Thriving in a Changing World: Lessons From Tech and Media Leaders

In an industry keynote from Workday Rising, our flagship customer event, leaders from LiveRamp and Warner Bros. Discovery shared their approach to effectively adapting to change.

“Roller coaster” would be an understated way to describe recent months for technology and media companies. With disruption a constant, leaders in these industries are looking for the best ways to evolve to ensure present stability and future success. With these goals in mind, how are they approaching their day-to-day operations? Their approach could be summed up in the title of the tech and media industry keynote at Workday Rising in Orlando: “Adapt, Innovate, and Thrive.”

In the words of Deep Kular, managing director at Accenture, who kicked off the keynote, “It’s a tech and media economy,” with tech companies making up a large part of the Global 2000 (the world’s largest companies). Adapting and innovating at speed were nonnegotiables the last few years, as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated much of the innovation already in progress. Content is king, and creators are finding ways to thrive by monetizing their expertise or entertainment. Employee engagement is key, with remote and hybrid working models now the norm instead of the exception. Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) that once seemed impossible are now possible, and supply chain challenges and economic uncertainty play a supporting role in this ongoing story, making effectively adapting to change more important than ever. 

Tech and media leaders looking to get a step ahead of their competitors in this ever-changing world should pay close attention to Workday’s new Industry Accelerator program. The Industry Accelerator for Technology is one of the first to be launched, and together with partners such as Accenture, the program combines proven solutions, industry practices, and ecosystem connectors. The Industry Accelerator for Technology will help organizations streamline quote-to-cash and simplify their M&A process. For example, by combining Workday Financial Management, Workday Revenue Management, and configure, quote, price (CQP) solutions, customers will be able to enhance billing methodologies, revenue recognition, and automated collections.

Navigating Mergers and Acquisitions 

Adapting to change is a daily reality for Perri Ma, vice president of global human capital management analytics and operations at Warner Bros. Discovery. With multiple acquisitions and mergers in the last few years, the company has had to find ways to adapt quickly to one change after another.

Ma spoke of how instrumental Workday is in helping her organization with policy harmonization and streamlining processes in a repeatable way. And in particular, Workday Prism Analytics helps Warner Bros. Discovery lead with analytics when companies come together. As Ma said, “The very first thing when any companies come together, you want to be able to deliver that holistic workforce view to the new leaders. This way, we’re able to deliver the insights while allowing the system implementation to go on in parallel in the background.” 

Better Together: Building Partnerships 

Another important common thread for the success of tech and media companies is stronger partnership across the C-suite. Ma shared an example from Warner Bros. Discovery of how human resources (HR) works with information technology (IT). Before deploying Workday, the company’s IT team handled all aspects of enhancement, fixes, maintenance, and change control. Now, Workday puts the power in the hands of the business user, with configurations, security, and reporting configuration shifting more toward HR shared services. And that benefits IT because the team is free to focus on the more complex, scalable integrations.

“The very first thing when any companies come together, you want to be able to deliver that holistic workforce view to the new leaders.”

Perri Ma Vice President of Global HCM Analytics and Operations Warner Bros. Discovery

What’s Next? 

With how fast the tech and media landscape changes, it seems like a fool’s errand to try to predict the future. But one can always make plans to deliver more value to the organization. For Amit Sharan, CIO at LiveRamp, a San Francisco-based data enablement platform company, the way forward is paved with streamlining, eliminating manual steps, shortening close cycles, and an overall focus on making things easier. 

LiveRamp is also looking to push the limits of Workday and automation, focused on automating complex billing terms and extending Workday’s core functionality. As Sharan said, “This creates better efficiency for the financials team and improves customer satisfaction because we’re giving timely information and visibility to our customers.” 

For more, watch the on-demand replay of the keynote (registration required, available until April 2023).

More Reading