Volker Smid has spent more of his career outside the media industry than in it. Nevertheless, or perhaps because the former derives CEO of Hewlett Packard Germany since 2014, the digital fortunes of one of the most important German publishing houses, the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group. On the occasion of his keynote to the second IT Summit of the publishing industry on 15 September in Munich Smid explains why publishers would be well advised to bring more technologists in management responsibility
CIO.de. In your lecture on the second IT Summit They appeal to the publishing industry, to understand technology as a core competency. What’s behind it
Volker Smid: background is the rapidly changing landscape of monetization models for publishing houses. It is not a new trend that the traditional business models of publishers are declining in print. But not everywhere in general. And capture the money that you tried earlier on paper tramping around on the Internet today. I see this as an opportunity consistently. The more publishers understand the operation of the Internet with all the monetization options, the more the Internet can be understood as a perspective. For this understanding, it is necessary to understand technology and dominate.
you speak in this context of the digital DNA. Why
Volker Smid: DNA describes a large complexity, as I see them on the Internet. The interaction of technology-driven areas such as online marketing, search engine optimization and many other positions, which allowed Web pages need to penetrate publishers to discover opportunities for themselves. Technology is therefore firmly in the DNA of every modern publishing house
How deep this understanding is already enshrined in the German publishing landscape
Volker Smid.?: Many publishers have already gained this knowledge. However, she rubs every now and then with traditional strands of DNA – not always for the benefit of publishers. That is why I believe that technology knowledge represented in the executive levels of the publishers and must be lived out thence, taking into account both strands, analogue and digital, and as a permanent motor of change. Digitization is a management function that is to be settled directly in the management, and must be embedded from there in the individual divisions.
What change has the house Holtzbrinck completed to the technology jump to core competence to enable
Volker Smid: The change was primarily from the recognition of the dynamics of digital business models follow. An example of this are Holtzbrinck activities in the field of English language textbooks. The production chain here was a classic example of the creation of content, some workflows around it and the distribution of the finished product as an eBook and pbook. Much of this content is, however, now distributed in the United States on very different paths, namely digitally via web-based learning environments, called Learning Management Systems.
the latest on Labor Day Monday, when all the students return to the United States in the schools and almost simultaneously accessing this content, you realize as a publisher that breathing technology capacity needs are, a demand of this magnitude interruption cover. Because this type of interaction is quite another than that in the scheduling of printed products or the construction of rigid IT infrastructures. To the same extent, publishing products increasingly digitally consume the consumers, publishers need to change the infrastructure and the statics of their offer. This was the background for the decision, and digital technology in the management of Holtzbrinck to encapsulate in a central responsibility.
Speaking of encapsulation. On the way to digitization Holtzbrinck has deliberately opted for an external enclosure of technology expertise. What is the role of development and expansion of services such as HGV, circ IT, devbliss and GTS for the digitization of the business model
Volker Smid: Holtzbrinck is a world acting and locally-positioned house. Rightly, the digitization in its first stage has been decentralized. However, only up to the date on which it was found that decentralization in scaling business models and infrastructure is a hindrance. Today it is our intention to combine the strengths of our technology daughters to standardize and align with global markets. The decentralized policy development is this a good basis on which you can saddle up. Scalable However, these structures are not. Google would not have been able to provide the computing capacity of 2.5 million servers on decentralized manner available. In a certain size can only centrally plan and control technology.