Al Jazeera Media Network (AJMN) hosted its inaugural Future of Media Leaders Summit under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer Al-Thani, Chairman of AJMN. The summit kicked off on Wednesday at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Doha with international broadcast industry leaders, CIOs, ICT professionals and media experts discussing how business […]
Al Jazeera Media Network (AJMN) hosted its inaugural Future of Media Leaders Summit under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer Al-Thani, Chairman of AJMN. The summit kicked off on Wednesday at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Doha with international broadcast industry leaders, CIOs, ICT professionals and media experts discussing how business and innovation are affecting the future of media.
Mohamed Abuagla, CIO/CTO of Al Jazeera Media Network, took the attendees on a transformation journey to give them an insight into how the network has constantly adapted to changing technology over its 20-year history.
Transformation has to be holistic, involving people, processes and technology, he said.
To become more transformative, you need to become a service provider.
Giving an overview of the Al Jazeera Workplace Transformation (AJWT) project and what the network has achieved through it, he said: We wanted to unify our presence. We delivered a new location in Washington DC and in 2016 in Doha. People could work anywhere and they were familiar with all the technology throughout the Al Jazeera network and vendors could support us all over the world in the same manner.
We have unified 70 bureaus and seven channels and our deployment teams have the latest technology to cover the news from any part of the world. Our journos can file reports much faster with fibre lines in a more cost-effective manner. Our OTT and CDN networks distribute content across multiple networks, he noted.
He also said that blockchain, artificial intelligence and big data are part of the broadcaster’s vision for the future, while also reiterating the role of human capital.
People are our greatest asset, they have to be trusted, inspired, skilled and trained because they are the core of an organisation, he said.
Abuagla spoke at length about the role of technology in the networks growth. The network realised early on in its transformation journey that processes had to change whether for content creation, aggregation or distribution. It adopted disruptive technologies to grow into a world-class organsiation.
Keynote speaker Paul Lee, Partner and Global Head of Research for the technology, media, and telecommunications (TMT) industry at Deloitte, presented research about the ways digital and traditional media are complementing each other.
Digital transformation will never end, but it doesnt need to be zero-sum disruption, Lee said.
It doesnt have to be them versus us; it can be them and us.
He emphasised that the smartphone and the TV are best seen as complementing each other rather than competing against each other. While the smartphone is the most successful device, television is the most successful medium ever.
Smartphones are optimised for short-form video, and are poor at anything longer; but they are great accompaniments to watching TV. The combination of smartphone and TV is a powerful one but their potential not fully exploited. US adults spend about six hours a day on live TV and radio, said Lee.
Lees speech was followed by a panel discussion on how media organisations are adapting to digital transformation.
The days other speakers included Rainer Kellerhals, Industry Lead for Media and Cable EMEA at Microsoft, who spoke on cloud and cognitive computings impact on newsrooms; Jeff Rosica, President and CMO of Avid Technologies, who discussed transforming and unifying workflows with a platform approach; and Delbert Parks, CIO of Sinclair Media Group, who closed the day with a case study about Sinclairs digital reinvention of contribution and distribution.
The attendees were taken on a tour of the AJMN newsrooms and shown the new facilities that were inaugurated in November last year to coincide with the network’s 20th anniversary.
The summit will conclude today. In attendance are regional and international industry experts who are involved in transformation in their respective organisations.
On the second day of the event, Al Jazeera Executive Director Dr. Yaser Bisher will open with a presentation about Al Jazeeras digital strategy. Mohammed Nanabhai, Deputy CEO at Media Development Investment Fund, will deliver a keynote address on social medias impact on media, content and audience.
Other speakers scheduled for the final day include Haroon Meer, Founder of Thinkst Applied Research; Ken Morse, Media CIO at Cisco Systems; and Mohamed Abuagla, CIO/CTO of Al Jazeera Media Network.