I hope that you wore your good clothes to work today, because there’s a pretty fair chance that you might end up on video sometime during the day. The arrival of low-cost video cameras and high quality video processing software has effectively made it ridiculously easy to create multimedia content. This has got to affect what a CIO does, but how?
It Turns Out That You Work For A Media Company
Just in case you missed it when it happened, you now work for a media company. I don’t care if your company says that it makes blue widgets or services the hotel industry, it has become a media company in some way or form.
Since we are now living in the 21st Century, this means that all of that media, social and not, is now in digital format. As CIO you are going to find yourself right smack dab in the middle of an awful lot of media production decisions. You had better get yourself ready quickly!
Technology Does Count
So lets talk about the parts that you’ll probably already have under control. The two biggies are of course storage for all of that new media that is being created as well as the bandwidth that will be required in order to move it around.
Where things start to get a little bit more murky for CIOs is when you start to deal with things like wikis and podcasts. These new forms of media have not had a home anywhere in the company before and so there’s going to be some head scratching as folks try to find out where the best place for these guys to live is.
I believe that the important thing here is that as CIO you are going to be responsible for the tools of media production, not the content. This can be a confusing distinction so it’s important to get it right from the start. The IT department should be in a leadership position when it comes to picking the right combination of tools for wikis, blogs, audio and video production and editing, etc.
It’s All About The Message
That being said, the IT department will undoubtedly end up playing a role in the production of content for the brave new world of corporate media. Not all IT staff are created equal, and this means that not all of them should become video stars. If someone from the IT department needs to be interviewed for a company video, you’ll need to step in and make sure that the compelling personalities from IT who can tell a good story are the ones that show up on video.
Additionally, although blogs and other forms of social media interaction can seem like a good idea initially, they can backfire on a CIO if you are not careful. The stats say that 95% of blogs that are started are eventually abandoned – that’s not going to look good for your company. If someone in the IT department gets permission to start a blog, you’re going to have to make sure that they stay with it. Making the blog task part of their annual review is a great way to make sure that they keep up with it.
What All Of This Means For You
As CIO you’re going to inherit a company that is going through a number of radical transformations. One of these changes is going to be the arrival of media creation, editing, transmission, and storage as a part of the normal course of doing business.
CIOs are use to dealing with the purely technical side of media: storage and bandwidth issues. However, in today’s world of new media, they are going to have to do more. Taking the time to determine what tools are best suited to dealing with media for the company will allow CIOs and the IT department to take a leadership role in getting a handle on this new corporate responsibility.
How a company interacts with its customers and investors is changing right before our eyes. CIOs who move quickly have a chance to make their mark and become an integral part of this new way that the company will be communicating with the outside world.
Question For You: What role do you think a CIO should play in a company’s media program: gatekeeper, organizer, or no role?
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
As CIO wanna-be’s who live in troubling times we are always trying to do two things: hold on to our jobs and be more successful. One of the best ways to do both of these, or so we have been told, is to go out and get an MBA. Well that’s all great and fine if you’ve got four or five years to burn, don’t need to do anything else at night, oh and have a big chunk of cash sitting around that you had no other plans for. Maybe it’s time to look for a better way to accomplish what we’re trying to do…