Advanced Television

EBU report highlights PSM transformation

April 21, 2020

A study by the EBU – Digital Transformation Initiative Casebook – An Illustrated Framework –  the first half of a two-part report, sets out what digital transformation looks and feels like at the operational level inside Public Service Media (PSM) organisations. The aim is to inform and inspire other PSM on their own transformation journeys.

The Casebook features 18 studies which illustrate the enablers of digital transformation, carefully selected from PSM that have excelled in particular critical areas. The Casebook draws out the principles and practices behind these successes through themes including organisation and cultural change, leveraging data, and strategic partnerships.

The second part of the report – the DTI Playbook, available later in 2020 – focuses on the design and execution of company-wide transformation initiatives. The two reports combine as a powerful tool to aid PSM create their own digital transformation strategies.

“The Coronavirus pandemic has created a new reality – as millions of people retreat to the online world, so the imperative of digital transformation has gone from important to absolutely critical,” stated Dr Sasha Scott, Senior Analyst and DTI Project Lead at the EBU and author of the report.

“This report can help accelerate the process. It gives a clear picture on what transformative projects look like for PSM, so that other outlets can learn first-hand what worked, how, and why it is important for the rest of the company. The framework itself is not a roadmap but a lens for understanding where an organisation is today, and what is needed to excel tomorrow. The report can aid PSM in making the change from digital projects done well, to initiatives with wider organisational impact. It’s about understanding how digital transformation affects business at every level.”

While the report makes clear that digital transformation is not optional, this is not a prescriptive rule book but guidance based on learned experience from peers. Digital transformation is unique to each organisation, based on size, budget, audience, markets and other factors. The Casebook and Framework arm these organisations with the tools, knowledge and, crucially, the right questions to ask, from those that have first-hand lived experience.

Key themes from the Casebook

  • Digital transformation is much more than just a technology issue. PSM need to focus on building organisations that are more agile, experimental, and adaptable to change.
  • Successful transformation needs a holistic approach across all the dynamics and domains of a PSM company. Without the big picture, efforts will be partial and impact limited.
  • Audiences and data should drive decisions and be at the heart of both structures and processes. This means an open and continuous dialogue with the public and rethinking how we work to ensure insights translate into actions.
  • Real change needs a mix of top-down and bottom-up initiatives. A digital culture can be built only with a combination of strong leadership and an empowered and engaged workforce.
  • PSM need to work together. One of the strengths of the EBU network is our tradition of working collaboratively and sharing good practice, so that organisations and individuals can learn from one another.

“This publication brings together 18 distinct examples of an EBU Member taking a bold step forward on the digital transformation journey,” notes Jean Philip De Tender, Director of Media, EBU. “It’s a journey that all Public Service Media organisations are undertaking, each at its own pace and in its own specific context. But while the routes may differ, and even the destinations, the journey itself – especially in the context of the Coronavirus – is now unavoidable.”

“The DTI Casebook is published right on time, when digital solutions play a crucial role on the media agenda and in our professional life,” adds Gytis Oganauskas, Deputy Director General, LRT (Lithuania). “During these extraordinary times, it’s very important to share the best experiences from our Members – how to find new ways and platforms to distribute our content and build digital oriented public broadcasters, who react and adapt quickly.”

“The EBU Digital Transformation Framework has proven to be very effective in aligning senior stakeholders to the meaning, impact and consequences of Digital Transformation,” comments Thomas Saner, Senior Advisor Strategy & Innovation, SRG SSR (Switzerland). “The framework has also been used with great success in the development of our technology and distribution strategies. Thanks to Sasha Scott and the Digital Transformation Initiative, the framework is much more than a document. It is rather a method on how to think about Digital Transformation in strategic terms. It is in our opinion a very valuable and helpful tool to plan, think and act on transformation even more so in very complex decentralised environments like SRG SSR.“

“The EBU has always known how to support its Members, either by providing expertise or personalised assistance, or by exchanging knowledge and information,” suggests Olga Bordeianu, Executive Director, Teleradio Moldova. “The work visit made by the EBU experts from the Digital Transformation Initiative for reviewing the digital readiness of TRM was more than welcome…and the effort of the expert team was considerable…Accordingly we declare ourselves responsible for following the conclusions and fulfilling the recommendations, because the ultimate goal is to digitise and continue delivering qualitative media content, respecting generally recognised journalistic principles.”


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