Friday, April 18, 2008

The Oganizational Impact of New Media II

The question of whether publishers should have digital divisions or be integrated was raised at the recent LBF ‘Crossing the New Frontier: America and the Digital Revolution’ seminar.

It is interesting to note that that the same question was raised over 13 years ago in the heady CD publishing days in the very first ‘Publishingin the 21st Century ‘. The research brought together Mark Bide and Mike Shatzkin and that illustrious team that I was pleased to help manage be part of. The paper was called ‘The Organisational Impact of New Media’

Alas today all I have is the Executive Summary but it is still highly relevant and much could have been written yesterday. It looked right across the organisation and publishing lifecycle and although much more multi media focused than today still offers much.

Its conclusion was read : ‘Long term forecasting is of limited value in an era of such rapid technological development. One thing is for sure: publishers are in the early stages of a period of considerable uncertainty and of accelerating change. The market will placeever greater demands on publishers, and the business will become very much more complex than it has been in the past. In organizing their businesses to face this challenge, publishers need to learn to manage the uncertainty so as to maximise the potential benefit while minimizing the risks.’

It clearly recognised the need to integrate digital divisions and skills within the total organisation and that digital publishing, was is as we keep saying, even then becoming publishing.