Ahead of her presentation at the Chief Innovation Officer Summit in London this April 25&26, we spoke to Ana Jakimovska, Head of Product Management at Sky News.
Do you think what we used to call innovation has actually become a transformational process and why?
I would say innovation has two parts within the digital media industry. The first is generating new ideas that would create positive value for users and companies by solving a problem or addressing a need, the second one is implementation in a sustainable and efficient way.
Within this context, innovation is definitely a transformational process, especially needed with the proliferation of the new media startups. The industry is constantly ‘disrupted’ by new technologies and approaches so innovation is one of the core pillars that enables future-proofing of the companies’ survival.
How have the realities of operating within your organisation impacted your innovation goals?
Within Sky News, innovation is embedded within the culture so innovation goals more often than not are aligned with the company goals. By this, I don’t mean everyone there having a task ‘to invent the new Twitter or Snapchat’ but more like, we are encouraged to think boldly about the problems and processes that surround us, try new ideas and not to be afraid to fail whilst doing something new. Having said this, there is always a tension between budget, resource, time, ambition, and the new and unknown, so part of our challenges is finding ways to have both. So far, it seems to be possible to juggle these priorities. One of the fundamental enablers is the understanding of the senior management and the role they play in innovation delivery, so there is enough support for new initiatives, not just in spirit, but with resources as well.
What impact has new technology had during the development of your innovation plan?
Profound. Fundamental. With the track record that Sky has, in terms of technological innovation, there is a firm view that technology is one of the main factors to create competitive advantage and push the company forward.
Furthermore, some thinkers, such as Peter Thiel in his book ‘Zero to One’ claims technology is the only route for true innovation. Similarly, Ed Catmull from Pixar claims technology was one of the main factors for Pixar to become what it is today - a hub for exploring creativity.
Do labs and partnerships offer businesses opportunities that in-house innovation doesn't and why?
Depends on the business, business model, and the objective. They can be extremely important on one hand and useless on another.
Do you believe that technological advancements will change the way the economy operates in the near future, and will this have a profound impact on your innovation objectives?
I have absolutely no doubt. From things relevant in my industry, where content can be totally immersive, from VR, AR, 360-video, the advances in Artificial Intelligence and how they are set to change the media industry to things like BlocChain, nanotechnology, Bitcoin, and others we are looking at a different picture to where we are now, and inevitably, that would have impact on all companies and individuals alike.
You can hear from Ana and other industry leaders at the Chief Innovation Officer Summit, taking place in London 25&26.