Besides “nothing may ever be the same,” what does it all mean? For technology, media, and entertainment companies, there are a few key takeaways that are central to thriving in the middle of what feels like a revolution.
First, agile and flexible financial management systems are a must. With change as the only constant, a clear view of how it all affects financial performance is key. Consider the “pinball effect” of shows bouncing around streaming services that I mentioned earlier—this type of back-and-forth makes agility more important than ever as revenue streams fluctuate through changing consumer habits.
Second, companies must be able to plan for different scenarios, so they can shift business models quickly to react to major events and changing consumer habits. For media companies, one scenario that resulted from the pandemic was more ad money going toward online advertising (it was expected to be 53% in 2020). They also saw a greater-than-expected spike in video viewing with more and more of that viewing on smartphones as global ownership and usage increases.
And, third, infrastructures must be scalable and ready to handle unexpected spikes in usage (let’s call that one “the Zoom effect.”)
One real-life example of a tech company finding the value of agile planning through a flexible data hub is Workday customer Zynga which owns some of the world’s most popular social games, like “Farmville” and “Words with Friends.” As their senior director of people operations Eamonn Stanley shared: “Especially during this time in a global pandemic with a remote workforce and a changing environment, having a data hub is even more critical. Data is essential for strategic workforce and talent planning, as we evaluate what talent needs we’ll have moving forward, especially in rapidly changing times.”
So, while the effects of the pandemic on the tech, media, and entertainment industries may change, the importance of agility, flexibility, and innovation will remain central for those companies for years to come.