Last Week the RPS team were delighted to attend the Technology Leaders’ Briefing. An event organised by the DPP (Digital Production Partnership).

The conference promised keynote sessions and roundtable discussions on some of the leading issues and technological developments affecting the broadcast industry, with speakers including Matthew Postgate, Chief Technology & Product Officer, BBC; Orpheus Warr, Chief Technology Officer, Channel 4; Tom Griffiths, Director of Broadcast and Distribution Technology, ITV; and Rainer Kellerhals, Business Leader Media & Entertainment, EMEA, Microsoft.

Having worked extensively in the broadcast sector with organisations such as Sky and the BBC, we were pleased to be given the opportunity to be a club lounge sponsor, allowing us to have several positive meetings throughout the day with new and old contacts alike, alongside sitting in on some fascinating panel discussions.

Due to the nature of the event, the majority of the days talks were closed, allowing attendees to speak their minds and encouraging an open dialogue in Q & A sessions. We won’t be spilling any industry secrets here, however, what we can confirm is that across the whole broadcast sector many of the same issues are being faced at every level, from how to best utilise and adapt to new technology such as AI, to how suppliers and businesses can strive for better partnerships.

Phil Bull, our Managing Partner, said “This year’s DPP Technology Leaders’ Briefing didn’t disappoint, some seriously insightful views from both media organisations and suppliers of all sizes, covering a wide array of exciting new prospective technology advances – balanced with challenges being set by those at the heart of the media sector: Audiences.

“Probably one of the clearest themes that came through was the acknowledgement of how far the industry has come, but how much further it has to go on the subject of an ethnically and gender diverse workforce. As they say, the first step to solving a problem is acknowledging it, and all the attendees rang that bell loud and clear, so I look forward to working with our clients and suppliers to help take down some of the barriers in the industry”.

No one managed to drive home the diversity message more than keynote speaker, Dr Sue Black, who spoke passionately about her role as a woman in the technology sector and the barriers she has faced, and indeed helped to remove. Dr Black is a computer scientist, entrepreneur, professor and self-described ‘tech evangelist’. Her experience in this sector made her the perfect addition to the day’s talks.

Our resource manager, Kirstie Lovell, summed up the impact of her lively speech: “Dr Sue Black’s speech at the DPP Technology Leaders’ Briefing really stood out for me. Her story was inspiring – understanding what can be achieved with hard work and dedication, despite what life has in store along the way, gave me personally a more optimistic outlook on my career.

“Her passion for what she does is so refreshing; she has dedicated a significant amount of time and energy to successfully getting more women into tech and I look forward to watching this continue to grow.”

RPS operations manager Katy Reeves was also inspired by the diversity drive at the event. “Whilst Diversity and Inclusion has frequently been a discussion point at conferences and around boardroom tables over the years, this time it felt different. There was definitely a call to action for businesses to physically shake up their recruitment process and hiring criteria, and place the emphasis on the skills of the person and not their gender or ethnicity.

“Dr Black has championed the importance of women in technology – placing great emphasis on their vital role during World War Two at Bletchley Park, and the key role they play in educating their children at home. As a result, she has inspired and empowered business women and mums alike through her work, and through the setting up of BCSWomen’s network and #techmums”.

Overall the DPP event proved incredibly insightful for all our team who attended. It was refreshing to see such an open and honest dialogue about the future for the broadcast sector; with disruption and transformation moving at such a rapid pace, it seems the time for keeping cards close to chests is gone. By championing a culture of openness with its members, the DPP has delivered an invaluable resource with their leaders’ briefing, in what was a very well curated and delivered event that we’d recommend as a must for anyone in this sector for 2019


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