Channel 4’s It department is today facing two major challenges which are the rapidly changing broadcasting landscape and the way technology is used. Since viewers now expect access to programmes on various platforms, Channel 4 now need to develop and source technology which could support content delivery of every type including the recent ones and at the same time taking care of IT supporting day to day operations of the broadcasters which may also be the critical area of advertising sales.
This world is continuously changing and improving day by day. Viewers of today demand a media through which they can access content anytime, anywhere and on any device. In a recent Forrester IT Forum EMEA 2011 at Barcelona, CIO of Channel 4, Kevin Gallagher told the delegates that they have a lot of pressure but this process going on is pretty interesting. After Lan Dobb as the head of broadcaster’s IT for 10 years, Gallagher became CIO in 2009 who was previously the head of applications delivery of Channel 4. At the time of departure of Lan Dobb, Lan told silicon.com that priorities of broadcaster’s technology include making its web capabilities better, making 4oD content apt for Macs and reduce the overall cost.
Now after two years, Gallagher now presides over an IT department which is working in the development of the YouView platform. Now 4oD web TV service is made available for not only Macs but other platforms as well like iPad. Now it focuses mainly on increasing efficiency instead of focusing on reducing cost.
The process of cost cutting to efficiency would be interesting to consider. Cost cutting is now no more a matter of concern for Channel 4’sIT department, though it used to be once. This is because of two reasons which are organization’s early cutbacks to protect itself from economic recession and the latest improvements in TV advertising market. Year 2009 saw many drastic changes; in fact 2009 was a very difficult year for Television advertising in terms of money. But the company was able to recover very quickly due to the right steps taken by it at the time of market recovery.
Current running annual budget of Channel 4 for technology is £20 to £30 which was significantly less in year 2009, as told by Gallagher to silicon.com. However the organization still focuses on being most efficient and thus efficiency and cost control are the most important prospects on the organization’s agenda.