Change is perhaps the only constant in our industry. And the landscape has certainly changed a lot in the last few decades. Business models have shifted; giants have risen, fallen and merged; and today’s technology sourcing models would be unrecognisable to a CFO or CTO from 30 years ago. Most startling of all, we’ve moved from a world in which broadcasters drive change, to one in which consumers constantly challenge the industry to move forward.
So as an industry organisation that brings together companies from all parts of the content supply chain, how can we best support those companies as they look to manage and embrace all that change?
A modern content supply chain looks pretty different from a video signal path of old. Our industry now builds software driven solutions on cloud infrastructure. We design systems that can recover from failure at any time, and can scale dynamically as demand increases. We integrate services from different vendors and swap out components regularly. We plan for continued iteration, rather than 10-year depreciation. And so the shared challenges have evolved too.
There are certain foundations that we build on, and they’re rarely unique to our industry. Computer networks, data exchange, even video encoding standards are used well beyond professional media. But outside of those foundations, our world moves faster than it ever has, and modern software methodologies make it easier to integrate new technologies, tools and techniques.
So at the DPP, we focus only on the specific business problems and opportunities where we and our member companies can remove friction and help businesses to move faster. We assess what the best form of collaboration will be for a particular problem space. Sometimes, it’s creating a forum for intelligent people to share ideas and challenge each other. Sometimes it’s exposing case studies where we can all learn from the best in the business. Sometimes our focus is on collating, agreeing, and sharing best practice. And sometimes, it’s about taking a complex technology and driving consensus on common ways of using it so that interoperability is easier to achieve.
Most importantly, we start with the business motivations. That’s why we mix business networking and industry insight with technical collaboration. Each element feeds the others. The business issues discussed at our events and revealed in our research drive our delivery. We challenge ourselves to work on technology and workflows that enable more efficient businesses, or new business opportunities for our members. We take technology from the theoretical to the practical.
Companies tell us they need to build agile businesses that can quickly adapt to new opportunities, all while improving their efficiency. To achieve this, technology alone isn’t enough. We need to support senior decision makers in sharing the best ideas and exploring the latest trends. We need to support operational teams with guidance and education on best practice workflows. And when common technical solutions are needed, we must produce focussed deliverables at speed.
This all means creating a range of outputs spanning the spectrum from business insight to technical innovation. We recently created the DPP Recommendation format to deliver normative technical information, and DPP Guidance which offers best practice and workflow implementation advice. These formats complement our deeper technical specifications that we publish with great partners like SMPTE and AMWA, and of course our industry insight reports such as Home Truths and Survey Reports.
In the coming months you’ll see some exciting new ways in which we’re delivering DPP technical work, including deeper exploratory technical insight reports, and a common API to enable versioning workflows. But no matter the how, the why is consistent: to help drive business value at a time of huge change – and opportunity.