Rajat Nigam, Group Chief Technology Officer, Network 18 Media

The media and entertainment industry is betting big on technology for providing custo­mi­sed offerings to users. Moreover, a growing shift towards digital media is driving the adoption of cloud, social media, mobility solutions, analytics and big data solutions. Media and entertainment industry players discuss their IT strategies, and technology trends…

What are the technology trends being witne­s­sed by the media and entertainment space?

The media industry is all about managing content. Enhancement is the key to all aspects of the content lifecycle, right from content production to content distribution. The industry is witnessing the widespread adoption of fourth generation technology – 4K in content production and 4G in content delivery. The vastness of the industry, however, does necessitate the use of hybrid technologies and practices.

What are some of the IT/telecom solutions being deployed by your company? How have these helped enhance business operations?

Technology is an enabler and a key differentiator in the media and entertainment industry. IT plays a significant role in our corporate functions by imparting tools that drive higher productivity, efficient analysis and optimised costs. Automation in content production and delivery and in asset management systems helps in the sharing and treatment of content across multiple locations for production and deliveries. We leverage newer technologies that drive faster database churning along with ma­chi­ne learning for our digital products (applications and website). Being in the digital medium, with our core assets in file fo­rm, IT security solutions and practices are deployed across the organisation.

What is the level of technology adoption in res­pect of the cloud, internet of things (IoT) and big data analytics in this industry?

We have made a significant change in terms of our operations by adopting cloud for news gathering. Traditional modes of using satellite links are fast being replaced with bonded operator solutions and cloud-based streaming solutions, giving us higher efficiencies in terms of speed and costs. The consumer is the king and should be gratified in this highly competitive world. Data analytics is an essential part of our workflow ecosystem as it helps us to customise and deliver content to consumers on the basis of devices, locations and behavioural patterns. We are fast moving from broadcast to narrowcast to unicast, and technology is helping us achieve this.

“Technology is an enabler and a key differentiator in this industry.” Rajat Nigam

What are the key challenges in the deployment and management of telecom solutions?

The key challenge is the short lifecycle of technological solutions. To this end, there is a need to enhance the skill sets of personnel in order to adopt and adapt newer tools. Designing systems that can adopt next-generation systems and are modular in nature is must, but not easy. The way content is consumed today is significantly different from how it was done a few years back. This is both an opportunity as well as a challenge.

What IT initiatives are you planning to take over the next few years?

The media and entertainment industry focuses on content delivery across multiple platforms, and technological solutions have to be adopted around that. IT-based workflows across the content lifecycle including content acquisition, content production and content delivery are fast becoming a reality. In times to come, I would want to see a networked environment across my organisation, supported with cloud and IoT technologies, and including the necessary security systems.