/VR, advanced home entertainment technology, new modes of instream and interactive advertising and new content creation and management platforms will be critical enablers for this wave of innovation.

The New Normal

According to the report, M&E businesses must immediately plan strategic changes that need to be undertaken for long-term business survival and future leadership in the industry and these changes need to be executed in the oncoming quarters.

Digital Transformation programmes aimed at cost-optimizing the business. Cost-effective and capable workforce partners will be a necessity for succeeding with constrained budgets in a shortened period to achieve these strategic goals. Strategic plans that previously might have been expected to run over the course of twelve to eighteen months must now be executed in one or two quarters.

According to the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO), the theatrical business made $15 billion a year ($11 billion in ticket sales and $4 billion in concessions) but could now go down to nothing. Aid from governments will likely determine the survival of theaters beyond COVID-19.

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