IT IS THE ‘E’ WAY OR NO WAY


Time to adapt to Internet of Things


Technology and innovation have made a deep impact on every walk of life, and media is no different. In fact, technology has been the biggest disruptor in the media domain rather than any platform or platforms. Today, we speak of a larger media rather than any specific platform. But these changes have however not had any kind of organic evolution, stressed Mr. R. Muthu Kumar, Editor Makkal Kural and Trinity Mirror. He was addressing first year MBA students of the School of Commerce and Management of Bharat Institute of Higher Education and Research (BIHER) Management Studies via a webinar on “The Changing Media”.

Today, I will be presenting you with e-certificates, with ‘e’ referring to the electronic or rather digital form of the certificate. I think the word ‘e’ is a misnomer or the wrong word in the present context, it should rather be ‘I’ standing for the Internet as this technology has now pervaded all walks of life. Cheaper smartphones and deeper reach of the Internet have meant that people today are reading news in digital platforms such as mobile phones, iPads, desktops or laptops. This has resulted in all the newspapers being forced to adapt and adopt technology to present news suitable to the digital platforms. Today, Technology has permeated every aspect of modern life, both personal and professional. Each one of us has to carry a laptop, I-pad or I-phone and we start interacting with one of these gadgets right from the time we wake up. Most of us even sleep with a Fit Bit. The Digital Age has pushed every business leader to rethink the way a business is done, taking into account the fast changing trends. Technological adaption is moving ever more rapidly. And the present, the COVID crisis has surely made everyone in this planet get a hands on experience of all the excising technologies in communications.

All these have turned catalyst for the next phase of changes, and it causes huge pressure on researching companies toying with new tools such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. We allowed Google maps enter our lives rather silently and today nobody seeks directions from strangers on roads to reach their destinations and all sorts of deliveries from groceries, cooked food, merchandising, electronics – you name it and it is there – are more technology driven that what it was in 2000!

To cope up with emerging trends in media or any for that matter every other sector, it requires understanding key changes in Customer behavior, the lifecycle of products. And skills required for insightful leadership in today’s digital economy is pushing organisations to think faster, more openly and more flexibly. As such technology as an industry is not a standalone entity, it is present in every aspect of business activity. Students, homemakers, traditional non-technology laymen such as farmers, car drivers or even a social activists are playing a pivotal role in shaping technologies.

Look at the success of Uber, Swiggy or Dunzo., there is no owner or a techno savvy CEO behind their success. The success in these organisations is mostly by people who turned users as drivers of evolving success trends. Amazon, another successful global organisation, which began as an online book store, stands today as one of the largest online store chains. It is also the largest Cloud Computer Contractor to the US Government.

In the current environment, organisations and individuals who do not quickly adopt and adapt to fast-paced technological changes will perish as they will not be able to match the competition. For instance, how long can a shop in a hi-value shopping mall sustain with high rents, including ever rising interior expenses! Such shops face tough competition from Amazon and other multitude of online stores.

The experience in e-shopping has resulted in inherent payment frauds. But the last 15 months of lockdown experience globally has allured all age groups, in every nook and corner of the world, to get themselves acquainted with online purchases to get global products delivered at their door steps! And even more the offer prices and return policies are a big plus for customers! Can shops in malls or standalone outlets match these easy and comfortable shopping experiences?

How will the entertainment industry get back the attention of film buffs now totally hooked to online streaming? Or what is the way to get back the readership to the good old glory days when everyone preferred to wake up and have a cup of coffee with a newspaper in their hands!

Well the newspapers are still around, but more and more news stories are sporting QR codes to save space and give the readers more in terms of number of news items carried on the page! This can perhaps be compared to an online merchandiser like Amazon, Flipkart, Swiggy or Dunzo offering a variety of choices for the customers to choose from.

Or indirectly newspaper organisations are feeling the pinch in terms of limitations in the print media! And they have to compete against social media platforms such as Facebook or WhatsApp in terms of speed of communications. A Himalayan task and baffling one as even now I prefer digital inputs to traditional writing with pen and a paper, which are almost facing extinction!

Let me share my American experience! Starbucks coffee! Well I am not a fan of their coffee but their digital push caught my attention like never before. Well for first, I never faced the problem of paying the exact amount or waiting for change on the counter, and more significantly I was making my payments even before entering their premises.

On their app, I could a study choice of what I wanted form their multiple offers! It was cheaper, loaded with extra goodies! I was hooked to their strategy. I made a digital payment and immediately got a reference code. I went to the nearest outlet showed the reference code and quickly got my coffee as well as the other goodies as per my order and offer. Well this was so different from ‘chai’ or tea stalls or coffee shops where we normally hang round, exchanging office or personal gossip and haggling with the stall owner to get the correct change.

Times have so changed with technology and innovation that today we can scan to make online payments at tea stalls, fruit vendors and flower sellers! Digital trend has come into our life and it is here to stay.

Organisations that cater to the best interest of their customers have become our best partners and the digital world abounds in many such entities that offer a variety of choices to satisfy the every need of each customer. So traditional malls, broad sheet newspapers… let us not forget when sun sets, nights follow… and if there is huge cloud hanging over the sky then there is nothing wrong in carrying an umbrella as a handy tool! Thus innovation and quickly adapting to technological changes (also known as Internet of Things) have become key factors for the success of the media industry also today. Like any other field of activity in life, the Internet has begun to play a major and significant role in the media industry.


See also: In Depth & Articles @ Trinity Mirror


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