This is a guest post by Matt Goolding. Matt is Head of Digital Marketing at Ribbonfish, a London-based tech company that builds enterprise solutions for the publishing and media industries. Here he reveals how publishers can match business growth with the right tech.
If a publishing house is doing well, growth will be on the cards. Expansion is a great thing, especially in such a competitive market; one which is adapting to huge pressures over the past decade or so. Whilst some publishers are struggling, many are exploiting gaps opened by the digital revolution and a supposed ‘risk-averse’ approach by the biggies. However, with growth and success comes change, and it’s important to manage this sensibly.
It’s easy to treat technology as an afterthought. Great ideas, a dedicated team, and genuine integrity can take a business a long way. It’s a dreaded bore and chore, but at some point a publisher may need systems and processes in place. Whether it’s hardware or software, this can be a tricky affair. Tricky in terms of budget, requirements and long-term planning.
Growth and consolidation problems
If growth is indeed forecast, this could have a number of implications. Increased order numbers will require more people-power, and perhaps different teams working on multiple elements of the same project. A larger workforce will require devices upon which to work. These devices will need to be financed and supported.
Furthermore, an increase in customers inevitably means more questions, so customer services may require expansion. Good service relies on accurate information. If the internal systems of a business cannot handle the volume of data (previous queries, account history, caller name, etc.) then the customer won’t be satisfied. Unsatisfied customers equal a poor reputation, which results in stunted growth in the long-run.
Effective internal tech is equally important for sales and marketing, order processing, rights, permissions, and production. There’s huge opportunity to manage these elements better with tools that take the graft out of the publishing process, reduce human error, and increase efficiency.
However, it would be foolish to suggest that business is booming for all publishers. The fact is, many are having a tough time. In this case, shrinkage may be required. Nothing is a bigger kick in the teeth than unmanageable IT costs at this time. Recently, we’ve seen mergers and acquisitions like never before, which has also involved huge system integrations. If downsizing is required, it helps to have technology that’ll move with you.
Fortunately, technology vendors have recognised the need for flexible and scalable tools in the modern world. Companies in all kinds of industries want to remain agile, without the need for clunky old-school business IT and a dedicated support team sat in the basement. The cloud has been revolutionary in this sense, and has enabled vendors to create subscription or user-based business technology that’s affordable. The key tip here is to not enter into an agreement that could be dangerous in the future, whether it’s for growth or a downsize.
The crux of the matter is that technology impacts real life. As humans, we’ve always struggled to perceive this, especially as the curve has steepened. A business is undoubtedly powered by ideas, but the practical stuff also needs the right technology. Sustainable growth is helped by scalable internal technology, and these days there’s no reason to be held back.
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