The media and entertainment industry is witnessing a marked transformation, driven by the rapid adoption of new-age technologies. Leading organisations in the sector are leveraging these solutions to accelerate business growth, deliver high quality content and boost customer engagement. However, the fast pace of innovation is also leading to implementation and security challenges. Sony Pictures Networks India, a subsidiary of the Sony Group Corporation, has been at the forefront of digital transformation. In an interview with tele.net, Raj Mohan Srinivasan, chief information officer, Sony Pictures Networks India, talks about the digital trends shaping the sector, the key challenges and advice for media companies on how to stay relevant in this fast-changing competitive industry…
What are the technology trends transforming the media and entertainment industry? How are extended reality, the metaverse and 5G changing the consumption and delivery of content?
The media and entertainment industry has been significantly influenced by technological advancements. This industry has continuously evolved, from the inception of terrestrial broadcasting to the current augmented reality and virtual reality experiences, constantly ascending the innovation S-curve. We are currently at a pivotal juncture where storytelling is ready to undergo substantial transformations. Innovations in edge computing, network protocols and serverless computing, augmented by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), are facilitating immersive 3D experiences, transitioning from research and niche applications to mainstream commercial applications.
The advent of the metaverse is a significant milestone in extended reality; however, the introduction of ChatGPT has currently shifted the focus towards generative AI. The ubiquity of 5G is expected to support bandwidth-intensive applications, accelerating the innovation S-curve and eventually refocusing on the metaverse.
“While it is a time for bold innovation, it is also crucial for technology leaders to balance rapid innovation with the right set of controls.”
What are the challenges/drawbacks of these technologies? How can these be addressed?
AI concepts have always been around, going back decades, but the astonishing progress that has been made in the past year in the specialised field of generative AI makes me wonder if we are, perhaps, going too fast. We should try to pace innovation with the development of ethical and regulatory frameworks, establish the right checks and balances, and provide clarity on copyright laws. Security is another significant concern to watch out for. How secure are these new platforms and how do we integrate them into our hitherto secure environments? While it is a time for bold innovation, it is also crucial for technology leaders to balance rapid innovation with the right set of controls.
“The advent of the metaverse is a significant milestone in extended reality; however, the introduction of ChatGPT has currently shifted the focus towards generative AI.”
In such a disruptive environment, how should media companies undertake digital transformation to not just keep up but stay ahead and retain competitive advantage?
My biggest advice is to not rush into digital transformation head first. While pace is important, it is imperative to phase the journey. I recommend three phases – foundational, incremental and exponential.
- Foundational change primarily involves clearing up technical debt from the old ways of working, outdated systems and tools. It is mostly about modernisation.
- The incremental phase is to build new, data-driven capabilities and increase integration between systems to enhance the level of automation and operational efficiency across the enterprise.
- The exponential phase entails the introduction of new, radically advanced and specialised applications or systems, increasingly based on software-as-a-service that can seamlessly bolt on to the incrementally matured application, enabling the rapid adoption of cutting-edge capabilities. In today’s world, AI/ML-based capabilities will comprise a significant part of this phase.